Not your grandpa’s talent show

Hosted by Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, the four-hour entrepreneurial talent show had all the production values of The Apprentice.

But the glitzy televised extravaganza, in which 10 contestants battled for $1m in prize money in front of a boisterous audience, took place neither in the US nor China. The action unfolded instead on a stage in Ghana, the first of what is set to be an Africa-wide annual contest as one of China’s best known businessmen scours the continent for younger versions of himself…

Mr Ma came up with the idea of the $1m prize — and the Africa Netpreneur television show to go with it — after meeting young Kenyan entrepreneurs on his first trip to the continent as a special adviser to the UN agency Unctad in 2017…

The Netpreneur show is due to be broadcast in mid-December on two channels with a pan-African presence, South Africa’s DStv and StarTimes, a Chinese media company. During the filming, Mr Ma sat on a raised dais next to three fellow judges: Strive Masiyiwa, the billionaire Zimbabwean founder of telecoms and media company Econet Wireless, Ibukun Awosika, chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, and Joe Tsai, executive vice-chairman of Alibaba.

Where are the Smothers Brothers?  Here is the full David Pilling FT story.


This sounds more like Shark Tank than talent show of yore.

If grandpa saw a group of Chinamen and Negroes on the TV set discussing internet business, he'd say a few racist things and then keel over from a heart attack. Too much change at all once.

Neither grandpa nor the wokest wokesters in Portland or Brooklyn have anything coherent to say about this.

A million dollars would go a long way in Africa, I imagine. The winner should probably arrange some personal security, too.

Ah yes, Nigerian banks and Chinese tech companies. Some of the world's most ethical businesses no doubt.

Chinese soft power. Also consider there's thousands of Chinese immigrants in Ghana.

So Trump is creating wealth in Africa now. This guy is incredible!

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