Jack Ma at the recent Netpreneurs event in Johannesburg which saw the launch of the Jack Ma Foundation's African Netpreneur Prize. image: Supplied.
INTERNATIONAL – African entrepreneurs should cooperate in order to enhance their competitive edge, an official from the Jack Ma foundation said on Friday. 

Jason Pau, senior adviser for international programs at Jack Ma Foundation told journalists in Nairobi that the continent consists of dozens of countries each with fragmented markets, which provides a challenge for local businesses seeking to scale up their operations. 

"African entrepreneurs should build teams in order to benefit from different innovative ideas from across the continent. 

This will help them to access international markets," Pau said while giving an update on the the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) that is spearheaded by the Jack Ma Foundation.

Pau said that currently, 20 semifinalist entrepreneurs from Africa are in Nairobi pitching their business concepts to seven esteemed entrepreneurs, investors, and business people from across the continent.

"Out of these, ten will be picked to pitch to Jack Ma and 2 celebrity judges in Accra, Ghana," he added. According to Pau, ANPI is part of Jack Ma Foundation's ten-year strategy to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs across all sectors with a one billion shillings ($10 million ) fund, to build a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future. 

Pau said that through close collaborations, African business community can ensure the continent reaps the benefit of its demographic dividend.

He noted that Jack Ma is committed to assisting African entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions that will make a difference in the continent.