HANGZHOU, April 15 (Xinhua) -- China's e-commerce giant Alibaba will launch an undergraduate program this September to enroll students from Rwanda to facilitate the central African country's pursuit of a knowledge-based economy.
The Alibaba Business School said its "International Business Cross-border eCommerce" class will enroll 30 students this year, who will spend four years in Hangzhou, where Alibaba is based, studying subjects including the Internet, international trade and cross-border e-commerce.
The project is a key part of the agreement signed last year between the Rwandan government and Alibaba to build the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP).
The eWTP initiative was proposed by Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba, in 2016. It aims to promote public-private dialogue to improve the policy and business environment to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in cross-border electronic trade.
Rwanda, which is aiming to become a regional hub of information communication technology, was the first African country to launch the eWTP.
Valens Nzayikunda, a Rwandan applicant, told Xinhua after an interview with examiners in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, that the program was helpful for Rwanda and Rwandan students in e-commerce.
"I want to help my community and other startups with technology and to use e-commerce to make people's life easier, and China is among countries which have developed technology (in this area)," Nzayikunda said.
Emmanuel Muvunyi, executive director of the Higher Education Council of Rwanda, told Xinhua that training youth in using e-commerce was one of the intended objectives for Rwanda whose development agenda is based on ICT.
"The Alibaba program is a strong foundation for developing and enhancing e-commerce skills among Rwandan youth, and will progressively develop an eco-system in Rwanda of doing e-commerce," he said.
(Xinhua correspondent Lyu Tianran contributed reporting from Kigali.)