Western Union first launched its services in Africa 15 years ago in Ghana. Within the first year, the company extended its services to reach 10 countries. Since the second quarter of 2009, Western Union has expanded its Agent network from 15,000 to 20,000 locations in 49 African nations.Western Union has grown its network in Africa by expanding relationships with existing Agents, extending Pan-African group-level agreements and introducing innovative, reliable services that meet the needs of consumers sending and receiving money. In particular, Western Union has begun offering innovative methods for money movement such as mobile money transfers in Kenya and South Africa.According to a 2009 report published by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), remittance flows to Africa reach approximately US$40 billion every year. This figure exceeds official development assistance and, in the case of many countries, foreign direct investment as well."While this milestone is a great achievement that reflects on the ongoing global demand for Western Union services, we recognize that a large number of Africans still remain without access to financial services," said Khalid Fellahi, senior vice president for Africa. "In particular, there is a real opportunity to empower more people by offering money-transfer services through different classes of trade such as retailers and microfinance institutions."Recent additions to Western Union’s Agent network include United Bank for Africa across six countries and four new Agents in Ethiopia.About Western UnionThe Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Custom House branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. The Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services are offered through a combined network of approximately 430,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2009, The Western Union Company completed 196 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $71 billion of principal between consumers, and 415 million business payments. For more information, visit http://www.westernunion.com.
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