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Alibaba Conducts Workshop for Rwandan Government Officials on Enabling a Digital Economy

Betty Tűndik

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– 12 delegates from the government of Rwanda participated in four-day workshop at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China to learn about FinTech, logistics, eCommerce and big data technologies

This week, delegates from the government of Rwanda completed the first New Economy Workshop held at Alibaba Group‘s headquarters in Hangzhou. During the four-day workshop, twelve government leaders met with Alibaba executives across multiple businesses to learn about the transformative impact and promise of a new digital economy as well as how to drive economic growth by accelerating digital finance, logistics, e-commerce and big data industries.

The New Economy Workshop program aims to empower participants to use their knowledge to continue supporting the development of Rwanda’s digital economy. Participants included the CEO of Rwanda’s National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), the Rwandan Ambassador to China and representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM), Higher Education Council (HEC), Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (RURA), Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA), Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rwanda Energy Group (REG), and the Ministry of ICT & Innovation (MINICT).

The workshop follows the launch of the first African eWTP (electronic world trade platform) hub in Rwanda witnessed by President Kagame and Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma last October. Under the eWTP agreement, the government of Rwanda and Alibaba committed to work together to strengthen the country’s economic development by promoting policy innovation and providing capacity building to empower the growth of Rwanda’s digital economy.

“At Alibaba we have seen first-hand the transformative impact digital technology can have in building an inclusive society. This New Economy Workshop is meant to not only provide capacity building to Rwanda’s policy makers, but also to inspire them to become advocates for Rwanda’s digital transformation and for the country’s technology entrepreneurs,” said Angel Zhao, President of Alibaba’s Globalization Leadership Group.

“The Alibaba ecosystem has enabled millions of people to participate in the global economy and improve their standard of living through the use of technology,” said George William Kayonga, Chief Executive Officer, National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB). “I see great opportunity for Rwanda to similarly build a digital economy allowing us to move rapidly up the learning curve using the Alibaba experience as our guide.”

This week’s New Economy training is the latest example of Alibaba’s ongoing commitment to support Rwanda’seconomic development:

  • In October 2018, the first African eWTP (electronic world trade platform) hub was launched in Rwanda. Through this partnership, Rwanda and Alibaba work together to enable cross-border trade of Rwandan products to Chinese consumers and facilitate China outbound tourism to Rwanda.
  • In August 2018, fifty lecturers from Rwanda’s top universities attended the first Global E-commerce Talent (GET) Program organized in partnership with the Ministry of Education’s Higher Education Council and the Rwandan Development Board. GET is a five-day course to boost the competencies of Rwandan university teachers and deepen their understanding of the e-commerce industry, so they can train future entrepreneurs.
  • In partnership with UNCTAD, Alibaba Business School is training 1,000 entrepreneurs from emerging markets over five years. Two hundred of those entrepreneurs will come from Africa. Five Rwandan entrepreneurs have already graduated from the eFounders Fellowship program.
  • As part of eWTP collaboration, Alibaba Business School will host the first Alibaba Netpreneur Training program from March 2-13, 2019 for approximately 40 entrepreneurs contributing to digital transformation, who are currently operating in the Rwandan market, or are in the process of expanding to the Rwandan market. For those interested in participating, visit this page for more information and to apply now. Applications are open until January 20, 2019.

 

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Artificial Intelligence

Mercari Opens Cambridge Engineering Offices

Vlad Poptamas

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Mercari, The Selling App, today announced the opening of engineering offices in Cambridge, MA, advised by two renowned professors at the adjacent Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Mercari is the number-one marketplace in Japan. Since entering the U.S. in 2014, more than 45 million Americans have downloaded the app.

At the moment, Mercari’s team in Cambridge is focused on better understanding sellers and buyers, and predicting their intentions ahead of their actions. This helps Mercari deliver a more personalized experience using its recommendation engine. The team is applying machine learning on massive amounts of data to better personalize the user experience based on their preferences, history and interactions.

