Somalilandsun- While Kenya and somaliland continue to cooperate in regional security and the fight against terrorism, other mutually beneficial sectors like education, health, trade and investment are opportunities waiting to be tapped into.
This was the unanimous conclusion of a one investment forum held in Nairobi where Somaliland showcased existing business opportunities to Kenyan investors.
The event hosted by the Somaliland liaison office in Kenya brought together Kenyan and somaliland business personalizes as well as senior officials from the two governments.
In the absence of its secretary (Minister) of Trade Peter Munya , Kenya had in attendance the deputy chairperson of the Kenya National Chamber Organization James Meerut accompanied by senior trade ministry officials while Somaliland was represented by its minister of Foreign Affairs Prof Yasin Mahmud Hiir ‘Faraton, Energy & minerals minister Jama Mahmud Egal, Trade Minister Mohamed Hasan Saad and Planning Minister Awale Ibrahim Shirwa respectively.
The somaliland Representative in Kenya Amb Bashe Awil Omar who welcomed the distinguished guests while divulging forum agenda told participants that the main objective was enhance commercial ties between Kenya and somaliland, adding that “The conference is also aimed at pushing for the Somaliland agenda for international recognition”
The Somaliland Liaison office in Nairobi is also working closely with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance to woo Kenyan investors to Somaliland.
This was the biggest investment forum to be staged by the Somaliland government in Africa. A similar forum has previously been held in London.
“We want to use the forum to open up Somaliland to Kenyan and East African investors,” sad Ambassador Bashe Omar
“There are so many areas we can work together with Kenya and East African countries. We are looking to have Kenya export its commodities to Somaliland and we also exports our livestock to Kenya,” he added.
The Somaliland Foreign affairs and international cooperation minister Yasin Mohammed Hiir said his country is interested in opening its doors on foreign investors keen in not only trading with Somaliland but also creating opportunities for the growing youthful population looking for jobs and business opportunities. Reports the standard newspaper.
In his remarks during the Somaliland Investment Conference in Nairobi on Friday, Hiir said there is great opportunity for trade and investment in Somaliland. “Kenya and Somaliland share so much in common. We have a historical bond that needs to be nurtured so as to empower our people through trade and investment,” said Hiir
Adding that “Whilst Kenya is advanced in many aspects and is a lead country in this region and continent, Somaliland is a nascent and emerging jurisdiction.
For the time being, Somaliland is a net importer of nearly everything we consume. It therefore beats logic that Somaliland should import what it can get from Kenya next door from countries as far as in the South American continent,” he observed. “Come, you are our brothers. Come work with us in building the great nation of Somaliland by investing. We have the opportunities in abundance,” Hiir said. And Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice chairman James Mureu responded: “We are ready to do business with you.”
Hiir said Kenya and Somaliland should reinforce their pursuit for mutual interest on the basis of shared vision and common values. “We need to expand cross border trade and investments between our two countries for mutual gain”. “The large numbers of Kenyan citizen who are working and living in Somaliland as well as the businesses that have been established in Somaliland are testimonies of our attractiveness and hospitality. This in essence necessitates a reciprocal action of some sort from the Kenyan side so we can expand these gains. We can have a convergence between our objectives and priorities in order to increase prosperity for our citizens through enhanced trade and investment,” said the minister. He said the government of Somaliland is interested in trade and investments, financial integration, free movement of goods, services and people, education and student mobility, small micro enterprises tourism and hospitality.
Over 18,000 Kenyans live and work in Somaliland with almost a similar number of Somalilanders living and doing business in Kenya.
Read more at: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2001304739/kenyans-tipped-of-opportunities-in-somali-land
“The cooperation between Kenya and Somaliland will see trade between the two countries grow. We will also work on improving security in the region and empower the hundreds of thousands of youth some of who are looking for opportunities to invest or further their education,” observed Bashe.
Direct flights between Nairobi and Hargeisa
Somaliland is also seeking to have direct flights between Nairobi and Hargeisa which according to Bashe will increase trade and interaction between citizens of the two countries. Kenya Airways has already shown its willingness to fly to the Somaliland capital.
Kenya and Somaliland are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that will open up trade between the Berbera Port (Somaliland) and the Port of Mombasa.
Somaliland, which withdrew from its 1960 voluntary later turned fateful with Somalia 27 years ago is on a mission to initiate relationships with regional states as it pushes for recognition at the African Union and the United Nations.
Somaliland is equally attracting leading international companies with the likes of Coca Cola and Western Union already establishing franchises. DP world in October launched a US$442 million campaign to revamp the Berbera Port.
International analysts say this sort of activities will promote investment interest and business confidence in the region. The Somaliland government also says a French bank in the neighbouring Djibouti will soon open an office in Hargeisa.
Like Kenya, Somaliland is a former British protectorate that gained independence June 1960. It later unified with the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somaliland) forming what became known as the Somali Republic.
However, the union collapsed in 1991 following two decades of internationally-hidden civil war that left more than 50,000 Somalilanders killed. In May 1991, Somaliland declared the restoration of its sovereignty however it has not yet managed to regain international recognition. Somaliland has already forged a range of commercial relationships and has been afforded observer status by the Commonwealth.
Other speakers during the investment forum were Kenya trade minister Peter Munya and Mohammed Hassan Saad, the minister for Commerce and Industry of Somaliland.
Somaliland boasts of several international companies owned by indigenous Somalilanders among the Africa’s leading money transfer company Dahabshiil.
for more details visit the official twitter account of the Somaliland mission in Kenya @SomalilandK