Sunday May 21, 2023
By Ayeni Olusegun
President of Somalia, H E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has disclosed that Qatar has offered to act as a hub for Somali exports as the East African nation embarks on a journey of reconstruction and economic growth after a decade-long crisis because of terrorism and civil war.
During a business breakfast event organised by KON Group as part of his visit to Qatar, Mahmud extolled the depth of ties between Qatar and Somalia while saying his country is open to investment by Qatari businesspeople. He thanked Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for his support towards the Somali people.
“Qatar is one of our strategic partners, and we have a lot of engagement with Qatar, including at the level where H H the Amir stands up and says, ‘I will advocate for Somalia.’ This is a rare gift available to the people of Somalia,” Mohamud said.
“Somalia is using the global influence of Qatar to expose Somalia to the rest of the world. The Amir is a very focal point for Somalia as he advocates for Somalia in the global arena in the multilateral and bilateral space. Qatar has offered us assistance until Somalia’s infrastructure is rebuilt. Qatar will act as a hub for the Somali exports in many areas, which will facilitate and make it easy for Somalia to access global trade,” the Somali leader disclosed.
Mohamud said that both countries have signed significant agreements recently with partnerships focusing on strategic issues like security, investment, diplomacy and economic ties.
Last year, Somali government forces, aided by US air strikes and African Union troops, carried out major offensives against Al Shabab, retaking control of significant areas previously under the group’s control. According to Mohamud, Somalia is open for business. He cited the country’s coastal resource – the most extensive coastline in Africa (Red Sea to Indian Ocean), spreading over 3000km.
It is spread from the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Guardafui Channel to the northeast, and the Indian Ocean to the east. He reiterated the nation’s position as a breeding spot for tuna as an attractive investment opportunity and its ambition to be a logistical hub for Africa.
The president also disclosed that Somalia aims to join East African Community (EAC) by year-end to become the eighth member of the bloc. He said the country’s national development agenda, 'Vision 2060', is being finalised.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Massani, Co-founder and Chairman of KON Group, said Somalia is widely open to partnering and collaborating for a solid foundation to achieve economic goals and opportunities for innovation. He noted that despite all challenges, Somalia has enormous economic potential. Massani added that he’ll strongly advocate for more partnerships and collaboration that are mutually beneficial for Somalia.
Also, during the event, organisers announced the launch of the Somali Women Association Qatar and the Somali Cultural Centre Qatar.