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Challenges African migrants face in accessing financial opportunities —Amusan, Vesti Technologies CEO

By Josfyn Uba

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Vesti Technologies Incorporation, Olusola Amusan, has said that there are significant windows of opportunities for Nigerian women in high tech even as the industry in Nigeria is still predominantly male-dominated.

He told Sunday Sun in this interview that there has been a positive shift in recent years with more women breaking barriers and making strides in various aspects of technology.

“The future we are betting on is one where every human can move anywhere and be free to access both advisory services on education pathways and payment solutions,” he said. 

What do you mean by this?

It means that we aim to create a future where individuals can migrate to any location they desire and have access to education advisory services as well as payment solutions that are tailored to their needs. We believe that everyone should have the freedom to move anywhere they choose, and we want to make sure that these individuals have access to the tools and resources they need to succeed.

What was the big idea behind the development of the Vesti app?

The main idea behind the development of the Vesti app was to create a legal and financial services digital platform that could help migrants and their families better manage their migration pathways and finances. Vesti recognized that migrants face unique financial challenges, such as difficulty accessing traditional banking services and high transaction fees, and we wanted to create a solution that could help address these challenges.

Was there a time during the development of the app when you thought of giving up?

It is not uncommon for startups to face challenges and setbacks during the development process, and ours was no exception. However, the team was committed to the vision and persevered through these challenges. While there may have been moments of doubt or uncertainty, ultimately, the team was able to overcome any obstacles that came our way.

What lessons did you take away from this journey?

My co-founder, and I learned many valuable lessons during our journey, including the importance of persistence, the value of collaboration and teamwork, and the need to constantly adapt and evolve in response to changing circumstances. By extension, the Vesti team also learned the importance of listening to our customers and stakeholders, and of staying true to our mission and vision. As we forge ahead, we are constantly evolving and adapting to the realities of the time.

2023 International Women’s Day has its Theme “Digital All: Innovation and Technology For Gender Equality”. Can you give me your thoughts in this regard?

The theme of IWD 2023 highlights the critical role that technology and innovation can play in advancing gender equality. At Vesti, believe that technology can be a powerful tool for promoting greater gender equality in many different ways, from expanding access to financial services to creating new opportunities for women in high-tech fields.

With the imbalance of women in the digital space, what do you think are the economic consequences for developing nations in the years ahead and what do you think that wealthy governments can do?

The under-representation of women in the digital space can have significant economic consequences for developing nations, as it can limit their ability to take advantage of emerging technologies and compete in the global economy. Wealthy governments can play a key role in addressing this issue by investing in programmes and initiatives that support the participation of women in the tech industry, such as training and mentorship programmes, and by promoting policies that foster greater gender equality and inclusion.

What are the constraints or challenges for African migrants in accessing financial opportunities?

African migrants face a number of unique challenges when it comes to accessing financial opportunities, including language barriers, limited access to traditional banking services, and high transaction fees. Additionally, many African migrants are unbanked or under-banked, which can further limit their ability to access financial services and resources.

The development of the app, was it out of personal experience or just closing a gap?

The development of the app was inspired by both personal experience and a desire to address a gap in the market. My Co-founder and I recognized the challenges that migrants face when it comes to managing their finances, and they drew on their own personal experiences and insights to create a solution that could help address these challenges.

What windows of opportunities do you think exist for Nigerian women in high tech, and if none, how do you hope to create more windows?

I strongly believe that there are significant windows of opportunities for Nigerian women in high tech. Although the tech industry in Nigeria is still predominantly male-dominated, we have seen a positive shift in recent years with more women breaking barriers and making strides in various aspects of technology. One area where I believe there are significant opportunities for Nigerian women in high tech is in the development of financial technology (fintech) products and services. Given the fact that women make up a significant portion of Nigeria’s population, with many of them operating in the informal sector, there is a huge untapped potential for fintech products and services that cater to their unique needs.

At Vesti, we are already making efforts to create more windows of opportunities for Nigerian women in high tech. One way we are doing this is by actively recruiting and promoting women in our workforce, including in leadership positions. We also prioritize diversity and inclusion in our hiring and business practices, which we believe will help us attract and retain talented women in the industry. Additionally, we have plans to establish partnerships and collaborations with organizations that focus on empowering women in technology. Through these partnerships, we hope to provide mentorship opportunities, training programmes, and other resources that can help Nigerian women build successful careers in high tech. In conclusion, while there may be challenges that Nigerian women face in high tech, there are undoubtedly opportunities for them to thrive in the industry. At Vesti, we are committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable migration fintech industry, and we believe that Nigerian women can play a critical role in shaping the future of technology in Nigeria and beyond.

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