By Justus Lyatuu
Businesswoman Amina Hersi Morghe, the proprietor of the landmark Oasis mall in Kampala, has made it to the Forbes rich list as one the wealthiest Ugandans of foreign descent.
Last week, Forbes Africa magazine named Amina as one of the wealthiest businesswomen in Uganda. Amina, 54, becomes the second businessperson in Uganda to hit the magazine's rich list rankings after Sudhir Ruparellia.
She is also the first female entrepreneur from Uganda to make it to the magazine's top wealthy individuals list.
Amina was listed alongside other four businesspeople from Somalia of foreign descent who have excelled in business both on foreign land and also on Somali soil despite the country's longstanding war that has kept the environment hostile for doing any business there.
The list includes Abdurashid Duale, the CEO of Dahabshiil, an international funds transfer company, Adirizak Ido, a telecoms giant, Mohamed Abshir Abdi, a fish mogul as well as Ismail Ahmed, the founder of 'WorldRemit' a London-based online money transfer service.
Forbes recognised Amina and the four for their outstanding investments in Somalia and across the region and for standing out as individuals who have made it in business regardless of the country's turmoil.
"Somalia, a failed state in East Africa, has an extremely hostile political and business environment. But its people are some of the most entrepreneurial in Africa," reads a quote from the magazine.
Speaking to The Observer about the achievement, Amina said she was honoured to achieve the nod, adding that it was only hard work and dedication that had brought her this far.
"I can't say much. I'm only humbled and want to thank the team at Forbes for being able to notice the hard work and tranquillity with which we have persevered over the years to bring us this far," she said. "It all goes back to God because it has not been a small journey."
Amina is a Kenyan of Somali origin. Growing up as a child, she worked with her mother in setting up a hardware store before settling down in Uganda to trade in soft commodities and cement.
She built a fortune from there and ventured into real estate. Amina owns some of the choicest pieces of real estate in Uganda, including the landmark Oasis shopping mall and Laburnum courts.
The tycoon is also developing a $120 million sugar factory in Atiak.