Young Africans in the diaspora could no longer afford to pay dearly and hard for sending their money to Africa. So they created companies that do it more simply and cheaply.
From Montreal to Yaounde or from Paris to Dakar, money transfer fees are quite high.
According to the World Bank, the African diaspora pays more for its international money transfers than any other expatriate community on the planet.
In some cases, Africans living abroad spend twice as much as the average.
In South Africa, Tanzania and Ghana, the fees even reach 20%.
A high price that knows very well Freddy Ghislain Noumeyi and Ken Kakena. So much so that they decided to offer simpler and less expensive solutions.
This is the idea of three Cameroonian entrepreneurs living in Canada. An online money transfer service between the West and Africa.
“It’s the situation we were living in Canada that drove us to create our own solution – it’s a huge country and moving around to find a Western Union or Moneygram point is not easy, the climatic factor Moving around in winter or during a storm is very complicated, all of which limit the desire and the possibility for us to be able to help our loved ones in Africa”, explains Freddy Ghislain Noumeyi, co-founder of Squares Union.
But beyond trying to solve a common problem, the three entrepreneurs are especially aware of huge sums of money circulating between diasporas and the African continent.
According to the World Bank, Nigerian expatriates transferred no less than $21 billion in 2014 to their country of origin.
The World Bank goes so far as to say that “If one could convince one in ten Diaspora members to invest $1,000 in their home country, Africa would raise $3 billion a year to finance Development”.
According to the High Council of Malians Abroad, “the Malians of France have transferred to Mali nearly 300 billion FCFA in 2016”. Money sent to feed relatives, finance their education or build infrastructure. By creating Wizall, Franco-Congolese Ken Kakena and Sébastien Vetter wanted to make it easier for families.
‘We are offering more than traditional money transfer, we have started a voucher transfer service with food vouchers, health and education, and it has to be said that shipping costs have reached an unacceptable level. It is time for things to change,” says Ken Kakena, co-founder Wizall.
Both initiatives say they want to “transform the money transfer market”. In the long term, the goal is to reduce or even eliminate the cost of prohibitive transfers while democratizing alternative transfer methods.