Rwanda ready to grow its economy through Alibaba partnership
Rwanda is committed to leveraging technology and the internet through its partnership with Alibaba Group to grow its economy from low to high income.
The two parties recently signed three memoranda of understanding, which saw establishment of an electronic world trade platform, or eWTP.
The agreements are intended to strengthen cooperation in support of Rwanda's economic development by promoting policy innovation, enabling cross-border trade of Rwandan products to Chinese consumers, facilitating tourism to Rwanda, and providing capacity building to empower the growth of Rwanda's digital economy.
eWTP is a multi-stakeholder global initiative promoting public-private dialogue to foster a more effective and efficient policy and business environment to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in cross-border electronic trade.
Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president, said the platform will open new frontiers in Rwanda's e-commerce and tourism, as well as boost the capacity and competitiveness of the entrepreneurs.
He said Rwanda will continue to make major investments in education and broadband infrastructure to accelerate growth in technology-linked industries that drive prosperity in upper income economies.
"In the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business report, Rwanda ranked as the 29th most business-friendly country in the world, up from 41st position last year. We will work harder, smarter and faster to improve the position. I'm glad that Alibaba Group is helping us to be on the right path," the president said.
According to Clare Akamanzi, the chief executive officer of the Rwanda Development Board, eWTP is in line with the country's development priorities.
"Our development priority as a country is to improve income levels of our people and that means increasing our per capita income. To do that, we need to ensure that our people have sustainable jobs or sources of income," she said.
Akamanzi said eWTP provides a good opportunity for entrepreneurs to maximize their income. By selling directly to consumers, they avoid costly intermediaries.