ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopia and Alibaba Group have Signed on Monday three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) – Ethiopia.
“The platform will support the country’s national digital transformation strategy,” the office of Prime minister said.
PM Abiy Ahmed, the visiting Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma, and Alibaba Group Director Eric Jing witnessed the signing of three MOUs between Ethiopia and Alibaba establishing an eWTP Hub.
The eWTP Hub is intended to enable cross-border trade, provide smart logistics and fulfillment services, assist Ethiopian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to reach China and other markets, and provide talent training.
Ethiopia aims to build a dynamic and growing digital economy that contributes significantly to overall economic growth in the country.
eWTP is an Alibaba-led multi-stakeholder global initiative promoting public-private dialogue in order to support more inclusive global trade which uses technology and policy innovation to provide greater opportunities for SMEs, women and youth.
Minister for Innovation and Technology Getahun Mekuria called the signing to launch the eWTP as “an important step” in the development of a digital economy in Ethiopia.
“This engagement will greatly contribute to trade facilitation and open markets to SMEs not only in Ethiopia but in the wider region,” the Minister continued. “We look forward to continue working with Alibaba Group and CCCI to realize the objectives of the platform which has the potential to transform the lives of many.”
The establishment of the eWTP will make Ethiopia the second country in Africa to establish the hub, and this new partnership builds upon the success of other eWTP partnerships in Asia (China and Malaysia), Europe (Belgium) and Africa (Rwanda) over the past two years.
As the number of eWTP Hubs increases, it is hoped that trade will increase between the Hubs, providing new opportunities for their merchants in the global economy.
Alibaba Group Director Eric Jing said the Chinese firm “is an honor” to partner with Ethiopia to establish the eWTP Ethiopia Hub.
“We will continue to support the creation of a more inclusive, digitally-enabled global economy, where small businesses can participate in global trade,” he said. “We look forward to working together with entrepreneurs and SMEs from Ethiopia and other African nations to seize the opportunities provided by the digital era.”
The first major initiative for the eWTP partnership in Ethiopia will be the development of a multifunction digital trade hub to serve as a gateway for Ethiopian products to China, a center for cross-border e-commerce and trade within Africa, and a training center.
China Commodities City International (CCCI) will partner with Alibaba in the development of the eWTP Hub while Alibaba Business School will implement the capacity building and training portion of the partnership.