Despite widespread macroeconomic uncertainty, Dahabshiil, an international money transfer corporation led by Somali multimillionaire Abdirashid Duale, has indicated that diaspora remittances from Somalis living abroad will remain critical to regional economic prosperity.
According to the company, diaspora remittances are a lifeline for many people in the Horn of Africa, as more than 67 percent of Somalis who receive money from relatives abroad are unemployed.
The importance of the diaspora community in rebuilding the regional economy over the past two decades cannot be overstated, Duale, Dahabshiil’s CEO, said.
He explained that the diaspora community sends around $1.3 billion to friends and family in Somalia each year, greatly exceeding all humanitarian and development aid to the country.
“We have seen the Horn of Africa economies grow over the last two decades thanks to the contribution by the diaspora community through remittances,” he said. “ They play a powerful role in transforming the private, social, and economic lives of the people (most notably women) and communities receiving them.”
Dahabshiil, an indigenous African company, was founded in 1970. It was established at the time as a new remittance venture to enable migrants to send money to family and friends at home in East Africa.
Under the leadership of Duale, Dahabshiil has grown into the largest money transfer business in Africa, operating in 126 countries worldwide, 40 of which are in Africa.
Dahabshiil offers money transfer and banking services to businesses and international organizations such as the UN, World Bank, Oxfam, and Save the Children, as clients rely on the firm to deliver payment services to their employees, contractors, government institutions, and partner NGOs.
The firm received two Global Good Governance awards earlier this year from Cambridge IFA, a London-based financial consultancy firm, for its financial services to the diaspora.
Duale was also recognized for his efforts when the Queen’s bank, Coutts in London, commended him for his contribution to the financial sector’s growth at the Platinum Jubilee beacon-lighting event in June.
The Platinum Jubilee, which was observed in June throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, commemorated Queen Elizabeth II’s uniting influence.