Ethiopian young entrepreneurs applaud Alibaba's continued support to socio-economic endeavors in Africa

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ADDIS ABABA, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian entrepreneurs have highly praised China's e-commerce giant Alibaba for its continued support to Africa's socio-economic endeavors, including in the battle against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on the continent.

With its Netpreneur training program, the Alibaba Business School has been training African entrepreneurs and business leaders in different fields to get into the e-commerce platform so that they can sell their products online.

Tihitina Mulushewa Legesse, a young entrepreneur in the manufacturing sector in Ethiopia, is among fellow citizens who have got the opportunity to attend a training, which had been scheduled to take place this month at the headquarters of the Chinese e-commerce giant in Hangzhou, China.

The training is part of the agreement that Alibaba signed last November with Ethiopia for the creation of Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), which is believed to be a game-changer initiative with the digital economy of the country.

Speaking to Xinhua, Tihitina Mulushewa Legesse, who is engaged in furniture retail business with a company called Waryt in Addis Ababa, capital of the East African country, said Alibaba is doing what is exactly needed by Africa and Ethiopia in particular.

"Unlike many other parts of the world where they have the digitized technology which is widely spread, Ethiopia and some African countries are quite behind. So, it is helping the country in keeping up with the rest of the world," said Tihitina.

The Netpreneur program aims to train entrepreneurs, who are committed to harnessing digital technology to transform local businesses for lasting success.

It is to accelerate the digital development of the entrepreneurs' business and their work with related parties to build success cases that will become the building blocks of their local communities and, ultimately, the larger digital economy.

"So, this is exactly what Alibaba is doing and this is what we need, especially in an epidemic situation such as now," noted Tihitina Mulushewa Legesse.

"If most of financial institutions and the others have been digitized, we would be able to curb it very quickly and change the culture at the earliest," she has added.

Another Ethiopian entrepreneur, who is to be benefited from the training by Alibaba Business School, is Yonas Kiros, and he hails Alibaba's initiative of eWTP in creating opportunities for African entrepreneurs to take advantage of the digital economy and learn China's experience in the area, towards lasting business success.

Yonas reiterated that the training program focuses on e-commerce, logistics and big data and tourism among others, which is, he said, highly important for African entrepreneurs.

As the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues to ravage the world, including Africa, Jack Ma and Alibaba foundations have been supporting ongoing global efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and providing aid to afflicted communities across the globe.

As part of this support, massive medical supplies donated by Jack Ma Foundation arrived on Sunday in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, and the medical equipment is being dispatched to the 54 African countries.

Speaking of the donation, Yonas Kiros said Jack Ma's support to Ethiopia and Africa in general is unforgettable as the world is at critical time with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Stating that the donation has come at the right time, and that others, who have the capacity, should follow suit, Yonas said Jack Ma's support is quite important for Africa.

"Jack Ma is doing incredible things for Africa. We do not forget what Jack Ma has done for Ethiopia, and for the rest of Africans."

"This is crucial time; we are getting the donation in the right time. And we thank Jack Ma for this donation, for showing solidarity with Africa and with Ethiopia," he added.

With regard to the donation, Tihitina Mulushewa Legesse, on her part said, the donation is a big lesson for any institution be it local or international.

"This is a good example of how an institution will be able to help the world. It is not just for Ethiopia, it is for Africa, it is not just for Africa, it is just for the world. So, I think, we should build our business institutions in such a way that we can build the company while building the community," she has added. Enditem

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