Rwanda exports through Alibaba platforms grow by 124%

By Elina Jonas Ruzindaza
On 3 July 2020 at 10:16

Rwanda products continue flowing to Alibaba marketing platform, following an agreement signed in 2018 to produce an online marketplace, in partnership with Alibaba Group.

The three-party eWTP (electronic World Trade Platform) partnership agreement was signed to help small and medium-sized businesses in Africa to take part in international electronic-trade.

Alibaba has already posted several Rwandan products on its website, in addition to promoting Rwanda’s tourism products.

Some of Alibaba’s best-selling products include Rwandan coffee, chilli and tea.

According to People’s Daily, a newspaper in China, since Rwanda joined the eWTP at the end of 2018, the importation from Rwanda (mainly coffee and chili) through Alibaba platforms increased by 124% in 2019; and the numbers of consumers purchasing Rwandan tourism products on Fliggy (Alibaba’s tourism site) has more than doubled.

In December 2018, Chinese tourists began to see or pay for their travel needs in Rwanda through e-commerce focused on tourism services, Fliggy.

The site, formerly known as Alitrip, belongs to Alibaba Group, founded by the wealthy Jack Ma. It helps Chinese tourists in the services they need such as getting air tickets, hotels, or paying for their travel expenses.

Since last year, Alibaba has been organizing online events aimed at promoting Rwandan coffee to Chinese consumers.

One such event took place on May 14, this year, and in it, about 1.5 tonnes of roasted Rwandan coffee beans were sold within a minute. It was part of a 10-minute talk show called “National Treasure”

On the market, Gorilla’s Coffee, which costs 500 grams, was priced at 118 yuan, equals to $ 16.63.

In January, a ton of Rwandan coffee was sold in 20 minutes, via Alibaba.

Rwanda’s chili products have been steadily gaining popularity on the Chinese market since the beginning of the year, and according to information from Alibaba, more than 60 tons of the chili has been imported since the beginning of 2019.

Alibaba is the world’s largest online commerce company and home to leading cross-border marketplaces where Chinese consumers look to find the highest quality products from around the world.

Some of Alibaba's best-selling products include Rwandan coffee, chilli and tea.