On June 15, 2023, the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in the People’s Republic of China attended a graduation ceremony for 22 Rwandan students from Alibaba Business School, Hangzhou Normal University. The students have successfully completed a four-year undergraduate program in international business with a specialization in e-commerce.
These are the first group of students to benefit from the cooperation agreement between the Government of Rwanda and Alibaba Group, which was established as part of the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative in October 2018.
During the event, Mr. Virgile Rwanyagatare, the Second Counselor in the Embassy of Rwanda, said that the graduation of these students marks another significant milestone in the excellent relations between Rwanda and China, particularly in the field of e-commerce cooperation.
“This partnership has been very fruitful in accelerating Rwanda’s digital economy transformation through promotion of cross-border trade, digital finance, and capacity building among others. Today’s graduates are the beneficiaries of scholarships made possible through the eWTP collaboration, and as such they represent the latest success story in this growing partnership,” he said.
The students commenced their program at Hangzhou Normal University, Alibaba Business School in September 2019. Throughout their studies, they have taken courses focused on the internet, global trade, and cross-border e-commerce, gaining valuable firsthand experience of China’s digital economy’s development.
Mr. Zhang Jianlin, the Executive Dean of Alibaba Business School, said that the graduating students, who are from different countries have acquired valuable e-commerce skills that they should utilize to contribute to the development of their respective countries.
“Continuous learning is essential for transforming one’s character, nurturing the soul, and it serves as a fundamental requirement for embracing challenges and personal growth,” the dean remarked.
The knowledge you have gained through your studies here will be vital in driving your country’s digital transformation and fostering economic growth, he added.
For their part, the graduating students expressed their appreciation for the valuable opportunity to study at a prestigious e-commerce university. They emphasized their eagerness to apply their knowledge and contribute to the advancement of e-commerce. With their expertise, they aim to actively participate in driving Rwanda’s e-commerce sector forward, supporting its overall growth and development.
Since the launch of eWTP, Alibaba has been providing e-commerce training programs to officials, business owners, entrepreneurs, and college teachers from Rwanda. Today, there are other Rwandans pursuing their studies in the same field.