Alibaba opens Ethiopian e-commerce doors to global trade

Alibaba is working with Ethiopia to open the country to international e-commerce. The Ethiopian government has signed three agreements with the Chinese online giant to join the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), a platform designed to lower barriers to global trade for small and medium sized businesses in e-commerce. 

In joining the eWTP, so Ethiopian nationals will be able to sell their wares to China and other new markets. The platform offers support in smart logistics and fulfilment as well as talent training.

“Today’s signing of the Ethiopia eWTP Hub is an important step in the development of a digital economy in Ethiopia,” said Getahun Mekuria on Monday, Ethiopia’s minister of innovation and technology. “This engagement will greatly contribute to trade facilitation and open markets to SMEs not only in Ethiopia but in the wider region.”

At the signing ceremony Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder, said that in order to better work into global markets, Ethiopia needs “the four e’s”: education, e-government, e-infrastructure and entrepreneurs. He emphasised that there is no lack of talent in the country – just that said talent needs tapping into.

“Today is the beginning of the digital period for Ethiopia, we need to cultivate entrepreneurship, we need to cultivate the sprint of innovation, driving for speed, results and efficiency,” Ma said.

“Africa never lacks talents – Ethiopia has 30 million young people,” Ma said, adding that the continent wasn’t short on resources or opportunity, either. “What we lack is a group of pioneers that can explore the future and believes in the future.”

“We will help more entrepreneurs in Africa. We will help more internet development and the digital economy in Africa,” he said.


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