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Alibaba trains Rwandan students in e-commerce
en.hangzhou.com.cn  2020/01/20 15:02   ehangzhou.gov.cn

Twenty two students from Rwanda attended a seminar at the Alibaba Business School of Hangzhou Normal University on Jan 14 to review what they had learned over the past semester and discuss the growth of digital economy in their home country.

Last September, the Rwanda students traveled to Hangzhou for a four-year undergraduate program in cross-border e-commerce.

This is the first time that the Alibaba Business School has opened an undergraduate program for students from Africa. The program is open to high-achieving Rwandan students, particularly those who have received high marks on the Rwandan equivalent of the SAT. 

Theogene Tuyishimire, aged 21, is one such student. He decided to learn e-commerce in order to help farmers back in his home country.

Dianah Rutayisire Mahoro, aged 19, said she hoped to open an online store in her country to sell Rwandan-made clothes.

The shared dream of all the Rwandan students studying in Hangzhou is to change how people back in their home country view e-commerce and digital payments, as well as to create a better environment to facilitate the growth of digital economy in Rwanda.

On the afternoon of Jan 14, the students conducted an online dialogue with Kevine Kagirimpundu, a 20-something-year-old Rwandese entrepreneur.

Kevine was a trainee of the Alibaba Entrepreneur-Supporting Program and studied in Hangzhou for two months. She later became Rwanda's first entrepreneur to sell a fashion brand on the internet and achieved success after she went back to her home country.

Kevine said that she was glad to offer internships and job opportunities to young people.

"We see them as more than students, but also as engines for Rwanda's growth. We hope that they will create jobs rather than hunt for jobs," said Xiao Jianchao, a product operation expert at the economy academic committee of Alibaba. Xiao is also a teacher for the program.

During the four-year program, students will not only take specialized courses in cross-border e-commerce but will also receive real-word practice.

On Oct 31, 2018, the electronic world trade platform (eWTP) was launched in Rwanda by Alibaba, aiming to help local small and medium-sized companies, entrepreneurs and farmers better participate in the globalization process. 

"We hope that every student coming to the Alibaba Business School for study can change their future. Because they can see the future here and achieve their dream when they go back to Rwanda," said Huang Mingwei, vice-president of Alibaba.

Author: Editor:Zhou Xia
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