- The richest man in Asia, Jack Ma visits Nigeria for the first time to speak at Nigeria Digital Economy Summit, Abuja 2019.
- This visit is to make Ma and his team understand Africa more.
- Jack Ma meets the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at his office before the the summit started.
- New policies by FG to incentivize online business owners.
Jack Ma, co-founder and former chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (a pioneer e-commerce company and tech giant in China), arrived Nigeria for the first Nigeria Digital Economy Summit in Abuja.
The summit was organised by the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, focusing on “Leveraging Digital Economy for Trade & Investment.”
Ma is a Special Guest Speaker at the two-day event, which started today and will end on Friday, November 15th, 2019.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo received the e-commerce mogul who is a face of Chinese business and member of the ruling Communist Party and his team before the event started.
Ma, who is the richest man in Asia with $41.8 billion net worth, according to Fortune, said Nigeria has all the potentials to grow in digital economy and he is interested in having a stake.
He further said,
“My personal target is to try and visit every country in Africa in 10 years and support Africa. Nigeria is a great country with a large population, very strong economy, excellent young people with excellent innovations. And this is a country.”
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Why Jack Ma visits Nigeria?
The e-commerce billionaire, proposed a four-E concept which he felt would greatly liberate the economy of any developing country like Nigeria.
He said there should be a support by the government to make internet connections affordable and accessible to everybody. He said every young person, every small business should have access to the internet to do business anywhere, anytime.
Supporting entrepreneurs is very important as entrepreneurs play vital role in the economy of a country. He said,
If government is on E, it will be very efficient, transparent, people will know government can help and government will know what the people want.
Ma revealed his team’s intention to initiate the all internet-prize or award scheme towards encouraging Africans to improve on learning digital marketing.
“In the next few days we are going to have the all internet-prize, everyone in Africa can apply for award. I am happy to know that four Nigerian entrepreneurs are among the top 10. We will have the final competition in two days and I think Nigeria entrepreneurs will have great result.”
This was an indication that Nigeria is making a remarkable progress in digital economy.
The vice president said to the e-commerce mogul,
“By leading a team of investors to Nigeria, I hope you see as we do, investment opportunities in Africa’s digital economy, infrastructure and her people.”
This was an indication that Nigeria is making a remarkable progress, an outright impact which attracts investors to begin to exploring investment opportunities in Nigeria digital economy.
New Policy by FG to incentivize Online Business Owners
Earlier this week, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, disclosed the plan of the Federal Government to incentivize Nigerians towards moving their businesses online.
Pantami, while speaking at the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, Federal Capital Territory Chapter’s 2019 Annual General Meeting and Conference, stated that:
“We are providing domain name for free for businesses that want to go online, and in the future time, we want to start giving incentives to people that want to migrate from traditional business to electronic business in order to support them. Government will provide incentives at certain levels in order to encourage them.
We are still working on some subsidiary legislations and regulatory instruments that would protect businesses online. This is because if people migrate, they need to be protected. We are also working on all these things and I hope that by the middle of next year, a lot would be achieved in those areas,” Pantami said.“
He also mentioned the recent directives of the Federal Government which was given to mobile telecommunication companies in the country to reduce internet data subscription tariffs. This was to show that actions had begun.
“We want to make sure that broadband penetration is increased significantly. We want to make sure that broadband is also affordable to Nigerians, in terms of Internet access. That is why we have directed NCC to sit down with operators and review the prices. This is because if you look at the prices, sometimes, and the quality of service, it is not encouraging.”
Pantami assured Nigerians that henceforth, the government would ensure that every business owner finds digital economy very affordable and safe to run a business and succeed.