Somalia launches trade information portal to boost cross-border trade

SOMALIA – To facilitate cross-border trade and provide more transparent trade information for businesses, Somalia’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, supported by IFC, today launched a trade information portal to lower costs and simplify trade procedures for Somali importers and exporters. The portal provides a single source for all cross-border trade information and over 90 laws, regulations, procedures, and other trade-related measures from over a dozen government agencies can now be accessed online. Businesses can also access licenses, permits, and applicable fees.  The portal will provide Somalia’s business community with…

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Hormuud Telecom to expand 4G network across Somalia

SOMALIA – Hormuud Telecom, Somalia’s largest telecommunications services provider, has announced plans to extend its 4G phone network across the country as it aims to provide nationwide coverage by 2023. Hormuud began expanding its 4G network capacity in 2015 in partnership with the Somalia Ministry of Telecommunications, which estimates that across the country, over 11.25 million Somalis, representing 70% of Somalia’s 15 million population, now have access to 4G internet. However, the telco says 4G access is primarily limited to major cities, and Somalis in rural areas often do not…

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Hormuud Telecom unveils mobile money service in Somalia

SOMALIA – Telecommunication company Hormuud Telecom, has launched the country’s first native mobile money app, WAAFI. The mobile money app will be available to customers across the country, providing access to a variety of digital resources and allow citizens to make in-country bank transfers using their phones, which is a first in Somalia. “Somalia is a one-of-a-kind example of a country where digital adoption is widespread across all age groups and demographics,” said Ahmed Mohammed Yuusuf Hormuud’s CEO and chairman. “We are continuing to see a move towards a position…

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Somtel Telecommunication launches initial public offering, eyes growth

SOMALILAND – Somtel Telecommunication, a subsidiary of the UAE-based Dahabshiil Group, has begun its initial public offering (IPO), with interested parties able to acquire a minimum of 20 shares for US$100 apiece as it seeks for a greater ability to grow and expand in the Horn of Africa, as well as create more jobs. Somtel, is a leading telecom and internet and digital services provider in the Horn of Africa, has a long track record of providing high quality and reliable telecommunication services by investing in superior communication infrastructure and harnessing…

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Somalia issues first mobile money licence to Hormuud Telecom

SOMALIA – The Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) has awarded the first mobile money licence to a telecom company as the Horn of African nation seeks to integrate its payment systems with the global financial ecosystem. The country’s top bank said it issued a mobile money licence to Hormuud Telecom, the country’s largest telecom service provider to operate electronic voucher cards (EVC) Plus. “The Central Bank of Somalia has issued Mobile Money licence to Hormuud Telecom under the provision of mobile money service within the Federal Republic of Somalia,” Abdirahman…

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Clean energy businesses in Somalia secure US$8.5m grant from AECF

SOMALIA – Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has unveiled a US$ 8.5 million grant facility to support clean energy businesses – adoption and diversification of renewable energy in Somalia. The grant is a component of the REACT Sub-Saharan program which is aimed at reducing poverty by increasing the use of renewable energy by off-grid households. The World Bank Sustainable Development Goals tracking report estimates that 11 million Somalis lack access to electricity services, with a mere 3% having access to clean cooking. “We will work with businesses at different developmental…

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World Bank appoints New Country Director for Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda

EAST AFRICA – The World Bank has appointed Mr. Keith Hansen as the new Country Director for Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda, with effect from September 8, 2020. Mr. Hansen, who has over 30 years of experience in development practice, will lead an active multi-country portfolio consisting of over 100 projects totalling more than US$13 billion. Under the new regional boss’s leadership, the World Bank will work closely with the four countries to provide innovative products and services that respond to their diverse development challenges and contribute to achieving sustainable…

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Sombank selects Temenos Islamic Banking solution for digital Islamic banking services in Somalia

SOMALIA – Temenos, the banking software company, today announced that Sombank, a privately owned Islamic bank in Somalia, has selected the Temenos Islamic Banking solution in the cloud to accelerate its digital transformation and create innovative products to increase access to financial services in Somalia. Sombank will implement the full front-to-back Temenos Islamic Banking platform combining the market-leading capabilities of Temenos Infinity and Temenos Transact. The platform’s scalable innovative technology provides superior features for lslamic banks to offer their customers Shari’ah compliant products and the best digital experience. The cloud-native…

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FAO receives additional US$30.9m to fight desert locust outbreak

EAST AFRICA – FAO Director-General QU Dongyu welcomed an €11 million (US$12.1m) contribution from the European Union and €17 million (US$18.8m) contribution from Germany as the UN agency steps up efforts to fight the Desert Locust upsurge which has now spread from East Africa to the Persian Gulf. Germany’s Permanent Representative to FAO, Ulrich Seidenberger, made the announcement at FAO headquarters in Rome. The new pledge comes after Germany already contributed €3 million (US$3.3m). The European Commission announced €10 million (US$11m) would come from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International…

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Horn of Africa countries launch US$15bn regional initiative for closer economic ties

AFRICA – Five Horn of Africa countries; Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Somalia, have launched an initiative to forge closer economic ties, building on the improving political climate in the sub-region. The initiative was formalized on 18 October, on the sidelines of the World Bank Group/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington DC. The countries agreed on priority projects and programs that will constitute the initiative, which is being developed by the countries with support from the African Development Bank, the European Union and the World Bank. The effort will culminate in…

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