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Somalia’s breakaway enclave of Somaliland formally opened its first commercial bank on Sunday November 30, as part of its effort to attract foreign lenders.
President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo officially inaugurated Dahabshiil International Commercial Bank in Hargeisa, calling it a “vanguard for national development and progress”.
Somaliland, in the northeast of Somalia, has not been recognised internationally.
President Silanyo speaking after the inauguration of the new multi-million Dahabshiil Bank business complex said, “I am happy to attend the grand opening of Dahabshiil Bank, Dahabshiil group has played an important role in the development and progress made in the country since the time of the civil war, today the opening of the Dahabshiil Islamic bank hails a new era and I believe it contribute to the economic development of this nation; Somaliland needs investment in order to grow our economy and increase the business opportunities, I do hereby take this opportunity by inviting both local and foreign investors to come and invest in the country”.
In 2012, the country established a central bank, to encourage foreign commercial banks to start operating.
It has traditionally had no formal banking sector and its people rely heavily on remittances from Diaspora communities in Europe, North America and the United Arab Emirates, as there are no ATMs or loan facilities.
Abdirashid M Dualeh, the CEO of Dahabshiil speaking at the opening ceremony said, “The business started more than forty years ago, as a small shop in Burao, and now we are launching a commercial bank, a shopping mall and other ventures in this building, the first of its kind in Somaliland. Unlike some Somalis who invest their money outside, today is proof that we invest our money here, a show of faith in Somaliland, its stability, its good environment to do business in, and its future”.
The bank also announced plans to open offices in all the regions of Somaliland.