Jack Ma, the co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba arrives at the 2018 African Ranger Awards. Photo: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, will on Wednesday launch the "Netpreneur Prize" initiative on his first ever visit to South Africa. 

The initiative is aimed at creating a community of 100 young, African entrepreneurs by 2030 who will receive grants totaling U.S.$10 million

Ma is one of the richest men in the world with a net worth of U.S.$42.7 billion. Alibaba's revenue in the 12 months ending in March 2017 rose by 56 percent to $23 billion.

His address forms part of a conference "Netpreneurs: The Rise of Africa's Digital Lions" taking place at Wits on Wednesday to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing a new digital Africa and the role that the public sector, investors, entrepreneurs and educational organisations must play in this transformation. 

Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development will deliver a keynote address.

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- African News Agency (ANA)