Somalilandsun: In celebration of the Black History Month, WorldRemit has launched the inaugural Top Ten Most Influential Africans in the Diaspora List, to recognize the contributions of Africans in America.
The list of ten notable Africans has four Nigerians – Kehinde Wiley, Olurotimi Badero, Bennet Omalu and Afam Onyema, who are being honoured for their groundbreaking success in a vast spectrum of professions, including arts, medicine, fashion, entertainment and philanthropy.
Most of the honorees are notable individuals who have partnered with top global leaders and institutions such as the United Nations, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, The Oscars, Unicef, the World Economic Forum, the Smithsonian museum and many others.
The criteria used for selection is limited to first-generation African immigrants, who had a track record of making significant impacts in their respective fields, among the US African immigrant community or their communities back home. Also, they must have broken the barriers and status quo limiting African immigrants and created opportunities for others.
Commenting on the selection, Founder and Chairman, WorldRemit, Ismail Ahmed said, “As an African immigrant, I am fully aware of the hard work, sacrifices, and resilience needed to become successful in the West. I am immensely proud of all Africans who take the opportunity to achieve great things and contribute to their communities in an impactful way. To be able to honour Africans in the diaspora is enormously special to us here at WorldRemit.”
Why this matters: Black History Month started in 1976, and since then the American Government recognized February as the month for highlighting the significant contributions made by African Americans to areas including American literature, business, science, politics, philanthropy, entertainment, sports, and their communities.
For Ismail Ahmed, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, founding WorldRemit was the culmination of 20 years’ experience in the money transfer industry – spanning academic, consulting and in-house roles. Before setting-up his own business, he worked for the United Nations Remittance Programme, helping African money transfer companies comply with tough anti-money laundering rules introduced after the 9/11 attacks.
Ismail has published widely-cited research on the effect of remittances in Somaliland following the country’s civil war.
He holds an MSc and PhD from the University of London and an Executive MBA from London Business School.