December 12, 2018 | Daily Monitoring Report

Main Story

Somalia Grants Fishing License To Chinese Companies

12 December – Source: Goobjoog News –  229 Words

A consortium of Chinese companies has been licensed to fish in Somali waters, in what the Fisheries Ministry said, was awarded in a transparent process for the first time in three decades. Fisheries Minister Abdillahi Bidhan on Tuesday signed 31 Tuna Licenses to FOCA, a consortium of Chinese companies. “We have today concluded the signing of fishing licenses in a transparent manner. Anyone applying for Tuna License must go through the requisite process and for inspections” said Mr. Bidhan.

The companies paid a total of $1 million for the licenses which now grants them the rights to fish within Somali waters twice a year. To ensure the companies adhere to the terms of the contract including not exploiting other sea resources, the government will deploy own personnel onboard the Chinese vessels. According to the ministry, Somalia has 604 fish species with 420 of these being commercially viable. With an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.2 million kilometer square, the country can fetch up to $135 million annually from the sea resources.

Somalia has for many years suffered from illegal fishing owing it to lack of capacity to operates its waters. A study by researchers from University of British Columbia and Western Australia Indian Ocean division, noted that up to 2.4 million tonnes of fish have been caught by foreign fleets off Somali waters in the past six decades.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia Grants Fishing License To Chinese Companies (Goobjoog News)
  • Security Agencies Seize Vehicle With Explosives In Baidoa (252 Politics)
  • Vaccination Campaign Targets 1 Million Sheep And Goats In Middle Shabelle (Radio Ergo)
  • Pomp Colour As Somali Cultural Festival Closes (The Star)
  • The Slow Re-awakening Of Islamic Finance In Somalia (Gulf Times)

NATIONAL MEDIA

Security Agencies Seize Vehicle With Explosives In Baidoa

12 December – Source: 252 Politics –  172 Words

On Tuesday, the security agencies in the Southwest administrative capital of Baidoa, have nabbed vehicle transporting explosives. The police said they recovered three hand grenades hidden inside sack with grains after searching. The driver of the vehicle was arrested, but maintained he has nothing to do with the weapons only transporting. The Security Minister of Southwest security thanked the regional security departments for a job well done.

Mr. Hassan Hussein Elay, called upon members of the public to closely cooperate with security agencies to improve security. “I urge members of the public to cooperate with security agencies,” he said. “We will reward the officers that nabbed the vehicle with explosives,” he added.

Baidoa, the administrative capital of Southwest state of Somalia, is gearing up to host the upcoming presidential elections next week. More than hundred Somali federal police officers were deployed, weeks ago to beef up the security of the city. Politicians from the region have dismissed the move saying, it is an attempt by the government to interfere in the election.


Vaccination Campaign Targets 1 Million Sheep And Goats In Middle Shabelle

10 December – Source: Radio Ergo – 376 Words

A mass livestock immunisation campaign has begun in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region targeting over one million goats and sheep. The vaccinations started in 100 villages in Jowhar, Mahaday, Bal’ad, Warsheikh, and Adale amid an outbreak of sheep measles (Cystic ercusovis) and sheep and goat pox (SGP). Omar Adan Samatar, the director of livestock department in Middle Shabelle administration, said a survey conducted in August confirmed that around 1,500 goats were infected. “Every month, we do a report on livestock diseases in the region aiming at knowing the conditions of the animals. Our August report indicated the existence of the diseases,” he said.

Dr Omar Samatar, head of Central Regional Livestock Professional Association (CARELPA) carrying out the vaccinations, said 50 workers including veterinarians and other staff have been deployed in villages and remote areas to vaccinate the livestock. Fardowsa Mohamed Abdi, one of the veterinarians involved, told Radio Ergo that the vaccination project was the largest in the region in the last two years. She said it will protect the livestock from disease and cushion pastoralists from economic losses through sickness and death of livestock.

The sheep measles parasite is carried by dogs. The larval stage in sheep results in unsightly cysts. The local pastoralist community welcomed the campaign. Qasim Barow from Dhurwale village on the outskirts of Warsheikh town lost five goats to sheep measles after one of the goats carried the disease from a local market. “I took one goat to the market to sell but it wasn’t sold so I brought it back home. I suspect that is how my livestock contracted sheep measles disease.

Seventy of my remaining sheep and goats have now been vaccinated against both diseases and now they are fine,” Qasim said. Amina Osman Shueyb, who lives in Adada village five km north of Jowhar town, lost 40 of her goats to goat pox. She commended the vaccination campaign saying the project gives her assurance that her livestock is safe. Amina’s 80 goats were vaccinated this month. According to the vets, the diseases have also been noted in Galgaduud and Hiran region, suspected to have been facilitated by the movement of the pastoralist communities in the areas.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Pomp, Colour As Somali Cultural Festival Closes

12 December – Source: The Star – 398 Words

The three-day first ever Mandera Somali cultural festival came to an end yesterday with calls from leaders to residents to remain united and preserve their culture. The festival was used to showcase diverse Somali culture with different products such as herbs, ancient food stuff, traditional Somali houses, home products and traditional songs and dances.

Area governor Ali Roba said the event was not only meant to promote the Somali cultural heritage but also an opportunity for communities in the area to integrate and preach unity after years of inter-clan clashes that led to loss of lives displacement. The county has not had any inter-clan clashes since 2015. “We have invested quite heavily in trying to end the inter-clan conflicts in our county,” Roba said. One of those who enjoyed the festival is Mohamed Abdi, once a resident of Mandera but had moved to the US 20 years ago where he had also started a family.

