Amina Hersi Moghe is a well-known Somali Entrepreneur from Kenya. She has launched several multimillion-dollar projects in Kampala, Uganda. Her investments include Oasis Shopping Mall in Kampala’s central business district and the Laburnam Courts Apartments, on Nakasero Hill adjacent to State House Kampala.
She is in the process of launching the first sugar factory in Northern Uganda named Atiak. This sugar factory will not only bring revenue and development for the region but is championed as the first large scale industrial project for Northern Uganda.
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She is also one of the city’s largest distributors of cement and other hardware materials. With a myriad of successful business throughout Uganda she is a beacon of hope and a motivating role model for the African girl, especially for next generation Somali girl.
She had suffered a most gruesome incident, she says, when her two little daughters were killed in a motor accident. She took advice that she needed a change of address to start a new life.
In Kampala, Ms Hersi set up a cement dealership, first as an agent of Bamburi Cement in Kenya and later established relations with the nascent cement factories in Uganda.
“In fact most people know me as Hersi Omusementi,” she says.
Hersi’s stamp of authority on the real estate sector in Kampala grew stronger when on October 3 her Laburnam Courts Apartments was launched with President Museveni as chief guest.
Hersi is the managing director of the Oasis Group of Companies, which owns Oasis Mall and Laburnam Courts in Uganda and is said to have interests in real estate in Kenya.
Hersi’s mother, Sarah Hersi Ali, and her siblings stayed back in Kenya to take care of the business that side when she moved to Kampala. Her mother, she says, laid the foundation for the family’s real estate empire from a modest restaurant and food store. Ms Hersi built on that foundation to ally with powerful people in Uganda, and it didn’t take her long to get to the core of Ugandan business.
Shortly after arriving in Kampala, she teamed up with Sudhir Ruparelia, who had embarked on building a business empire of his own.
She pitched camp in Ruparelia’s office at the then Crane Forex Bureau on Kampala Road, in the process benefitting from her association with quality business company. She had arrived driving a Mercedes Benz with Kenya registration plates, which she says led many of the people she dealt with believe she had a lot of money and this gave them ideas to rip her off. Sudhir solved her immediate problem by giving her a less sophisticated BMW car.
Her business relationship with Sudhir, perhaps now the richest person in Uganda, would only grow and when Hersi later embarked on bigger projects, Sudhir’s Crane Bank became one of her financiers.
Hersi had earlier said that she is looking to embark on another project; one “in which so many women will be involved,” but she did not say exactly what she intends to do.
Museveni looks at women as a key constituency and the mention of a project that could further the women’s cause is likely to warm him up. Hersi was in 2008 named Best Woman Entrepreneur by the Uganda Investment Authority.