Co-founder of AliBaba Group, Jack Ma on Thursday led a team of investors from China to the Presidential villa to meet with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Ma’s visit to Nigeria is on the invitation of Osinbajo to promote technological innovation amongst young Nigerians as a means of job creation.
He said the purpose of the trip is to try to understand Africa more and they are excited to be in Nigeria.
“I think our team today realised our dreams meeting you. We flew 15 hours into Nigeria and we are excited. This trip is to try to understand Africa more. We came to Africa four years ago and our plan is to visit four, five countries in every trip,” Ma 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.”
Ma also shares some concepts that he feels could assist a developing nation like Nigeria.
“We also want help through four Es in Africa. The first, E list is E-infrastructure – support internet connections to everybody. We hope that every young person, every small business should have access to the internet to do business anywhere, anytime,” he said.
“The second E is support entrepreneurs, this is very important. We think we can make entrepreneurs as the heros of African continent. In China is the entrepreneurs that promote business development, government support entrepreneurs.
“The third is E-government, 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. The last and very important E is education.
“In the next few days we are going to have the all the 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 is just the beginning. Our jobs is to support entrepreneurs. Everyone in the delegation, we are all founders of our own businesses in China. We think what we have experienced in China can help Africa entrepreneurs develop, support e-infrastructure, e-governance, e-entrepreneurs and e-education and this is what we came here for.
“We will love to have advise and know government’s direction so that we can do a better job,” he said
Osinbajo in a statement released by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, said: “…just as you said, Nigeria represents an incredible opportunity and potential, and we had spoken a few minutes ago about how Nigeria will in another two decades or so become be the third largest in terms of population in the entire world.
“The largest segment of that population are young people, under 25, who will be over 60% of that population.
“This is exciting time for us and we are really happy that you are here and I know the young people and lots of businesses and entrepreneurs are looking forward to your interaction with them later today.
“I think you will find very energetic, very creative group of young men and women and older men and women who are increasingly interested in entrepreneurship especially digital entrepreneurship.
“So, the potential is tremendous, it is an incredible potential that we have. So, we are at a point, and your coming is very strategic, in our trajectory and in the progress of our country.
“I think, it is a very important moment and what we are seeing – a lot of entrepreneurship, a lot of young people who are very actively engaged in the digital economy at various levels.”