NAIROBI, March 27 (Xinhua) -- The Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) backed by co-founder of Alibaba Group Jack Ma was on Wednesday launched in Kenya to help boost Sino-Africa ties, organizers said.
Sam Gichuru CEO of Nailab, which is the continental and Eastern Africa partner of the ANPI, told journalists in Nairobi that the competition was designed for Africans doing business in Africa.
"The initiative will help to further cement Sino-Africa ties because it shows that China is a close partner of Africa and is concerned about playing a role in lifting people out of poverty through entrepreneurship," Gichuru said.
The online application for ANPI was launched simultaneously in Nigeria, Egpyt, Kenya and South Africa.
The prize competition for African entrepreneurs was founded by the Jack Ma Foundation and for the next 10 years, the ANPI will host an annual pitch competition across Africa culminating in a finale where 10 finalists will compete for 1 million dollars.
Gichuru said that the prize seeks to support and reward entrepreneurs in all sectors of the economy who have a huge positive impact in their communities.
"In order to be inclusive, women and youth entrepreneurs are also encouraged to apply in order to get a chance to win the grants," he added.
He observed that ANPI will officially begin collecting applications starting from March 27 up to the June 30.
Gichuru said that the 10 finalists of the competition will also receive mentorship from the Netpreneur community of African business leaders on how to scale up their businesses.
The ANPI will seek to create a community of about 100 young African entrepreneurs who will receive a total of 1 billion shillings (about 10 million U.S. dollars) grants by 2030.