Hamza Wardere better known as Ali is a 31 year-old real estate developer that is now providing solar energy for hundreds of homes in Somalia.
Wardere was born in Southwest Somalia in 1987, just a few years before the country erupted in civil war. This caused his family to move to Syria and then Egypt before coming to the US in 1999 as refugees.
Growing up in and a household with 7 siblings, Wardere’s mom was busy taking care of the kids while his dad was a hard working businessman. His dad became his role model at an early age because he was always working and traveling the world. His dad even owned the biggest company in Somalia prior to the country erupting.
He got his first job at the age of 13 working at a pizza shop. He wasn’t legally old enough to work but walked in and asked the owner for a job. He made $5/hr passing out flyers and enjoyed the job because he was making money and got to eat free pizza. He’s currently a Real Estate Investor based in Washington, DC.
Wardere launched his social enterprise Aftlin on July 15th which aims to light up sub-shaharn Africa and bring electricity and power to off grid communities. The concept of pay as you go solar home systems existed for a few years now but he plans to reach neglected countries like Somalia which is a country that has been in war for 20 years, making it very difficult for the average investor to invest in.
With Aftiin he has visited towns in Somalia where they have a total of 1-2 hours for power and live the rest of the day in darkness due to the lack of money. He believes that a country that has on average 310 days of sun out of 365 should be able to use clean and renewable solar energy to accomplish the most basic needs such as light to read or study for children or to charge their phones.
He recently ran a successful pilot program for Aftiin in 2 months and gained 200 paying customers that are currently enjoying clean renewable energy. All of the employees he hired for the program are local and with such high unemployment rate in Somalia, his plan is to create more jobs, with the pilot program. They currently have 20 employees and he has a net worth of $1.5 million.
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