“And this is just the beginning,” says Wari CEO.
To what extent is your platform an African solution to a uniquely African situation?
We started Wari in 2008, convinced that Africa has a very specific role to play in the global digital sector. This was because Africa’s economic structure and culture lends itself perfectly to an ‘uberisation’ of employment and the economy as a whole – where people are all entrepreneurs. Even while working within another structure, they’re also working on their own behalf.
The world of work in Africa seems to be fertile ground for developing new digital services and new features that are having such an impact around the globe. We designed a platform that would allow us to approach this economic structure with a truly African standpoint, setting up a full range of services that would meet people’s needs.
This idea has been the bedrock of Wari and the reason for its success: it meets a need that people have. We decided to launch our activity in Africa initially because the conditions were perfect for it, but our vision was to also offer services globally, to everyone in the whole world.
How would you describe the services you provide – banking or telecoms?
Basically, each of us has our own business: banks offer financial services, and operators offer telecoms services to their customers. Wari is somewhere between the two, with the role of aggregator – bringing together and organising information from various sources.
We created a standardised service platform, bringing everyone together into a single ecosystem where each player has their own place to set up. This means we can offer the advantages of a completely neutral platform that helps to create jobs.
Let’s take Senegal as an example – although of course we have a presence in more than 60 countries in Africa and beyond – we’ve already created more than 18,000 jobs in that country alone. We have more than 500,000 hotspots, either directly or through out partners.