Economic Success in Somaliland By: Ahmed Eid Adam
Somaliland is a sovereign state in the horn of Africa. The country is known of its mountain ranges rising up to seven thousand feet and the Laas Geel Cave Paintings which are the earliest human artifacts, dating from before 3000 BC.
Somaliland was an independent state for five days in 1960 before in merged or united with the former Italian Somalia which became independent on July 1, 1960. After merging, the two territories became the Somali Republic. But Somaliland withdrew from that union after thirty years of injusticesin 1991.
Somaliland sits at the tip of the Horn of Africa and depends on its main port Berbera, livestock trade, agriculture and money from the Diaspora.
II. Economic success
It was said,“Economy is the method by which we prepare today to afford the improvements of tomorrow.” Somaliland people have made enormous efforts to re-establish basic health, education and business services. The majority of Somalilanders are pastoral nomads, camels, sheep, goats and some cattle are raised in large numbers across the plains and rangelands of Somaliland and provide both daily subsistence and the economic backbone of the country.
An estimated 60% of the population depends either directly or indirectly on livestock and livestock products for their livelihood. Agriculture provides subsistence for nearly 20% of the country’s population and is practised mostly in the east of the country towards the west where sufficient rainfall allows.
The informal economy and trade is strong and the results can be seen in the variety of goods available within the major urban areas. In most African countries, the government maintains and controls the essential public services. But when it comes to Somaliland, the private sector plays a lion’s share or controls most of the economic and social services which include telecommunication, electricity, education and business activities and/or services.
Somaliland economy has been rebuilt on taxes gathered in Berbera – the main port, livestock production and export, trade and commerce and remittance.
Commerce and trade are always an integral part of the economy. Commerce together with the transportation, telecommunication, port and security services that support commercial activities is a source of employment and income. Many households are involved in some form of commerce that is linked to the import – export trade, ranging from pretty trade in imported BAGAASH (non-food items) to selling qat. Commerce has developed in Somaliland.
An interesting news is that investment in medium sized enterprises more than doubled between 2011 and 2012. According to the 2012 Business Confidence Survey, released this week, investment in medium sized enterprises of $100,000 – $500,000 had more than doubled in Hargeisa between 2011 and 2012 (from 7.5 percent of respondents to 17 percent).
The long and short of it, Somaliland, a young country, without diplomatic recognition and international development, developed the tools of statehood, including its own currency and flag. The country has a market which seems to fully agree with entrepreneurial character of the people of Somaliland. The privately owned businesses provide quality goods, creation of an employment and job opportunities.
Somaliland economy crippled by lack of recognition – www.somalilandtimes.net, 2003
Economy in Somaliland: Economy over-view
Mark Bradbury, Becoming Somaliland, 2008.
Somaliland: Business Confidence Survey Shows Surge in Investment.www.somalilandsun.com , Dec 18, 2012.
Ahmed Eid Adam
Afeef: Aragtida maqaalku waa mid u gaar ah qoraaga, anaguna hadaanu Oodweynenews nahay waxaanu leenahay Magacaagu yuu noqon mid xumaan ka marag kaca, haka talin masiibiyo wax makhluuqa kalla dilla.