Our team, inspirations and values.
We are a team operating from the Sanaag Region Somaliland and the UK. Our inspiration came from family members reaching out to us to help them meet today’s challenges they are facing. We are here to make a positive difference on the ground by creating a regenerative model for positive social, ecological and, economic change.
It’s our mission to harvest products sustainably. We will work closely with the farmers to achieve a fair price ensuring day to day living standards improve. Through our social enterprise initiative, we will make a difference to the lives of the farmers and their families by investing back into the infrastructure of the area.
Together we can change lives.
Abdirizak – Founder
Abdirizak was born in the Sanaag Region of Somaliland. Leaving when his family fled the country during the troubles when he was a young child. Growing up in Norway and latterly in London where he completed an Engineering Degree at the University of London, qualifying with a Batchelor of Engineering degree. Abdirizak is fluent in Somali, English and Norwegian.
After reconnecting with his family and visiting the region in 2018 Abdirizak formed the Dayaxa Frankincense Export Company (DFEC). With the founding of the company, he has made it his business to understand Frankincense, the Boswellia tree, the raw material, the different quality resins, the region and, in particular, understanding the sustainability of the products taking advice from Stephen and members of the farming community.
During his visits he’s got to know the farmers and their current problems, he’s established a team on the ground and is putting a plan in place to develop a thriving, sustainable business.
Hamza – Production & Export
Hamza was born in Germany. He has lived in Somaliland for over 9 years. Thanks to his ever-growing social network, Hamza is responsible for participant in the local frankincense business and is in charge of the management of the acquisition of the raw materials as well as the export from Berbera, Somaliland. Hamza is fluent in Somali, English and German.
Mohamed – Quality Control
Mohamed works very closely with the farms. His responsibilities include, securing a planned harvesting season, oversees the local steps of production, and inspects, together with Hamza, the quality of the raw material, a decisive detail for our final product. Mohamed is fluent in Somali, English and Arabic.
Abdirizak, Hamza and Mohamed are the driving force in Somaliland to realise our social enterprise initiatives.
Paul – Director
When Abdirizak first discussed his plan with Paul, Paul relished the opportunity to help his family friend. Since his first visit to Sanaag Paul has been hooked. Seeing for himself what his social enterprise beliefs could do for the community Paul’s relishing the opportunity to support Abdirizak establishing DFEC’S ambitions. Paul has over 20 years’ experience managing SME businesses in the hospitality sector learning numerous skills along the way.
Simon – Director
Having known Paul for over 30 years it was an easy decision when Abdirizak and Paul approached Simon to help them establish DFEC. Initially the brief was to help them establish a business plan. Overtime Simon has taken on a hands-on role in the business, working closely with the team to realise Abdirizak’s mission. Simon has over 20 years’ experience in various c-suite roles bringing a wealth of experience to the business.
Stephen – Director
Stephen Johnson is a frankincense expert and sustainable sourcing consultant. He has been involved in research and setting up sustainable harvesting systems in frankincense on the ground in Somaliland, Somalia, Ethiopia, Oman, and Burkina Faso. Stephen co-founded the Conserve the Cal Madow project (later renamed Save Frankincense) and was later a research associate for the Aromatic Plant Research Center. He has conducted multiple on-the-ground analyses in the frankincense harvesting regions of Somaliland and Puntland, has authored more than a dozen papers and articles about frankincense, and provided consulting services for a range of clients from start-ups to billion-dollar industry leaders. Stephen was serving as an Advisor to DFEC on sustainable management and traceability systems and I am delighted to say he joined the board in Nov ’20.