“ I moved to the USA and started a family there. My five children who are all now adults haven’t had exposure to their culture. I quickly made up my mind to fly them here so that they get in touch with their roots. I am not disappointed at all, it can only get better,” Mohamed said. Roba noted that in the future Mandera will invite neighbouring Somalis and Ethiopians to join in the celebrations to make it bigger and better.

The governor said he will work closely with the county assembly to see to it that the event is gazetted so that it becomes an annual festival that will be celebrated every December between 9 to 11. “We will nurture it and make it part and parcel of the fabric in the society such that whoever comes in as the governor will find pressing public demand to make sure the event happens,” he said.

Roba said the Department of Cohesion and Integration has always responded to issues pertaining to conflict when they arise. Lafey MP Abdi Mude said the fact that Mandera county that was once making headlines for all the wrong reasons could attract visitors from across the country and from outside was a clear indication that security has improved. Balambala MP Omar Shurie challenged other counties in northern Kenya to emulate Mandera and organise similar events. The event, he said, brings communities together to eliminate frequent tribal clashes in the area.

OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE

“Overall, it is believed that joint ventures by Somali banks with international financial institutions would be the best banking model for the country at the time being, mainly due to a lack of local banking excellence. This would also bring more sophisticated products and online tools, while mobile systems could play a bigger role in offering Islamic banking products and services for the large portion of unbanked people in the country.”

The Slow Re-awakening Of Islamic Finance In Somalia

11 December – Source: Gulf Times – 666 Words

Somalia, the troubled land at the Horn of Africa with one of the most homogeneous Muslim populations in the world, is believed to benefit from the strong footprint Islamic finance is currently setting in East Africa. The country, which between 1991 and 2009 had no monetary system in place due to a collapse of the central bank and subsequently the entire banking system during the Somali civil war, saw some return to customary and religious law in most regions in the past decade and with it a slow rebuilding of a Shariah-compliant banking system.

Most of the drive comes from the Somali diaspora some of whose members are actively engaged in setting up Shariah-compliant banks or other financial service providers which has led to some progress for the industry. For example, Mogadishu-headquartered Amal Bank developed itself in the recovery years since 2009 into what it says is today a “modern Islamic bank” that offers “a wide range of financial products and services in retail, corporate, institutional, diaspora and microfinance banking.” The bank, formally launched in 1998 but basically non-operational for a decade since then, benefited greatly from the end of the civil war and today operates a total of around a dozen branches in the capital and three other larger cities in Somalia.

Other banks in the country offering fully-fledged Islamic banking or at least Islamic windows include Salaam Somali Bank, Al Barakaat Bank of Somalia and Premier Bank, all headquartered in Mogadishu, as well as Dara-Salaam Bank in Hargeisa, the capital of the autonomous northern region of Somaliland.

The most recent example was the setting up of a new insurance company called Horn of Africa Insurance Co in October 2018 by nobody less than Yussur Abrar, Somalia’s central bank governor in 2013, who has plans to introduce takaful in the entire region starting from Somaliland. To that end, Somaliland’s current central bank governor Ali Ibrahim Jama announced that the local parliament will release an “Insurance Act” in 2019.

Experts say that there are three options for Somalia to develop its Islamic banking business further. The first would be the modernisation of the old traditional hawala systems with their private money transfers into transfer banks with additional banking services, a way that Al Barakaat is following.

The second option would be the further opening of the country to foreign and internationally operating banks which would not only raise the level of professionalism in the Somali banking system, but could also contribute to growth in cross-border financing which decreased dramatically in the crisis years. Naturally, such a solution would require a solid legal framework which has yet to be provided from Somalia’s authorities so that foreign banks could open own branches or enter joint ventures with domestic banks.

TOP TWEETS

@sntvnews1: The security agencies in the Southwest capital of#Baidoa have caught vehicle carrying explosives. Police said they recovered three hand grenades hidden inside a sack with grains after the search.

@DalsanFM: BREAKING The speaker of parliament has shifted from his villa House Residence “ to Shabeel Hotel Near UNDP Airport Road, This comes after Villa SOMALIA restricts its access amidst political tension #Somalia.

@DalmarHassanQ#Somali‘s never forget, that only 30% of#Somali students have access to class based education, 3,000,000 somali youths are not in school, in 2018-2017 about 440,000 students had to skip school for a period of time due to drought & displacement! Lets not keep on failing them!

@radiogarowe: .@mrbidhaan gives #TUNA fishing permit to#China Overseas Fisheries Association (COFA) amid dispute b/w regional states and FGS on sharing of the revenue from the foreign fishing companies in #Somalia’s territorial waters.

@taakulosom: Hodan Said thanks to WFP for  ensuring my children to receive adequate food,we have  been receiving food of our choices through WFP Voucher for six months since July.@WFPSomalia @SC_Somalia @coopi @AmorAlmagro@shf_somalia @unicefsomalia.

@RAbdiCG: Somalia: FGS grants 31 tuna fishing licenses to China Overseas Fisheries Association for Dec-Feb 2019 tuna season. Contract worth 1m dollars. 24 nautical miles reserved for local fishermen.

@UNHCRSom: Government officials including the Head of Immigration, Governor of Sahel Province and the Mayor of Berbera yesterday  joined the head of @UNHCRSom in Somaliland in laying a foundation stone for the renovation and expansion of the Berbera immigration office.

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

Image of the dayDeputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Gulaid, Somali Minister of Fisheries Abdillahi Bidhan, Chinese Ambassador to Somalia Qin Jian and other officials witness the official signing of the fishing licenses, in Mogadishu.

Photo: @KhadarGulaid

 

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