As last year, Paul Kagame, the head of the Rwandan Government, will participate in “Salon des start-up VivaTech” which takes place in Paris, TOPAFRICANEWS reports.
The boss of China’s online business group Alibaba, Jack Ma, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager inter alia will speak at the show of VivaTech start-ups, next week in Paris, TOPAFRICANEWS has learnt.
Other speakers includes US Computer Group CEO IBM Ginni Rometty, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Vice President of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Ken Hu, CEO of Japanese group Rakuten Mickey Mikitani or Yong Sohn, president of Korean Samsung.
Also announced are Ericsson boss Borje Ekholm, former chess champion Gary Kasparov, who has become “ambassador” of the Czech cybersecurity firm Avast, and former Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who has been converted into electric scooters ( Bolt Mobility).
As last year, Paul Kagame, the head of the Rwandan state, will also be at the show, along with several government officials in charge of digital, and John Kerry, the former Secretary of State of the Obama administration.
Rwanda “has taken tremendous initiatives” in terms of technologies, has initiated a lot of start-ups and has made very important investments in this area, “said Maurice Levy.
The show, which is in its fourth edition, will be held from May 16 to 18 at the Porte de Versailles and will bring together 9,000 start-ups, including 2,000 who will exhibit. About 1,900 investors and more than 100,000 visitors are expected.
President Emmanuel Macron will be there as every year and will also speak on site, in a format “less traditional” than usual, said Maurice Lévy.
Probably the star of the show, known for his charisma and eccentricities, Jack Ma is the richest man in China.
He announced that he would step down as chairman of Alibaba’s board of directors on September 10, 2019, twenty years after the founding of his group, which became an online trading giant, listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2014.
Alibaba controls 60% of the Chinese market, as well as the Alipay mobile electronic payment platform. He is also present in online cloud computing services in the cloud, cinema and finance.
Jack Ma “will have a good time at VivaTech,” said Maurice Lévy, who will interview him on stage.
Mr. Lévy wants to talk more about the extraordinary career of Jack Ma, former English teacher, that geopolitical issues that annoy, he hinted. But Jack Ma “has promised to answer questions from the audience,” said Maurice Levy.
Among other stars, Vestager is on the run to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker, the current president of the European Commission, after the European elections on May 26.
The fragmentation of the European market is a major concern for European start-ups, who complain that they can not compete on a level playing field with their American and Chinese competitors, who benefit from much larger domestic markets as a starting point.
As last year, VivaTech will be preceded on Wednesday, May 15 by a summit “Tech for good” (the “tech for the common good”) at the Elysee at the invitation of Emmanuel Macron, which will be attended by many of the speakers.