The Alibaba founder is already an advisor to the Indonesian government on e-commerce matters and now he has announced plans for a teaching facility in the island nation.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on October 15, 2018

Earlier this year, Ma announced he would step down from the e-commerce giant he co-founded in September 2019.

He has become increasingly focused on philanthropy in recent years and has also spoken of his interest in returning to his roots as a teacher.

On Forbes’ real time ranking of billionaires, Ma is the 20th wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of US$34.6 billion.

Jack Ma’s entrepreneur academy will facilitate greater Indonesian participation in the digital economy

Speaking to reporters from Indonesia, which is hosting meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, Ma said the academy would aim to train 1,000 locals over the next 10 years.

He said Indonesia should focus on investing in human capital because it is “only when people improve, when people’s minds change, when people’s skills improve, (that) we can enter the digital period”.

“We think the future of Indonesia depends on education and training. We should look at how we can make young people to not miss the great challenge and opportunity of this digital period,” Ma said.

Ma said the academy would train Indonesians in e-commerce, cloud computing, logistics and infrastructure and would help local businesses grow. Currently the country has shortages of engineers and developers.

Alibaba already has a presence in Indonesia through its subsidiary, Alibaba Cloud, which launched a data centre in Indonesia in March.

McKinsey previously estimated that Indonesia’s digital economy could be worth US$150 billion annually by 2025.

Header image credit: World Economic Forum