More broadly, this team is pursuing applied research projects in machine learning, computer vision and other emerging technologies that can help Mercari to make selling even easier than buying.

“Opening the Mercari engineering offices in Cambridge is an important addition to our global technology centers in Palo Alto and Tokyo,” said Dr. Mok Oh, chief technology officer for Mercari U.S. “The expectations of Mercari sellers and buyers are always evolving, so it’s vital that we harness emerging technologies to continuously improve our app and services.”

Advising the team are Dr. Frédo Durand and Dr. Wojciech Matusik of MIT.

Dr. Frédo Durand is a renowned researcher and professor in computer vision and computational photography. He is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and a member of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

Dr. Wojciech Matusik is widely-recognized professor and entrepreneur in machine learning, 3D vision, and 3D fabrications. He is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT, where co-directs the Computer Graphics Group and teaches machine learning courses

Mercari is looking for talented people to join its technology teams in Palo Alto and Cambridge. A list of all current U.S. openings is here.

 

SOURCE Mercari

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Artificial Intelligence

Chinsay’s Intelligent Contract Platform Enables Rio Tinto & Cargill to Complete the First Fully Digitalised Iron Ore Trade

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: salestechstar.com
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Chinsay, the leading provider of contract digitalisation solutions in the commodity and freight markets, is announcing today the completion of the first fully digitalised iron ore trade, through a trial achieved in partnership with Rio Tinto and Cargill‘s Metals business on Chinsay’s Intelligent Contract Platform (ICP).

In using ICP, Rio Tinto and Cargill collaborated on a single platform to dramatically reduce the time it takes to create, issue and approve commodity contracts from several days to under two hours. The digitalisation of this fundamental trade process creates the opportunity to automate and deliver post-trade efficiencies by linking front-, middle- and back-office functions.

Colin Hayward, Chinsay CEO, said: “This is a technological milestone for the industry, and we are delighted Rio Tinto and Cargill Metals chose to partner with us and use our ICP as the core technology to create this advance. We are constantly collaborating with clients, market participants, tech vendors and industry consortia to extend digitalisation further along the commodity trade lifecycle.”

“The Intelligent Contract Platform is a great tool that has the potential to benefit the entire ferrous industry,” said Lee Kirk, Managing Director for Cargill’s Metals business. “This is a great example of how we can leverage advancements in technology to benefit from increased speed, transparency and efficiencies that enable us to serve our customers and suppliers better.”

ICP is state-of-the-art technology which allows companies to digitalise pre-trade processes early in the deal lifecycle, creating an agreed contract dataset that can be seamlessly integrated with other operational systems, functions and processes, enabling transparency and traceability across the supply chain.  ICP prepares clients for the use of technologies such as blockchain, ML, AI and electronic trade documentation solutions.

 

SOURCE Chinsay

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Cannabis

Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers Named to Florida Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee

Vlad Poptamas

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Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (“Trulieve” or the “Company”) (CSE: TRUL) CEO Kim Rivers has been appointed to the newly-established Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee for the State of Florida. This committee will collaborate with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to help enhance the medical marijuana policies of the state.

“Every day, our Trulieve team helps to bring relief to thousands of people suffering from a range of debilitating ailments and improve their quality of life,” said Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve. “I am honored to be a part of this important initiative led by Commissioner Nikki Fried to further develop patient access and advance policies related to medical marijuana in Florida.”

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has stated that the committee will convene telephonically and in-person bi-monthly to work through ways to expand patient access, increase innovation and technology in the industry, and make recommendations to the Legislature and the Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use to improve Florida’s medical marijuana policies and programs. The 18-member committee is comprised of representatives with a diverse range of backgrounds, including medical marijuana production and sales, science and medicine, law, medical marijuana patients, cannabis activists, and public affairs.

 

SOURCE Trulieve Cannabis Corp.

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