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WorldRemit launches the inaugural top ten list of most influential migrant Africans

In celebration of Black History Month, the list recognizes the contributions
of Africans in the U.S.

DENVER, Colorado, February 2020: In celebration of Black History Month, WorldRemit, a leading fintech company and provider of international money transfer services, has launched the inaugural Top Ten Most Influential Africans in the Diaspora list. WorldRemit launched this list to honor and recognize the contributions Africans have made in America

WorldRemit spent the month of February exploring the incredible contributions Africans have made to America. This has culminated in a top ten list that honors and acknowledges the contributions of Africans living and working in the diaspora. Many of the honorees originate from several countries across the continent and have achieved groundbreaking success in a vast spectrum of professions including the arts, medicine, fashion, entertainment and philanthropy. In addition, many of the honorees have partnered with and/or been supported by top global leaders and institutions including the United Nations, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, The Oscars, Unicef, the World Economic Forum, the Smithsonian museum and many more.

Black History Month recognizes the central roles and contributions of African Americans in the U.S. and honors their historical and current achievements. Since 1976, every American President has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month, highlighting the significant contributions made by African Americans to areas including American literature, business, science, politics, philanthropy, entertainment, sports, and their communities.

African immigrants are the fastest-growing ethnic group of migrants in the U.S. with the U.S. African born populations reaching 49.6% in  2018, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

According to a Report published by the New American Economy,  African immigrants have higher levels of educational attainment than the U.S. population as a whole. The Report also reveals that they are more likely to have earned their degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math or STEM subject. They also make meaningful contributions to several vital sectors of the economy – including healthcare – where employers have persistent challenges finding qualified workers. In addition, African immigrants are making meaningful contributions to the American economy as entrepreneurs. 

'Data continues to show that black Africans in the diaspora are contributing significantly to the U.S. economy and society as a whole, while in many cases still supporting their communities back home. At WorldRemit, we believe that it is important for us to acknowledge and highlight these positive contributions, and Black History Month seemed like the ideal time to do so,' said Daniel Canning Managing Director, Americas for WorldRemit.

WorldRemit invited OkayAfrica CEO & Publisher Abiola Oke to sit on the judging panel which selected ten finalists from a shortlisted group of black Africans based in the U.S. The other judges include WorldRemit founder and Chairman, Ismail Ahmed, who is also an immigrant originally hailing from Somaliland, and Daniel Canning, Managing Director of WorldRemit’s business in the Americas. 

Our mission at OkayAfrica is to connect a global audience to African culture, and through our publication, we highlight the positive contributions made by many African across the diaspora. I was delighted to be invited to participate in this exciting initiative as a judge, identifying African immigrants who have made and continue to make huge contributions to every aspect of American society in particular. It is  fitting that WorldRemit, a leading money transfer service to Africa, established this program to coincide with Black History Month.' said Abiola Oke CEO, OkayAfrica

The criteria to be listed on the inaugural Top Ten Most Influential Africans in the Diaspora list includes the following:

  • Honorees must be a first-generation immigrant from an African country.
  • The honoree must have a track record of making significant contributions in their respective field.
  • The honoree has made a significant social impact within the U.S. African immigrant community or their communities back home.
  • The honoree has broken barriers by positively challenging the status quo and/or creating opportunities for others

Based on the criteria above, the 2020 WorldRemit Top Ten Most Influential Africans in the Diaspora are:

  • Halima Aden - Kenyan born Somalian
    Fashion Model and Unicef Ambassador

  • Saran Kaba Jones – Liberia
    Social Entrepreneur and Clean Water Advocate

  • Amini Kajunju – Democractic Republic of Congo 
    Non-Profit CEO
  • Flaviana Matata  - Tanzania
    Fashion Model and Educational Equality Advocate

  • Nana Eyeson-Akiwowo – Ghana
    Non-Profit Founder & CEO
  • Afam Onyema – Nigeria
    Non-Profit Founder & CEO

  • Bennet Omalu – Nigeria
    Physician,  forensic pathologist and neuropathologist
  • Ger Duany – South Sudan
    Actor and Goodwill Ambassador, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 

  • Kehinde Wiley – Nigeria
    Pioneering Portrait Painter

  • Olurotimi John Badero – Nigeria
    Physician, Interventional cardiologist, interventional nephrologist and cardio-nephrologist

“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 honor Africans in the diaspora is enormously special to us here at WorldRemit," said Ismail Ahmed Founder and Chairman, WorldRemit.  

To review the full list of honorees and learn more about the incredible work they are doing, visit here.

About WorldRemit

WorldRemit is a leading UK fintech providing international money transfer services. We disrupted an industry previously dominated by offline legacy players by taking international money transfers online - making them safer, faster and lower-cost. We currently send from 50 to 150 countries, operate in 6,500 money transfer corridors worldwide and employ over 800 people worldwide.

On the sending side, WorldRemit is 100% digital (cashless), increasing convenience and enhancing security. For those receiving money, the company offers a wide range of options including bank deposit, cash collection, mobile airtime top-up and mobile money.

Backed by Accel, TCV and Leapfrog – WorldRemit’s headquarters are in London, UK with a global presence including in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.

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