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Chinese e-commerce guru Jack Ma, who has made a fortune and became a multi-billionaire from the online store Alibaba will be in South Africa this week. It will be his first time in the Southern Africa nation where he is set to launch the Netpreneur Prize. An initiative geared towards creating a community of 100 young African entrepreneurs and startups by the year 2030.

jack ma Netpreneur PrizeFrom the time of its inception to the year 2030, Netpreneur Prize is expected to give grants to African entrepreneurs and startups totaling $10 million. During his stay in South Africa, Ma will be the chief guest to the conference named Netpreneurs: The Rise of Africa’s Digital Lions.

The conference took place at Linder Auditorium at the University of the Witwatersrand in Jo’burg. The kick-off day was yesterday, Augusts 8, 2018. The main theme was centered around discussions on the challenges and opportunities digital startups across Africa faces. It looked into the public sector, private sectors, and the role of individual entrepreneurs, investors, governments and institutions of learning will play to overcome the challenges and create more opportunities.

Ma made his first visit to Africa in 2017, during which he visited both Rwanda and Kenya. It was on that tour that Ma launched the African Young Entrepreneurs Fund. The main event during his event included:

A keynote speech by Mukhisa Kituyi, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) on Africa’s digital transformation.

A 5-minute-long ‘Lightning Talks’ in which three entrepreneurs picked from the Alibaba ‘eFounder’s Program’ give a talk on their journey to creating digital businesses in Africa.

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