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Kenya to host first investment conference for Somalia

Thursday, January 31, 2013

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NAIROBI, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will host the first investment conference for Somalia in June to showcase opportunities that exist in the Horn of Africa nation, organizers said on Thursday.

The June 12 and June 13 Somalia Investment Summit (SIS), organized by Somalia Economic Forum (SEC) and produced by Global Event Partners is the official government backed event for 2013 to focus on the abundant opportunities and exciting future ahead in the rebuilding of Somalia.

"Somalia's political leadership has taken bold steps towards political stability which is crucial for this country, it is evident that the structures for doing business in Somalia are slowly coming to play and the opportunities for rebuilding this great nation are many to interested parties," said Hassan Dudde, Managing Director of Somalia Economic Forum said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Somalia has been undergoing a peace and national reconciliation process, with a series of landmark steps that have helped bring an end to the country's nine-year political transition period and the resulting security vacuum which rendered Somalia one of the most lawless States on the planet.

These steps included the adoption of a Provisional Constitution, the establishment of a new Parliament and the appointments of a new President and a new prime minister.

"The Somali Investment Summit will showcase opportunities in energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, real estate, agriculture, fishing, education and health industries," Dudde added.

Many investors have already expressed an interest in establishing businesses in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital city to follow in the footsteps of Coca-Cola, Turkish Airlines, Africa Oil, Range Resources and SKA who have all recently set up offices in the Horn of Africa nation.

Companies are currently travelling to the area to ascertain the prospects of doing business in Somalia as the financial rewards look to be huge for those who are first to establish themselves in Somalia.

"Thanks to our government and industry supporters SIS is well positioned to be the first Somalia Investment Summit to bring together 250 senior representatives from both government and private sector companies," Rob Percival from the co-organisers Global Event Partners Ltd.

Somalia, once one of Africa's leading exporters of banana and livestock had been torn by years civil strife, forcing some of most agriculturally productive communities into displacement and exile.

A year after 2011's famine, the Horn of Africa nation is now on the path to recovery thanks to the timely interventions targeting herders and farmers in regions plagued by recurrent droughts.

The summit has been endorsed by the Eastern Africa Economic Chambers of Commerce which lobbies for intra Africa trade and sees Somalia as a strategic business partner for regional businesses.

SIS will provide a platform for ministries and Somali government departments to engage with international and local investors to showcase the abundant opportunities available throughout country.

Participants will have the opportunity to share knowledge, explore current challenges and examine the most prominent investment opportunities in Somalia.

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