Digital solutions in the telecom and banking industries play a vital role in the economic development of a country. For a country like Iraq, access to these solutions has been unlikely.

Revolutionary leader and philanthropist Kawa Junad is leading projects to facilitate Iraq’s journey to digital transformation. Junad is also the founder, chairman, and currently the major shareholder of Newroz Telecom, the first telecom company to provide interconnection to Iraqi borders and internet connectivity to Kurdistan, Iraq.

Having A Top-Notch Portfolio In Telecom And Financial Technology Industry

Junad has over 20 years of experience and expertise in the telecommunication industry. His legacy of innovating Iraq’s telecom industry started in 2004 when the country was still dependent on satellites for internet connection.

He and his team led the development of fiber optics and the deployment of its networks across the Kurdistan region. This project connected Kurdistan to the entire world, which consequently started the rise of the telecommunication sector in Iraq. Under Junad’s leadership, Kurdistan easily transitioned from a 2G to a 4G network, mainly contributing to the economic and social growth of the country. 

“When we started, Iraq had zero percent internet penetration; in Kurdistan, it was just 1%. But with our initiatives, the penetration rate increased to over 3 to 4%. In the years to come, we believe it can easily reach 60 to 70% penetration because of its massive demand,” Junad explains.

Junad and his team ventured into the financial technology industry in 2017. They developed an eWallet application called FastPay that addresses the needs of a cash-based country like Iraq. The app officially reached its full operation in 2020 and became the country’s quickest, most convenient, and safest mobile wallet.

In addition, he established Iraq’s first digital banking platform, First Iraqi Bank (FIB), which combines the latest technologies from other payment giants across the globe. It assigns users an IBAN (International Bank Account Number) to allow cross-border transactions. Kawa aims to improve modern banking options for Iraqi people and usher in a cashless economy through FIB.

“Once FIB and other related technologies enter their market and are presented to the people, these countries will be more advanced than others in just a few years,” he shares.

Innovation, Technology, and Excellence In The DNA

According to a World Bank study, financial technology (fintech) has enabled governments to extend cash transfers and financial assistance to the public. Junad hopes for their groundbreaking initiatives to promote fintech solutions in the still unbanked countries. He adds, “My team and I have one purpose – to make the lives of the Iraqi people convenient and sufficient. We want to make Iraq a better place. By doing this, we also hope to influence other neighboring nations.”

Junad’s initiatives have gained attention, credibility, and financial stability. His holding company, Regional Telecom, is TRACE-certified and audited by Ernst & Young. He was recently recognized in Paris and London for having the world’s best network and for his Fastlink 4G network. He was also appointed as a consultant to the Regional Government of Kurdistan on economic development and planning.

Kawa Junad encourages investors to look at its potential. With its recent technological transformation, Iraq could offer a life-changing future for its citizens.

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