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Somali diaspora investment forum in Mogadishu aims to boost national economy

Sunday May 12, 2024

Attendees gather at the Somali Diaspora Investment Forum in Mogadishu, hosted by the Ministry’s Diaspora Affairs Department. The event, aimed at boosting Somalia's economy through diaspora investments, brought together government officials, entrepreneurs, and experts from various sectors. (Credit: Ministry’s Diaspora Affairs Department)

Mogadishu (HOL) — The Somali Diaspora Investment Forum was launched in Mogadishu on Saturday and aims to investigate the diaspora's role in the country's economic development. The forum, sponsored by the International Bank of Somalia (IBS) and organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs alongside the Department of Diaspora Communities, attracted key government and business leaders, as well as community representatives.

Ahmed Moallim Fiqi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, highlighted the significant role of the Somali diaspora, who contribute approximately $2 billion annually in remittances—accounting for about 27% of the nation's GDP and serving as a lifeline for many families. "The diaspora are not just overseas residents but ambassadors of Somali resilience and progress on the global stage," Minister Fiqi emphasized. 

Beyond remittances, the Somali diaspora is increasingly involved in direct investments across various sectors of the economy, including real estate, telecommunications, and finance. This influx of capital has not only created thousands of jobs but has also led to the development of critical infrastructure. The growth of mobile money platforms and financial services tailored to the Somali market are prime examples of diaspora-led innovations that have had transformative impacts on the local economy.

Another pivotal aspect of the diaspora's impact is the return of skilled and educated Somalis from overseas. These individuals contribute global perspectives and expertise, essential for modernizing Somalia’s workforce and enhancing the capabilities of various institutions. The education, healthcare, and technology sectors have greatly benefited from this influx of knowledge and skills, often channelled through both formal initiatives and informal networks.

Mr. Abdirizak Ali Warsame, Vice Chairman of the Board at IBS, pointed out the strategic economic contributions of the diaspora, with successful investments in global cities such as Dubai, Istanbul, and Nairobi. He urged the expatriates to channel their resources and expertise back to Somalia. "Their involvement is crucial not only in terms of financial investment but also in transferring knowledge and skills that are essential for the nation's development," Mr. Warsame stated.

As the event unfolds, discussions will focus on creating a supportive environment for diaspora investors, enhancing security, and leveraging technology to improve financial services, ensuring transparency and efficiency in how remittances and investments are managed.


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