Alibaba Business School has launched its 'Global E-commerce Talent' (GET) programme In Rwanda, aimed at deepening the understanding of the e-commerce industry among university lecturers in order to train individuals to compete in the digital economy.
The launch, in partnership with Rwanda's Higher Education Council and the Rwanda Development Board, marks the first time GET has been offered in Africa.
It is also the first piece of a broader cooperation to bring the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative to Rwanda.
eWTP is a multi-stakeholder initiative that seeks to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in global trade and contribute to the development of the digital economy.
GET is part of the commitment that Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma made during his visit to Rwanda last year to support education and e-commerce in Africa.
Fifty lecturers from nine of the country's top universities attending an inaugural week-long programme recently.
The course covered a range of topics, including the digital economy, forming a company, risk management and acquiring customers. The programme has already been run in countries such as Malaysia and Thailand, but this was the first time it was offered in Africa.
Alibaba Global Initiatives Vice President Brian Wong said, "Our goal is to support the development of e-commerce education, nurture skill sets that will accelerate Rwanda's vision to become the digital hub of Africa and foster a generation of talented and passionate young entrepreneurs who can help bring new innovation, create job opportunities and transform the global commerce landscape in the country."
The GET programme also offered insights into doing business with China, with instructors teaching participants how to best position their products in the Chinese market. It is hoped the programme will play a part in fostering entrepreneurship in order to reach Rwanda's goal of creating 200,000 jobs by 2020.
"We hope that the practical e-commerce knowledge from the GET programme will inspire and equip our students to explore opportunities for doing business by leveraging technology to tackle challenges creatively and help Rwandan SME's to tap into the global market," Emmanuel Muvunyi, executive director of the Higher Education Council, said.