The Somali Investment forum that was organized by the World Bank Group, US embassy and Shuraako was to bring Somali Diaspora investors and entrepreneurs back to Somalia in an aim to return capital for growth.
In the opening of the forum the World bank group’s statement gave much hope to the investors who converged there. On behalf of WBG Mr. Mannuel Moses said, ” In a country beset by a history of conflict, and weakened government, the topic for our discussion this week could not have been more appropriate. The key to unlocking the potential and sustainability of the Somali people lies in a dynamic private sector, working closely with and supported by a strong government. Private business should lead the healing process, breaking boundaries, and seeing all Somalis as customers, regardless of where they come from. Private business the world over contributes to tax revenue and job creation, more than the public sector. I am aware that Somalis in the Diaspora send over USD 1.2 billion annually back home. We need to see how best to tap into the huge Diaspora and locally based private sector to kick-start economic growth, which in turn will lead to jobs for the youth, all warrants for peace and stability”.
Mr. Mannuel Moses addressing on behalf of the World Bank Group
Many enthusiastic Somalis from all kind of walks who invested in different kind of businesses within the larger Somalia started showcasing what they had for their potential clients.
Among the investors were The International Bank of Somalia that was established on October 2014 in Mogadishu whose aim is to lead Somalis from cash money to banking which the stakeholders say will benefit the people and help them be able to save money. In an exclusive interview with HOL IBS Chief Executive Officer Mr. Hassan Yussuf said that having gained almost 70,000 customers for the past six months, the bank is planning to extend in to the other parts of Somalia.
Apart from the banking sector, other sectors were not left behind and what caught the attention of HOL is BARWAQO FARMERS CO-OPERATIVE which is based in Somaliland and run by Somali women who devoted all they had to farming and getting fresh produce to sell to their customers.
According to Maryam Yussuf Omar who presented on behalf of BARWAQO FARMERS CO-OPERATIVE said that all could not have happened without the support of World Bank Group who helped them with the starting capital from the scratch. She continued and said “let the Somali women join hands and face poverty back”.
Maryam Yussuf omar representing Barwaqo Farmers Co-operative
The event which was well organized by a Colorado based organization SHURAAKO and partners gave opportunity to several young Somali entrepreneurs who got business ideas from veteran businessmen and women.
The organizers boosted the morale by awarding the best Trade Show Presentation to ” U SOO GODOL” a fresh camel milk producing company based in Garowe.
U SOO GODOL group showing their Certificate
The 3 day forum connected and gave many interested people the chance to meet different investors to partner their ideas with. This forum was graced by different people both from the private and public sector.
This year’s Somali Investment Forum ended with happiness and applause to the organizers.
The Somali business forum started on Sunday 8th March and ended on Tuesday 10th March 2015 at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.