Amina Hersi Moghe’s parents were nomads who migrated from Somalia and settled in Bungoma, Western Kenya, where she was born.
Growing up as a child, she worked with her mother in setting up a hardware store before settling down in Uganda to trade soft commodities and cement.
She built a fortune from there and delved into real estate.
Hersi, 64, now owns some of the choicest pieces of real estate in Uganda, including the landmark Oasis Shopping mall in Kampala, and hotel Laburnam Courts.
Her sugar manufacturing company, Atiak Sugar Factory, is also developing a $120 million sugar factory in Uganda’s northern region.
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.
Also in attendance were prominent businesspeople – representatives of banks, cement factories and others. There were also politicians from Uganda and Kenya, including DP president Norbert Mao.
The High Commissioner of Kenya to Uganda, Maj Gen Geoffrey Okanga, presented Amina with an award – The Moran of the Burning Spear – from the government of Kenya, in recognition of her contribution to the Kenyan economy.
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.