Building something to solve a long-faced problem is one of the hardest and most satisfying things to undertake. Steve Jobs is famous for saying “we build things we want to use.” Remit.ug has been a labor of love. As a Ugandan Diaspora, I know the pain and wince-inducing cost of sending money home to help in an emergency. Every painful trip I ever took to Western Union has led to the building of remit. My cofounders –– Stone Atwine, Collins Mugume, David Madra –– and myself have spent the last year hard at work building what we hope will be the first step in reducing both the cost and inconvenience of sending money to the continent.
Africa is the most expensive corridor for global remittances. The World Bank estimates that nearly 12% of the $60 billion in remittances to the continent are spent on fees. That’s over $7 billion of our hard-earned money going to internationally-owned mobile money transmitters instead of our families, investments, communities and economies.
Isn’t it time we solved this problem? Remit.ug is not simply a remittance platform, it is another example that Africa is starting to leverage its own ingenuity to build solutions to its most pressing problems. While we want to perfect the platform in our back yard by focusing on Uganda, we see no reason why we can’t reduce the cost of remittances to our neighboring 53 countries on the continent. We know it is a big task, but no marathon has ever been run in one step. It is a series of painful steps forward. After a year of “training” we believe we are ready to run with the best of them in the remittances game.
Want to help us get there, get in touch. We could use a few risk takers.