At a minimum, each migrant has 2,000 euros, enough to start a business and forget about the trip. The Ivorian Wilfried Adingra makes money from remittances. Africans living outside of Africa send about 42 billion euros yearly to their countries of origin. This according to the World Bank.
The true figure is calculated to be much higher. The same institution estimates that approximately 55% of remittances enter the continent informally. Therefore, they are not registered.
Africans use the money for…
This money is used mainly for household consumption and investment:
- Paying for schools
- Medical bills
- Buying food
- Building houses or
- Buying a motorcycle or car
However, despite its amount and importance (in Liberia, 27% of GDP and in Gambia 21%), this money does not end up in the productive sector of the countries. Therefore, it does not generate wealth or employment. In other words, remittances solve domestic problems and prevent many families from falling into absolute poverty. However, they do not contribute to improving the nation’s economy.
Wilfried Adingra wants to turn this reality around. He wants to turn remittances into an opportunity for thousands of African entrepreneurs. Use the money to launch their initiatives and thus generate wealth for themselves and their countries.
This young economist and computer engineer is from Abidjan. The economic capital of the Ivory Coast. He always had to work to pay for his studies. And he is full of ideas and energy. Years ago, in 2011, after a political crisis in his country, he had a great opportunity. An international organization lent him $ 10,000 to start a computer services business.
There are many members of the Africans diaspora who are interested in investing in Africa
He was lucky, but many other colleagues were not. That’s why, a few years later, in 2016, he founded Lumen Corporation. Created to help entrepreneurs in his country get money to start their projects.
“There are many young people who have good ideas. But they do not have money to carry them out. They cannot find it in traditional channels, and they do not have access to bank loans. We help them get the financing they are looking for ”, explains the CEO of the corporation.
While developing this initiative, Adingra realized that many members of the diaspora are interested in investing in Africa.
“But they do not know well where to do it. They also do not have the necessary guarantees to do so.”
For this reason, he gave life to another of his ideas. He created African Diaspora. An online plstform that puts these future investors in contact with African entrepreneurs.
“The economic opportunities in Africa are many today and will continue to be so in the coming years. We must convince the Africans of the diaspora to invest in Africa” says Adingra.
His company selects the projects of African entrepreneurs and studies their feasibility and risks. In this way, investors can have guarantees that their investment is safe. In each country they operate, they have a law firm responsible to arrange the legal agreements. Everything complies with the law and all kinds of guarantees are ensured. This call goes to African investors looking to invest. Whether it is in Ivoryother countries on the continent and to non-African investors who also want to do so.
The company has crossed the borders of the Ivory Coast. It is also present in other countries of the continent.
The company’s projects are related to with:
- New technologies
- Innovation and information technology
- Electronic commerce
- Among many others.
The next step Adingra plans to take is sensitizing people who want to migrate to Europe. Ivory Coast is one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Its figures are spectacular, international organizations praise it. This positions the country as one of the safest places to invest. Nevertheless, there are thousands of young people who do not find opportunities. They cannot live with dignity, and decide to take the road.
“To finance that trip, family and friends contribute money. At a minimum, each of those who want to migrate has 2,000 euros, enough to start a business, as I did ” he explains.
With training and counseling, these young people could find a livelihood in their own country. “They could save themselves the suffering that migration brings.”
In addition, next March, African Diaspora will organize an international congress in Paris. There, they will present ideas and projects to the diaspora living in Europe.
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