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Somalia: A New Frontier for Business and Investment

Editor’s Note

Somalia, once plagued by years of civil war and instability, is gradually gaining recognition as a promising business hub in East Africa. With recent improvements in security and governance, coupled with a growing entrepreneurial spirit, the country is quickly becoming an attractive destination for foreign investment.

In recent years, the government has taken significant steps to create a conducive business environment, attracting foreign investments and fostering economic growth. One of the most significant milestones was the adoption of the Somalia Investment Law in 2015, which aimed to promote investment and economic growth by creating a favorable regulatory framework for investors.

Another significant development was the passing of the Anti-Terrorrism Law by the Lower House of Parliament on March 8, 2023. The historic law aims to provide a legal framework that will help government security agencies to better fight and eradicate terrorism in Somalia. By so doing the security situation in the country is set to stabilize and foreign investments encouraged.

Furthermore, the government has implemented various measures to enhance the business environment, including the establishment of the Somalia Investment Promotion Office (SOMINVEST) to promote foreign investment; rebrand Somalia; facilitate investment entry and retention; and advocate for improved investment policies. In accordance with its mandate, the investment office in conjunction with Sudan organized its first bilateral Somali-Sudanese Investment Forum happening on March 19-20. The forum will see the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)  establishing the Joint Somalia-Sudan Business and Investment Council.

Additionally, the government has established a tax system that encourages investment and economic growth while creating an equal playing field for local and foreign businesses.

These efforts have paid off, as evidenced by the growing number of foreign investments in Somalia. This growth was driven by investments in the infrastructure, construction, telecommunications, and energy sectors.

One of the most significant investments in the country was the development of the Port of Berbera by DP World, a Dubai-based company. The port, which is strategically located on the Red Sea, is set to become a major gateway for trade between Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. This investment has created job opportunities for local communities and attracted other investors to the region.

Similarly, the establishment of the first international airport -Aden Adde- in Mogadishu, has transformed the city’s aviation sector, providing a gateway to the rest of the world and boosting our tourism industry. Currently, it services various airlines including Daallo Airlines, Jubba Airways, African Express Airways, as well as UN charter planes and Turkish Airlines. As a matter of fact, Daallo airlines recently launched direct flights from Dubai to Mogadishu and vice versa.

Another sector that has seen significant growth is the Telecom sector, with the introduction of 4G services by Hormuud Telecom, one of the country’s leading telecom providers. This investment has not only improved internet connectivity but has also facilitated e-commerce, creating new business opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

In a nutshell, Somalia is transforming into a promising business hub in Africa, attracting significant foreign investments and fostering economic growth. While we are still facing some challenges, including political instability, the government’s efforts to create a favorable business environment have attracted the attention of investors worldwide. Continuing on this trajectory sets us on the path to becoming a key player in Africa’s economic growth story.

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