In the dynamic and evolving business landscape of Somalia, entrepreneurs play a crucial role in driving innovation, economic growth, and societal change. A country literally torn apart by civil war, it is gradually picking up its remains, even though its conflict continues to take different forms.
Among the notable figures making strides and playing a huge role in the country’s economic growth and development is Ahmed Yusef, whose entrepreneurial journey is not only inspiring but also significantly contributing to the socio-economic development of the region.
Meet the man: Ahmed Yusef
Ahmed Yusef, the visionary leader at the helm of Hormuud Telecom, has been a catalyst for change in Somalia’s telecommunications landscape since 2002. As the recipient of the CXO of the Year award, his remarkable journey as CEO showcases not only his commitment to innovation but also his pivotal role in the country’s economic resurgence.
Under Ahmed Yusef’s astute leadership, Hormuud Telecom has evolved into Somalia’s largest private-sector employer. Since taking the reins in 2002, he has overseen the revitalization of basic GSM (2G) services, facilitated the connection of Somalia’s first fiber optic cable, and ushered in the era of 4G technology. Notably, 4G coverage now extends to 80% in urban areas and exceeds 60% in rural regions, demonstrating the company’s commitment to bridging the digital divide.
Financial Innovation Amidst Adversity
In the aftermath of the civil war, Somalia faced the collapse of formal banking structures, with over 90% of the Somali shilling being counterfeit. Recognising the urgent need for financial revitalisation, Ahmed Yusef launched EVC Plus in 2011—a groundbreaking mobile money platform embraced by 90% of the population. This initiative not only rejuvenated Somalia’s economy but also became the bedrock for essential remittances, transforming the nation into one of the world’s first cashless societies.
EVC Plus: The Economic Backbone
EVC Plus, Hormuud Telecom’s mobile money platform, emerged as a vital economic tool. Serving as the financial backbone for businesses and individuals alike, it has played a pivotal role in facilitating transactions, empowering entrepreneurs, and fostering financial inclusion. Ahmed Yusef’s strategic vision and commitment to financial innovation have undoubtedly reshaped the economic landscape of Somalia.
Pioneering Fintech with Waafi
Ahmed Yusef’s transformative leadership extended beyond telecommunications with the launch of Waafi, Somalia’s pioneering fintech app. By leveraging technology to address financial challenges, Waafi has become a trailblazer in the fintech space, providing innovative solutions to a populace that had long been underserved by traditional banking structures. Under Ahmed’s guidance, Waafi represents a testament to the power of entrepreneurship in driving positive societal change.
Ahmed Yusef’s journey as CEO of Hormuud Telecom epitomises the transformative potential of visionary leadership. From revolutionising the telecom sector to spearheading financial innovations, his contributions have not only elevated Hormuud Telecom but have also played a pivotal role in reshaping Somalia’s economic landscape. As the well-deserved recipient of the CXO of the Year award, Ahmed Yusef stands as a beacon of inspiration for leaders navigating the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship, and societal impact.
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