The Somaliland Diaspora Agency holds one day meeting for members of the Somaliland Diaspora business community with SHURAAKO of the One Earth Future Foundation (OEF) who provides loans for investment to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for expansion of businesses, and creating new employment opportunities for the youth and women, on the Wednesday, July 5th, 2018.
About 30 members of Diaspora entrepreneurs, or representatives mostly from Diaspora-invested businesses in different sectors including constructions, agricultural farming, and poultry, fishing, gums and resins, manufacturing, consultancy and other services, and senior officials from SHURAABO as well attended the meeting which took place in the Meeting Hall of Somaliland Diaspora Agency Office in the Compound of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of the Republic of Somaliland.
Executive Director, and Acting Chairman of Somaliland Diaspora Agency, Mr. Hassan Ahmed Yusuf, Ms. Sahra Hassan said the welcome remarks, and thanked participation of the invited Diaspora business community members, and the esteemed SHURAAKO Team for their cooperation on that meeting. Then Ms. Sahra Hassan, senior official from SHURAAKO Office in Somaliland profoundly explained historical background of the One Earth Future Foundation, specifically SHURAAKO Program, amount of the loans for investment provided which is not paid in cash but in the kind of machinery or other facilities the applicant business needs most, and which is between the value of $50,000 and $250,000, the duration of repayment as 1-5 years, and eligibility of the businesses that can apply which is mainly functioning business existing at least one year with proven track record, their profit rate charged as 5%, and the process for application of the loan in general http://shuraako.org/.
The participants appreciated this kind of investment, and thanked the Team from SHURAAKO. They on the other hand raised their concerns over that many of the SMEs cannot afford to apply fifty thousand dollars loans, but actually needs less amount for making improvement, and repaying within the five years. Entrepreneurs who are particularly involved in agricultural farming and related light manufacturing such as the sunflower farming and making its pure oil complained of marketing, exporting, and also lacking technical assistance, and applicable investments. They called for the Somaliland Government to consider importance of providing technical assistance and coaching on the investors endeavors particularly in the agricultural production, and the manufacturing processes.
In addition, the Diaspora business community members who attended in the meeting had further concerns on the Somaliland Islamic banking system – the loans based on Murabaha and the highly expensive “Murabaha” charge or profit rates of the current Somaliland banks which is beyond the logic, and that the current banking laws of the country do not encourage provision of alternative solutions in the banking system. Some of the participants suggested public debating over this issue is very pertinent to the situation, and supported their proposal there are many similar countries of Muslims who apply both the conventional and the Murabaha banking systems.
At the closure, Executive Director of Somaliland Diaspora Agency, Mr. Hassan Ahmed Yusuf appreciated the gradual increase of the Somalilanders from or in the Diaspora who are investing new businesses in Somaliland, and consequently contributing to the private sector labor industry, tax revenues of the Government, and the economic growth of the country in general despite the challenges many of them frequently undergoing.
Finally, the Executive Director took the opportunity to inform the Somaliland Diaspora business community that SLDA’s priority interventions aligned with the Somaliland NDP II includes holding the first Somaliland Diaspora Awarding Event which is upcoming in this year which intends to recognize successful achievements of over 200 deserving Somaliland Diaspora members mostly consisting of varied business investors, but also include community development activists, humanitarian activists, voluntary lobbyists for Somaliland recognition and development – both in the form of individuals and in the form of businesses, organizations, and other social groups as listed by the Somaliland Diaspora Agency.
The Meeting Participants included ASAD Construction, Nafaqo Poultry Farming, Flour Factory, Shampoo & Creams Factory, Carro-Yaanbo Farm, Tog Barwaaqo Farm, Pure Living Company, Som Fishing Company, Somaliland Vegetable Oil Company, Clothes Factory, Boodhari Mills, Fiqi Fishing Company, SUGAN General Corporation Company, Asma Style, Khadrina Style, Tawakal Carpets Washing Service, Water Research & Data collection, Air Arabia Agent, Ihsaan Consutancy Firm, I Dhamac Consultancy Firm, Somaliland Review Magazine, and guests.
Issued by Somaliland Diaspora Agency
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation
Hargeisa, Republic of Somaliland