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News: Alibaba Group to help Ethiopia set up first eWTP hub,the second in Africa

Mahlet Fasil

Addis Abeba, November 25/2019 – China’s internet giant Alibaba Group, signed a memorandum of understanding with Ethiopian officials to help Ethiopia launch its first eWTP (electronic world trade platform) Hub, the second in Africa After Rwanda.

At a ceremony held this morning and attended by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Dr. Getahun Mekuria, Minister of Innovation and Technology, Jack Ma, Founder of Jack Ma Foundation and Partner of Alibaba Group, Eric Jing, Alibaba Group Director and Financial Services Group Chairman & CEO, as well as Takele Uma, Addis Abeba deputy mayor, among others, representatives of Alibaba Group and Dr. Getahun signed the MoU at Ethiopia’s ICT Park, located in Goro road in Addis Abeba.

The establishment of eWTP hub in Ethiopia is primarily aimed at enabling Ethiopia to provide smart logistics and services, conduct cross-border trades targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them penetrate markets in China and other parts of the world, as well as serve as a center of excellence in training young entrepreneurs, among others.

Speaking shortly after the signing of the MoU, PM Abiy remarked that “Electronic trade platform is part of Ethiopia’s technological development [and is] “a step forward to making Ethiopia among the five economic giants of Africa within the coming decade. It also expands the horizon for small and medium enterprises.”

Getahun Mekuria on his part said that “this engagement will greatly contribute to trade facilitation and open markets to SMEs not only in Ethiopia but in the wider region.” It is “an important step in the development of a digital economy in Ethiopia.”

“It is an honor to partner with the government of Ethiopian to establish the Electronic World Trade platform Ethiopia Hub” said Eric Jing, adding “We will continue to support the creation of a more inclusive. Digitally –enabled global economy, where small businesses can participate in global trade. We look forward ti working together with entrepreneurs and SMEs from Ethiopia and other African nations to seize the opportunities provided by the digital era”

According to a statement from PM Abiy’s office. “eWTP Ethiopia will have advanced technology, infrastructure and services, as well as a customized regulatory framework intended to promote innovation in trade and the digital economy.”

The first major initiative for Electronic World Trade platform partnership in Ethiopia will be development of a multi-function digital trade hub to serve as a gateway for Ethiopian products to china, a center for cross-border e-commerce and trade within African and training center. China commodities city international (CCCI) will partner with Alibaba in the development of the Electronic World Trade platform Hub. The Alibaba business school will implement the capacity building and training portion of the partnership which consists of a number of programs including specialized programs for Ethiopian entrepreneurs’ business leaders and university lectures.

Founder and former chairman of Aloibaba Group, Jack Ma arrived in Addis Abeba last night for two days official visit. He is in Ethiopia as part of a follow meeting held between Pm Abiy and him at Alibaba Headquarters in Hangzhou last April. AS

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