Money Transfer Chief Optimistic Over Africa’s Economic Growth

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Remittances remain a lifeline for many people in Africa, according to Dahabshiil Chief Executive Officer Abdirashid Duale.

Duale who spoke exclusively to EABW Digital News said remittances provide a lot of income to the national economies which in turn boosts private sector growth.

“The African economy is really getting stronger, with diversifying trade making it less prone to the economic downturn.

“Many African economies have had too much reliance on commerce but now there are real investment opportunities in management, public finance and an increasing private sector, with an abundance of natural resources, it is set for organic growth,” Duale said during the interview.

Dahabshiil which Duale heads is Africa’s leading money transfer company.

It employs nearly 5,000 people in over 150 countries. With offices in London and Dubai and others spread across Africa including Somaliland, Somalia and Kenya, Dahabshiil provides services to some of the world’s leading humanitarian organizations, including the United Nations, Oxfam, the Department for International Development, Development Alternatives, Inc (DAI) and Save the Children.

In 2009, Dahabshiil made banking history and launched the first-ever debit card in Somaliland and the following year opened an Islamic bank in Djibouti.

Then, in 2010, a telecommunications provider, Somtel, was launched. The organization is largely owned by Dahabshiil and provides telecommunications services in the Somaliland region.

“People wish to invest in Africa because it is the future in many ways – and we are very proud to be part of that,” said Duale.

“I believe the African diaspora community sent home around $40 billion last year. Of course, it is going to be in many different forms, with some investments etc.

“However I think it will only increase, because although the economic downturn in 2008 affected people’s finances things are on the up.”

“To many people, remittance payments are a lifeline. It is very, very important and provides a lot of income to the national economies which boost private sector growth,” he notes.

According to Duale, the biggest challenge for Africa is providing jobs for the next generation. He says it is up to the businesses to do this and reap the benefits later on.

“The environment in Africa is changing, nowadays the Chinese invest so much and in a way, I wish they would work alongside African companies instead of competing with them to help boost trade further.

“But the interest is good – it brings about opportunities and optimism. People talk about doom and gloom but there are a lot of positive stories to be found in Africa,” stressed Duale.

Taking its corporate social responsibility seriously, Dahabshiil continues to support the community both in Africa and abroad, investing 5 per cent of its profits into community regeneration projects involving the development of schools, hospitals, agriculture and sanitation.

BY ODINDO AYIEKO

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