DIASPORA DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT
At RemitFund, we believe in showcasing the achievements of Africans in the diaspora who are driving economic development on the continent.
If you would like to be profiled as part of our #diasporachampions series contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hear from #diasporachampion, Rahama Wright, Founder of Shea Yeleen, on creating sustainable impact in Africa through business.
Rahama Wright launched her cosmetics business in 2005. She describes her business as a social enterprise dedicated to empowering women in West Africa and the United States through the production, sale and use of shea butter products.
A unique blend of grassroots organizing and business development, Shea Yeleen is a company that specializes in manufacturing high quality, organic, fair trade skin care products and utilizing a sales strategy that incorporates women’s micro enterprise development. She is one of few Africans in the diaspora to have a successfully launched a cosmetics product in Whole Foods.
THE DIASPORA ECONOMY
Every year, diaspora communities collectively remit billions of dollars to their countries of origin to pay for basic needs, such as medical costs, housing and education.
According to the World Bank, remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa grew to $37.8 billion in 2017 and are forecast to hit around $39.2 billion in 2018 and $39.6 billion in 2019. Despite these considerable financial flows, youth unemployment averages over 50% across Africa.
As a result, the continent is experiencing a “brain drain”, whereby increasing numbers of young men and women are looking for educational and employment opportunities abroad.
Many are risking their lives to leave their countries of origin in search of better economic opportunities in Europe, perhaps ending up as slaves in North Africa and the Middle East or even more tragically, drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.
RemitFund gives the African diaspora an exciting opportunity to change this narrative by becoming protagonists and investors in the continent’s advancement, creating greater independence from foreign aid and empowering more indigenous, culturally-informed solutions.