Not many people know about Jack Ma. The radio advertisements were blasted on many stations while students at UoN eagerly awaited the talk.

By around 3pm, the hall at the new University of Nairobi Towers was packed and entrances were jammed as students waited for an opportunity to share a room with a man who beat all odds to become one of the richest persons in China. Jack Ma did not disappoint when he started his talk at around 5pm, encouraging young people to cherish their youth and to keep on trying even when the odds are stacked against them.

The Chinese billionaire said Africa’s poor infrastructure, social, economic and political situation should be a source of innovation for most entrepreneurs, just as lack of e-commerce in his home country inspired him to start one of the biggest online marketplaces.

If the Government does not have a solution to any problem, it is an opportunity. If people complain, it is an opportunity,”

Universities were also challenged to keep innovating as most of the jobs will disappear. Kenyans were also told not to be afraid of changes that will come from the internet.

“Change is the best opportunity,”

he told the students.

Hundreds of students stayed outside the hall, following the lecture which was beamed from huge TV screens. Jack Ma, who recently met US President Donald Trump, said he was a strong believer in globalisation or the free movement of goods, service and people across borders, especially aided by advancement in telecommunications.

Jack Ma told a room packed with students during his visit to Kenya that also saw him meet President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House and Kenya’s private sector under the aegis of Kenya Private Sector Alliance. It was a talk that was highly anticipated.

Courtesy of SDE.