April 17, 2018 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Finance Minister Holds Talks With IMF And World Bank Over New Currency

16 April – Source: Halbeeg News – 299 Words

Somalia’s Finance Minister, Abdirahman Beileh held talks with leaders of the International Monetary fund  (IMF) and World Bank over printing over new currency for Somalia. Last year, Somalia declared its bid to have new currency with help of IMF. The state owned media said that Mr. Beileh, who is currently in U.S. held talks with the officials from the two agencies.

Somali National News Agency (SONNA), noted that the country plans to have new currency before the end of this year. “Among the important issues Mr. Beileh to discuss with the leaders of World Bank and IMF, is means to rump-up the process of printing currency for Somalia, which the ministry wants to be implemented in 2018,” reported SONNA.

According to the Ministry of Finance, Somali government needs $100 million USD, half of which will go directly towards printing the new money, and other half to keep the value of currency during circulation. Early this year, Central Bank Governor Mr. Bashir Isse Ali said, the country will have high denominations of currency notes for the first time in history. Mr. Ali pointed out the currency will comprise of denominations such as 20,000, 10,000 and 5,000 of Somali Shilling notes.

The governor confirmed that the money will have security feature making it difficult for criminals to reproduce. “The Central Bank and related agencies are now in the process of coming up with the notes with security features, which will not be vulnerable to counterfeit,” said Mr. Ali. Somalia’s financial system has not been functioning properly since 1991, when the country plunged into civil war. The country’s old currency with one denomination of 1,000 shilling note is gradually disappearing, as it was already overpowered  by U.S. dollars and counterfeit Somali Shillings printed within the country.

Key Headlines

  • Finance Minister Holds Talks With IMF And World Bank Over New Currency (Halbeeg News)
  • UAE Will Continue Supporting PMPF Says Puntland President (Garowe Online)
  • Somaliland Author Jailed For 18 Months For “Offending President” (Radio Dalsan)
  • Hirshabelle President Meets UN Delegates In Beledweyne (Halbeeg News)
  • Anti IED Meet Seeks Lasting Solutions To The Use Of Improvised Explosive Devices In Somalia(AMISOM)
  • Improving The Somali Saving System Through Partnership (Ummadda Media)


UAE Will Continue Supporting PMPF, Says Puntland President

16 April – Source: Garowe Online – 287 Words

The President Puntland, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” has on Monday spoken about the soaring relations with the UAE. Speaking at a press conference in PMPF camp, President Ali dismissed reports on social media claiming that an UAE aircraft, with Emirati officials blocked from leaving Bosaso airport, by Puntland security forces last Thursday.

President Ali said no UAE trainers left Puntland, describing the claims on Twitter by the VOA journalist Harun Maruf, saying that UAE pulled out of its all trainers and military equipment from Bosaso as “baseless propaganda”. The president has defended the ties between Puntland and United Arab Emirates, saying the UAE is still committed to continuing its unwavering support to Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF).

The UAE is the biggest trading partner of Somalia, and share historic relations, he said. “Puntland has valuable security cooperation with UAE in the fields of terrorism, fight against piracy, human trafficking and illegal fishing,” said the President. The President thanked UAE for its commitment to continue to support the PMPF, a vital force for the war on Al-Shabaab, and the pro-Islamic State militants in the mountainous areas in Bari region.

Formed in 2011, the PMPF has now around 2,000 personnel operating services at sea and on land preventing, detecting and eradicating piracy, illegal fishing, and other illicit activity off Puntland coast. President Ali’s remarks came hours after the UAE announced it has ended its military training mission in Somalia, in protest of the seizure of $9.6 million allocated to support Somali army from an Emirati aircraft at Mogadishu airport, April 8. On Monday, Somalia’s foreign ministry has released a statement changing its position on the seized cash from UAE, and declared the money was for military assistance.

Somaliland Author Jailed For 18 Months For “Offending President”

16 April – Source: Radio Dalsan – 132 Words

A regional court in Hargeisa Somaliland sentenced author Mohamed Kayse Mohamoud to 18 months in prison over what is said was “offending the honour of the President”. The charge sheet indicated that the charge is related to a Facebook post saying the “president is a local,”

The presiding judge said the post was offending since he is a “national President” and not “local” in reference to clan alignment in the breakaway region. Mohamud was arrested on 7th February 2018 and was detention since then. Mohamud authored a book in praise of Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo to mark his first anniversary in office. On Sunday the regional court in Hargeisa sentenced  poet and activist Naema Ahmed Ibrahim to three years in prison over charges related to her quest for a “Greater Somalia”.

