By Franklin Awori
One year ago, the Somalia investor was launched. The glossy, 52-page publication was not launched with any fan-fare, despite its many firsts in Somalia news and publishing industry.
The lack of fan-fare was not a reflection of the modesty of the achievement, but it was rather an acknowledgement of the heavy and daunting task that the Somalia Investor team had set upon themselves.
This Nation, as we know it, was just emerging from over 20 years of civil war. The scars of war were all over the county. Everything that made sense in modern world had been battered and flattened. The local media was no exception. TV and radio existed within limited boundaries of Mogadishu. The newspapers, and the entire infrastructure required to run a successful print media industry were none existent.
It is in this environment that the Somalia Investor was born, as the first business and economic magazine in the country. The Investor was born out of the recognition that the Somali people’s enterprise and undying spirit for business was the key to building a modern and progressive society. In the midst of the conflict, the entrepreneurial spirit of our people could be seen, whether at home or across the various continents where they had settled.
The Investor, therefore, was started out of the desire to capture the nascent spirit of the typical Somalia businessperson and to create a forum for sharing of business and economic news that is emerging out of the new Somalia.
At the Somalia Investor, we recognised that a thriving business sector and a responsible government will be at the centre of creating a progressive and peaceful nation. Commerce and industry, supported by good fiscal policies, progressive legal framework that supports business and proper monetary management were critical for the growth of the new Somalia Nation.
In the first year of circulation, the magazine examined the different facets of the Somalia economy. We told stories of ordinary people who built thriving business from nowhere. We also told stories of the many needs of the Somalia business community and what the government and the international community can do to assist them develop even further.
During the one year in existence, we have dedicated pages and pages to tell stories of the everyday changes that are occurring in the country and provided context to understand the larger Somalia economy. We told stories of how technology is driving commerce, including the banking and mobile telephony sector in Somalia.
We have analysed the legal framework that is hindering commerce. We have also told stories of the modernising of the Somalia airport, the port and new infrastructure projects that are coming up daily in Somalia. Our core responsibility has been to create a platform to learn from each other and to share with the world the other side of Somalia- apart from the reported bombings and violence. Business to us, is at the core of the Somalia Nation renaissance. It is the bedrock in which the new Somalia will be built. It is probably the biggest asset our country has. However, being a first has not been easy The journey has been fraught with challenges, but the joy of seeing Somalia rise again, brick by brick and inch by inch is a powerful motivation to continue publishing.
In the last one year that we have been writing about business and commerce and interacting on a daily basis with the business community and government officials, we have been convinced, without any doubt, that Somalia has everything it takes to be a great nation.
When the guns finally fall completely silent and the government and the international community fully embrace their responsibilities, the enduring spirit of the people will certainly push this nation into a commercial giant in the region. And the Somalia Investor Magazine will be here to capture that journey-paragraph by paragraph, page by page