Chinese billionaire entrepreneur Jack Ma on Friday advised African youth entrepreneurs to think out of the box and create a bigger e-commerce on the continent.
He made the remarks while delivering his keynote address at the inaugural of YouthConnekt Africa Summit in the Rwandan capital Kigali that focuses on promoting job creation through entrepreneurship and skills development among the youth in Africa.
"Africa is a home and solution for inclusive economy that the world needs. Think big and think about future. You have a great potential, the future of e-commerce in Africa is bigger than Europe and U.S.," said Ma, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
"Think big for the future. It took me 18 years to build e-commerce, but it could take you 5 to 8 years to build e-commerce in Africa since the continent has already laid a conducive environment for you to thrive," said the special advisor of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
He said that African entrepreneurs should learn from failure. "Africa has to get used to failure. If you can't, then how can you win?"
The three-day summit is organized by the government of Rwanda, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and UNDP.
The summit from July 19 to 21 is dubbed: "Realizing Africa's Youth Potential." It has attracted over 3,000 participants including top executives from multinational companies, leaders of civil society organizations, Africa's development partners, members of the academia and youth entrepreneurs from 90 countries across Africa and beyond to interact and discuss on enhancing the potential of the youth in Africa, according to the organizers.
At the summit, Ma announced four projects to support African entrepreneurs, African young people and efforts of conservation in Africa.
The four projects are supporting 200 African entrepreneurs in the next five years, working with universities and governments to develop training program for African young people on e-commerce and cloud computing, setting up a conservation award for conservation rangers and donating 10 million U.S. dollars to establish a young entrepreneurs development fund.