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Counterfeited the Somali Shilling

Islmaic Courts  should outlaw the use and circulation of the Somali Shillings

By Ali Osman

Warlord printing shops in Bosaso, Mogadishu, Hargeysa and Baidao are in engaged in the manufacture of false Somali currencies which is designed to fleece the hard earned money of the Somali business community. The money making shops split the profit with the warlords and with robbers of the weak Transitional Federal Government to spread wickedness and corruption among the society. There is also wide spread rumors that Ethiopian intelligence agencies are now engaged a plan to fleece the Mogadishu business community in order to render them bankrupt. There are intelligence reports that indicate Ethiopia along with the TFG decided to punish the Somali Business Community specially the Mogadishu business men and women for their role in supporting the popular uprising which the Ethiopian supported warlords were defeated.  

The Somali popular uprising and its leadership would pay a dear price if they don’t get a good handle the proliferations of Counterfeited Somali Shilling which is in high gear as I write down this article. It is unconscionable that a bunch of robbers and murderers who does no good for the public or the private sector would have unrestricted license to print money in their basement and flood the market with this false money to cause inflation and rob the hard earned money of the Somali entrepreneurs. 

It is high time, the Islamic Courts outlaw the use and circulation of the Somali Shillings totally for reasons I would innumerate here:

           1- The Somali Shilling is not a hard currency anymore, because it is a currency in which investors and buyers have no confidence in it anymore. It is a currency, with no controls and verifications. All you need to print trillions of Somali Shillings today is a good color printing machine and a very good quality paper which can be easily bought from China or Malaysia as many warlords and pro-warlord printing shops are doing today.  

          2- The Somali Shilling is mass produced at will by bottomless criminals and causes massive inflation which hurts the poor and those who has no access to hard currencies. 

         3- since there is no central government and central bank with monetary and fiscal policies, the Somali Shilling is not recognized anywhere and it has no meaning against other currencies what so ever. Even Somaliland and Puntland make their own currencies to fleece their local business people. 

        4- Last but not least, it appears the Ethiopian war machine decided to mass produce it to bankrupt the Somali business community and finance their ill equipped military by Somali money siphoned through counterfeit. 

Since the Business Community and Islamic Courts could not engage the illegal counterfeiting because the Islamic Traditions and teachings prohibits such counterfeiting operations and it also destroys the local economy and community fabric I suggest that the Somali Business Community abandon the local currency altogether and adopt a hard currency such as the US dollar or the Euro dollar as legal tender.  

This simple policy change on currency would result immediately the flowing three positive results: 

The warlords influence would aveporate and their total demise would be immediate. The warlords would find themselves out of business immediately once they realize, the Somali Shilling is not accepted and they cannot counterfeit the the US dollar which is easily recognizable and with sophisticated technolgy which cannot be easily printed or copied as the Somali Shilling. In addition the US dedicates resources to fight counterfeiting of their US currencies. In fact, the United states Central Intelligence Agency historically was created to protect the US currency.  

The adoption of the US dollar would result currency stability, low inflation rate and devaluations. The Somali legitimate business would trive but those connected to the illegal money counterfeit trade would go out of business. 

The Somali business environment would become more predictable. A benachmark and metrics of the business opportunities would become rational without the injection of millions of illegal money flooding the market. This would in return attract international investors who would create jobs and opportunities for the average Somali. The cost of basic supplies would come down as the fake money comes to standstill. 

The export and import business would dramatically improve witht the predictability of the US or Euro dollar once they become the legal tender back at Somalia. They could easily make profitability judgements without worrying what the new money did to their market or industry segement. 

It is about time to cut the last feeding tube of warlords and their associated to enable the true Somalis in rebuild their country. 

Ali Osman  
[email protected] 

The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of "Hiiraan Online"

14 comment(s)
More comments  
    Anna-waa-i-kan @ 9/5/2008 7:22 AM EST
 Emotional. Judgmental. Biased (if not biased, then it is very shallow). These mean weak academics. Words such as "fool", "morons", "immoral", "worst", "disgusting", or "wild" all DISCREDIT this paper.
    mercano @ 11/8/2006 4:31 PM EST
 Many still use the 500 shillings, counterfeit or real matters least to them as cost of living in Somalia is blessedly and extremely low.  I had to purchase 2 coconuts minimum, instead of one, as the smallest Somali bill is 500 shillings. Thus, purchasing 500 SoSh for 2 coconuts.  That was in Captain Laas, where the road from Marka and Shalambot Tees to Janaalle and Golweyn.  If you do your math at today's exchange rate, that is equivalent to $0.03USD. To use US currency in Somalia would require lots of US pennies that one needs to source for and the logistics would certainly not worth.  You still have the issue that our other brothers pointed out, i.e., a genuine and fair strategy and schedule to phase out the current Somali Shilling and replace with a new and convincing currency. As for new currencies, one can make suggestions, but who will purchase the existing bills, of course all counterfeit and non-pegged or backed?  I would suggest that the subject authority mint coins with real value such as silver, gold, etc,; of course its value must be slightly higher to avoid .... and allow market flactuation.  This would be the only thing that would assure the Somali consumer and the subject authority a genuine value.  The initial steps should, as some of my brothers and/or sisters noted to stop the flow of newly printed Somali Shillings.  In Bosaaso 400,000 USD equivillant of Somali Shillings is printed daily on an A4 papper off of a color printing photo copy machine, and it is the government of Puntland that does it so and distributes it across the already troubled and exhausted nation.  However, in my opinion, as you can see from my example, Introducing US dollars as a substitute to the probably poorest nation on our planet is far from a practical solution.  Nevertheless, I salute and thank my brother for his effort in posting this.
    ajay @ 11/5/2006 8:59 PM EST
 when i was reading the first paragraph of the article i was thinking of the same solution that ali suggested but i don't think changing the currency to US dollar is the best solution, outlawing the Somali currency till we have a central bank might be a good idea. If the currency is changed to US dollar poor people won't be able to survive they won't be people to get hold of the money since the supply of the US dollar will not be the same as the Somali currency, and let's the influence that it might bring to our country which at this poin doesn't need any outside influence.
    seyd shariff @ 11/4/2006 11:17 PM EST
 In actual fact this the hardest decission that the Islamic court can come up with.
The value of money depends on the confidence that the people using it have in the currency, otherwise it is not worth the paper it is printed on.
The best the should have done was to outlaw the new currency in the area that they control and educate the public, after all it is the poor herdman who will suffer.
This will undermine the legality and the onfidence that the people have in it.
Since this bussiness had been going on so long,any sudden change will the unintended consequence of affecting the poor illiterate hardworking people.
The bussiness community and the landlords will never lose as they will either have dollar reserves or goods or which they will demand foreign currency.
Therefore education and practical steps ,conscientious implemented will do the job, otherwise print also Ethiopian Birr, why not if they are doing this through their surrogate landlords.
May the almighty Allah help the somali people
    seyd shariff @ 11/4/2006 11:13 PM EST
 outlaw the new currency to undermine it legitimacy, and shake people confidence.
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