Hirshabelle President Meets UN Delegates In Beledweyne

16 April – Source: Halbeeg News – 234 Words

Hirshabelle President, Mohamed Abdi Ware on Monday, held talks with delegates from United Nations in Beledweyne town, Hiiraan region. The officials who were from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and UN office in Hirshabelle state, have discussed wide range issues, including on the development projects and productivity of the state with President Ware.

The official who was leading the UN delegates said UN will launch job creation and capacity building projects, in the state which will be categorized into three phases, including training for laborers, job creation and rebuilding of industries in Hirshabelle state. The representative of UN envoy to Somalia, who also attended the meeting has pledged support for Hirshabelle state saying, the UN will help the state with security, political and economic developments.

President Ware, has lauded the commitment of United Nations to support his administration, underlining that his government will make good use of the projects to be implemented. President Ware said, the first and second phases of the project will be launched in Beledweyne and Jowhar towns respectively, so as to empower the youth and create job opportunities for the young jobless youth in the state.

“Hirshabelle state areas are famous with productivity and industries. These projects will create jobs for many young people in the state,” said President Ware. The meeting was also attended by regional ministers, Hiiraan governor, officials from Beledweyne district as well as the region.


Anti IED Meet Seeks Lasting Solutions To The Use Of Improvised Explosive Devices In Somalia

16 April – Source: AMISOM – 396 Words

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, has called for concerted efforts, to defeat the threat posed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to security forces and civilian populations in Somalia. Ambassador Madeira made the remarks during the official opening of the fourth Bi-annual Counter IED Conference, in Mogadishu today.

The conference convened by AMISOM and supported by the UK government, seeks viable ways of building the capacity of AMISOM and Somali national security forces, to effectively counter terrorist group Al-Shabaab’s weapon of choice. Madeira said the use of IEDs in Somalia presented a major threat to the country’s stabilization process and called for practical solutions to the problem. “The best way to defeat IEDs is to have our politics right. If the politics is not right, no matter how much technology we put on the ground we may not succeed, and to have politics right, will require everyone to play his or her role,” Madeira remarked.

He urged the military, the police and the Federal government of Somalia to cooperate, in order to effectively counter the indiscriminate use of the improvised explosive devices. He emphasized the importance of effective intelligence and information sharing and working closely with civilian populations to end the IED threat. Colonel Richard Maundrell, the Commander of the British Forces in Somalia, echoed Madeira’s sentiments on increased collaboration between stakeholders and security agencies in the country to rid the country of the IED menace.


“Personal banking is relatively new in Somalia as during the period it truly took off in Africa, Somalia was still in midst of its disastrous civil war. With failed public and private institutions still fresh in the people’s memories, Hagbad still seems a more reliable and safer system for most Somalis.”

Improving The Somali Saving System Through Partnership

15 April – Source : Ummadda Media – 880 Words

Today Microfinance and Crowdfunding are the talk of the development finance community. In a challenged world of increasing conflict, displacement, poverty and limited resources to confront all of these, new financing models are being sought like never before. Entrepreneurs, Small Medium Enterprises, communities, social projects and even students are relying on Micro-financing and crowdfunding to fund their operations and future.

Despite the new academic and policy focus, in Somalia, and most of the developing nations, Micro-financing and crowdfunding have been the norm for centuries. Hagbad is the term that best describes the prevalent community based micro-financing in Somalia. The term Hagbad simply means saving in Somali. Hagbad started in port towns all over Somalia such as Mogadishu, Saylac and Berbera. It even stretched all the way up to what is now modern-day Djibouti which was then part of the Somali territories.

Hagbad is popular in Somalia because it complements the Islamic based culture of community, sharing and charity and was easily accepted and quickly grew in stature among the Somali people after its introduction. A widespread practice before the arrival of Hagbad was for farmers to contribute crops, livestock and milk to communal funds made up of willing savers and each turn was given to a different person to sell and profit from. The Hagbad is and was used in the past as a saving scheme by both the rich and the poor who had no formal banking systems and tended to save to purchase land, clothes, food and cattle which were the safe investment commodities of the time.

Today, Hagbad funds all major investments both within Somalia and the Diaspora and is much more popular and accessible than a bank loan for ordinary Somalis. Hagbad relies on the strength of numbers. The more that saves together, the more money each saver gets in the end. This method is preferred to traditional banking because the latter is new and often the amounts people save are small.

However, both are built on trust, and require security and insurance to be successful. Accordingly, those that know each other save together for different things and individual accountability and responsibility is paramount. Often, there is Hagbad administrator who collects all the money and distributes it and this person is respected, trustworthy and agreed on by all savers.


The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of AMISOM, and neither does their inclusion in the bulletin/website constitute an endorsement by AMISOM.