No one even knows the last time the Somali shilling was printed.
After years of civil war that has left the horn of Africa country as a pariah state, the Somali shilling has died a natural death with its own citizens preferring to trade in dollars and other regional currencies such as the Kenyan shilling.
The Central Bank of Somalia that was reopened in 2009 still does not regulate the local currency market. Neither does it have any foreign reserves or gold in its coffers.
“The truth is the central bank of Somalia does not even regulate the currency market. It’s not even involved. It’s the market and business men that regulate the local currency,” Somalia’s State Minister of Finance Abdullai Muhammed Noor told CCTV Africa.
Everything in the country from mobile money to government salaries are transacted and paid in dollars, pushing the local currency which doesn’t have an exchange rate and is considered too weak to trade to the brink of disapearing completely.
Relative return to a resemblance of peace that has seen the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab Islamic militants routed out of major towns in the country has, however, helped the local currency rally in recent years according to Bloomberg data.