The Founder and Director of the Alibaba Group and Founder of Jack Ma Foundation has emphasized that in order for the African continent to develop and ensure sustainable development, the people of Africa should adopt creative and innovative ways in solving their problems.
He said, “…if Africa want to develop, the most important thing to do is by using creative and innovative ways and we need entrepreneurs to join forces together to develop Africa.”
Jack Ma stressed that good entrepreneurs are the ones who have the interest of the society at heart and in so doing they keep solving the problems in the society and not those who only want to make money to the disadvantage of the society.
“We’ve got to solve problems around us, solve the problems in the communities. Start from there and that’s the hope…everybody should have an entrepreneurial spirit…” he admonished.
He was speaking during the maiden edition of the African Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) Conference at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), Accra, Ghana on November 16, 2019.
The ANPI is open to African entrepreneurs from all countries, sectors and age groups. It is a prize competition founded by the Jack Ma Foundation that will award US$10 million and recognize 100 African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years.
It aims to support and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future. Every year, 10 finalists will be selected to compete in a finale pitch competition that will be broadcast across the continent. All ten finalists will gain access to the Netpreneur community of African business leaders to leverage the community’s shared expertise, best practice and resources.
The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo Addo in his address indicated that, “It is time to take entrepreneurship seriously and there couldn’t be a better form to demonstrate this in the Netpreneurship Summit. Entrepreneurship is a vital component of economic growth…”
He continued that the empowerment of the young population “…with access to education and skills training and the creation of an enabling environment for their businesses to survive and thrive will constitute very powerful tool to economic development in Africa and the world.”
The 8th Secretary – General of the United Nations, H. E Ban Ki Moon noted that, “ We should view Sustainable Development not only as a way of our lives but also as a value that we must all understand and embrace…”
During an interaction between Anita Erskine, hostess of the 2019 ANPI Conference and supermodel, Naomi Campbell on “What’s Next for Africa’s Fashion Entrepreneurs”, Naomi posited that African policy makers should recognize the talented fashion entrepreneurs that the continent has got and do all they can to support them adequately to ensure the growth and development of the fashion industry In Africa.
Also present at the Conference include the wife of H. E Ban Ki Moon, Yoo Soon – taek; Ghana’s Minister for Communication, Ursula Owusu – Ekuful; popular Chinese actor, Jet Li; Ghanaian singer and songwriter, Rocky Dawuni.
There were performances by Erica Armah Bra – Bulu Tandoh known by the stage name DJ Switch, a young Ghanaian disc jockey; Yaa Yaa, also known as Bertha Bridget Kankam, a Ghanaian musician and NOYAM Dance Institute of Ghana.