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Horn of Africa

Somali businessman Ismail Ahmed’s WorldRemit now has over 5.7 million customers globally

WorldRemit has serviced 5.7 million users in 130 countries, utilizing 70 different currencies.



Ismail Ahmed.

WorldRemit, a cross-border digital payments firm led by London-based Somali businessman Ismail Ahmed, has seen its worldwide client base grow to more than 5.7 million as technological innovation and adoption pushed the acceptance of cross-border transfers and payments.

WorldRemit, which was co-founded in 2010 by Ahmed, Richard Igoe and Catherine Wines, has evolved from a small firm that facilitates payments into a cross-border digital payments service that provides international money transfer and remittance services globally.

As an international student in London in the 1980s, Ahmed needed to send money home to his family in East Africa. According to him, every transfer entailed a long trip to an agent who demanded exorbitant fees.

In order to fix the current problem while also producing value, he decided to make a difference in the financial services industry by developing a payment platform that allows consumers to send money online to family and friends using a computer or smartphone.

Over 10 years later, WorldRemit has serviced 5.7 million users in 130 countries, utilizing 70 different currencies under the leadership of Ahmed. The firm now operates under Zepz, previously WorldRemit Group.

Zepz is a digital cross-border payments platform that operates two market-leading brands, WorldRemit and Sendwave, another cross-border payment platform authorized to transmit money in the United States, Canada, the UK and the EU.

Sendwave was acquired in 2021 to deepen its reach as a leading payments platform.

By the end of 2021, Zepz secured $292 million in fresh primary funding, giving it a $5-billion value as it works to disrupt the peer-to-peer cross-border payments business, which is estimated to be worth $1 trillion.

The capital round will allow Zepz to continue investing in its technology, platform and customer offering. This, in turn, will provide WorldRemit with the opportunity to enter new market sectors and develop its platform to provide other value-added services to its customers.

Horn of Africa

Somali tycoon Abdirashid Duale’s Dahabshiil wins UK Global Good Governance award

Duale said the awards highlight the company’s socioeconomic development work.



Somali tycoon Abdirashid Duale.

Dahabshiil, an international money transfer corporation led by Somali multimillionaire Abdirashid Duale, received two Global Good Governance awards from Cambridge IFA, a London-based financial consultancy firm, for its services to the diaspora through money transfers.

Duale, the company’s CEO, said the awards highlight the company’s role in socioeconomic development work in the regions where it operates.

He stressed that the company has met its goal of facilitating financial transactions to vulnerable communities and those who support them in even the most remote areas.

“This is a great honor not only to Dahabshiil but to indigenous African companies that are playing a role in the economic development of the continent but also supporting the less fortunate, the awards confirm our status as among the global remittance firms worldwide, providing easy, swift, secure transactions worldwide,” he said.

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.

Since its inception more than five decades ago, Dahabshiil has grown into the largest African money transfer business, operating in 126 countries worldwide, 40 of which are in Africa.

In addition to serving individual customers, Dahabshiil offers money transfer and banking services to businesses and international organizations, including the UN, World Bank, Oxfam, and Save the Children, as clients rely on Dahabshiil to provide payment services to their staff, contractors, government institutions, and partner NGOs. 

Apart from its primary business of international money transfers, Dahabshiil owns a 95-percent stake in Somtel, a well-known telecom and technology service provider with the most extensive network coverage in Somaliland.

Somtel offers a wide range of mobile phone and Internet services to regional customers. Earlier this year, the telecom company partnered with Telesom to improve telecommunications and connectivity in the region. Telesom is a telecommunications firm that operates in Somaliland.

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Horn of Africa

U.S. billionaire Michael Bloomberg announces $242-million investment to deliver clean energy in Africa

The funds will supplement his existing philanthropic projects.



U.S. billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

U.S. billionaire and Bloomberg LP Co-Founder Michael Bloomberg has announced a $242-million investment to accelerate the clean energy transition in Africa and other developing countries where power demand is expected to grow rapidly and renewable energy capacity is abundant.

The move, which is implemented as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ energy transition efforts already under way in seven countries and the EU, aligns with the first phase of commitments undertaken under COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, to significantly reduce the world’s coal plant capacity.

“We’ve seen that it’s possible to increase access to affordable power, improve public health, and fight climate change all at the same time – and to make progress quickly in each area,” Bloombeg said. “We’ve already helped close more than two-thirds of U.S. coal plants, and more than half of Europe’s, faster than almost anyone thought was possible, while also reaping economic benefits.”

The announcement by Bloomberg, who is also the UN special envoy for climate ambition and solutions, was made following UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ urgent call to accelerate and scale up renewable energy and phase out coal-fired power and fossil fuel subsidies.

The $242-million investment is expected to supplement existing projects and programs that Bloomberg Philanthropies is developing in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam.

These 10 countries are thriving economies where developing renewable energy is critical to halting the rush to coal and other fossil fuels.

According to Climatescope data, these countries account for almost 100MW of coal power plant capacity and have more than 75GW of coal capacity under construction or planned.

In addition to the $242-million injection, Bloomberg Philanthropies will announce a series of investments, partnerships and initiatives in the coming months to help Africa realize its potential to lead the global energy transition.

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Horn of Africa

Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Al-Amoudi falls from world’s 367th to 406th richest man

His net worth fell after Preem, Sweden’s largest oil refiner, reported a 31-percent drop in revenue.



Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Al-Amoudi.

Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Al-Amoudi is now ranked 406th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index after his net worth fell below $5.9 billion due to a sustained decline in the valuation of his collection of industrial assets, particularly those with active operations in Sweden.

The Ethiopian-born billionaire, who was dethroned as the world’s wealthiest Black person in 2013 by Nigerian cement tycoon Aliko Dangote, has seen his net worth plummet by a whopping $1.69 billion since June 2021 as the value of his industrial assets in Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia declines.

As a result, his ranking on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index has dropped from 367th to 406th between June 24, 2021, and the time of writing this report.

According to data retrieved by Billionaires.Africa Al-Amoudi’s fortune has dropped 12.8 percent, or $859 million, since 2022 began, from $6.71 billion to $5.85 billion at the time of writing.

The revaluation of his industrial assets, particularly his stake in Ethiopia-based Midroc Gold and Okote Gold, as well as his stake in Svenska Petroleum Exploration, a Swedish-based oil and gas exploration, and production company, is responsible for the billion-dollar loss in his net worth.

The decline in his fortune can also be attributed to Preem, Sweden’s largest oil refiner, which reported a 31-percent drop in revenue in 2020 from SEK84.69 billion ($9.36 billion) in 2019 to SEK58.19 billion ($6.57 billion), while gross profit fell from SEK2.83 billion ($319.6 million) to SEK575 million ($64.9 million).

Al-Amoudi’s most valuable industrial assets, which include Preem, Midroc Gold and Okote Gold are presently worth $1.3 billion, $1.13 billion and $993 million, respectively.

As a result of the revaluation of the company’s oil assets, the market value of his shareholding in Preem has fallen from $1.7 billion to $1.3 billion since 2022 began.

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