11 October – Source: New Vision – 309 Words
The AU Special representative for Somalia and the head of AMISOM, Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira, on Wednesday toured Jazeera II Camp in Mogadishu, to assess the progress made in the relocation and resettlement of military and police contingents, who vacated the Mogadishu International Stadium last August.
The contingents, which were previously hosted at the sports facility, relocated to Jazeera II Camp, pave way for the rehabilitation of the stadium, which had been occupied by AU troops since 2011, when they pushed out al-Qaeda affiliated terror group Al-Shabaab out of the capital city of Mogadishu. While applauding the troops for the swift relocation, Ambassador Madeira who inspected new accommodation and kitchen facilities, noted the self-sacrifice and resilience demonstrated by the troops, who had to move to partially built accommodation at Jazeera II Camp, to free-up the stadium for reconstruction.
The 60,000 capacity stadium, Somalia’s biggest, will open its doors to sporting activities once its refurbishment is complete. “We know that they have accepted to make the required sacrifice so that we could beat the timetable in order for us to transition the stadium from the control of AMISOM to the control of the Somali security forces,” Madeira noted.
The transfer of the management of the stadium to the Federal Government took place on 28th August, after an inspection tour of the facility by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. A formal handover of the stadium’s assets to the Federal Government is expected to take place soon.
“I want to thank the contractors and UNSOS for having understood the urgency of relocating us to this place (Jazeera II Camp) and putting in place the required equipment for our soldiers to live in acceptable conditions,” Madeira observed. He was flanked by the Deputy Force Commander in charge of Operations and Plans Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai and AMISOM Deputy Police Commissioner Christine Alalo.
- AMISOM Leadership Assesses Troops Welfare (New Vision)
- Solar-powered Irrigation Boosts Debt-ridden Somali Farmers In Beledweyne (Radio Ergo)
- Two Injured In A Grenade Attack On The Residence Of A Women Leader (Jowhar News)
- DP World Launches $442 Million Port Expansion In Somaliland (The National)
- Mobile Money Transfers Have Taken Off In Somalia But There Are Risks (The Conversation)
Solar-powered Irrigation Boosts Debt-ridden Somali Farmers In Beledweyne
11 October – Source: Radio Ergo – 352 Words
Somali farmers in villages around Beledweyne have been discovering the benefits of solar-powered irrigation. Omar Farah Barre, who lives in Shabellow village, is one of 780 farmers hoping for a good harvest this year because of regular water supply for his crops and reduced power bills.
Omar told Radio Ergo he had not planted any crops for the last two years, because he could not afford fuel for the generator, he normally uses to pump water. He used to have to raise around $800 US dollars, to cover the costs of pumping water. “This solar equipment has brought me new hope,’” he said. “I have been able to water my farm twice and I didn’t spend anything. I did not have to stress about repairing the generator when it break and having to spend money on that and wait more than a week leaving the crops dry for that period.”
The solar-powered irrigation equipment was donated last year by Relief International. However, the river was dry at that time, and later in April there were floods, so the equipment has been in storage until recently. Mohamed Abdullahi Buraale, a representative of Relief International, said they have given 25 solar panels and pumps to five farmers’ associations. “We know that the farmers spend a huge amount of money on generators for watering the farms,” he said.
The devastating floods earlier this year put many farmers even deeper into debt. Liban Elmi Ali in Tabantaab village, told Radio Ergo he has been unable to pay back the loan of $600 he borrowed last year to finance his farm. He is now optimistic about the crops he is growing with solar irrigation and hope to repay back the loan as soon as he harvests. “We received this equipment at a time of great need, when I and many other people were on the brink of dropping out of farming, because of the high costs involved in farming,” Liban said. Liban is sharing a solar-powered irrigation kit with 30 neighbouring farmers. They rotate the equipment amongst them so that five farmers use it in one day.
Two Injured In A Grenade Attack On The Residence Of A Women Leader
11 October – Source: Jowhar News – 82 Words
Two people were injured with a grenade attack in the home of a women activist and leader, in Baidoa city, on Wednesday night. Unknown assailants attacked the home of the chairperson of Baay Women organization with a grenade, injuring two people; a security guard and a young girl. The attack comes amid increased election campaign activities in the city. The victims were immediately rushed to Baidoa Hospital for treatment. Police have launched an investigation into the incident but no arrests were made.
11 October – Source: The National – 356 Words
DP World has launched the first stage of its Berbera port expansion, designed to equip the Somaliland port for major vessels and transform it into one of Africa’s pre-eminent facilities in the breakaway region. A ground breaking ceremony with Somaliland’s vice president, Abdirahman Saylici and DP World executives took place in the small coastal town at the tip of the Horn of Africa on Wednesday.
“Our aim is to make this an important regional hub for the maritime industry in the Horn of Africa,” DP World Chairman and CEO, Sultan bin Sulayem said at the official signing on Thursday. Somaliland hopes the port expansion – which was first agreed in 2016 – will boost its economy by attracting other international investors, reduce unemployment and set it on the road to independence from Somalia.
Somaliland, devoid of government support and international investment for decades, is one of the world’s poorest regions. The move, however has attracted the ire of the Somali government. In March, its parliament in Mogadishu declared the deal “null and void”, but Hargeisa was unmoved. “Somalia cannot interfere in our affairs,” warned Musa Behi Abdi, President of Somaliland, on Wednesday night.
The official contract signing on Thursday laid the groundwork for the first phase of the $101 million investment to expand the port yard by 250,000 square metres and modernise its facilities. Total investment of the two phases will reach $442 million. The port’s current capacity is around 150,000 twenty-foot equivalent units [a measure of ships container carrying capacity] and is set to expand to 450,000 TEUs once development is complete.
The firm will also create an economic free zone in the surrounding area, targeting a range of companies in sectors from logistics to manufacturing, and a $100m road-based economic corridor connecting Berbera with Wajaale in Ethiopia. Long term DP World partner Shafa Al Nahda contracting will construct the port. DP World holds a 51 per cent stake in the Berbera port, while Ethiopia holds 19 per cent and Somaliland the rest. In recent years, DP world has stepped up its investments in Africa in order to capture the continent’s growth potential.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“As most shops accept mobile money, it also offers beneficiaries more flexibility, and avoids a requirement to travel, which can in turn minimise risk of security incidents. Nevertheless, there are some considerable risks in the mobile money system.”
11 October – Source: The Conversation – 946 Words
A recent World Bank report showed that Somalia has one of the most active mobile money markets in the world, outpacing most other countries in Africa. It’s even superseded the use of cash in the country of 14 million people. Victor Owuor asked Tim Kelly, an information and communications technology policy specialist at the World Bank and the report’s author, to explain the findings and what they mean for the country.
Mobile money initially started as a simple exchange of airtime credit between users. Over ten years ago, mobile network operators formalised this by offering mobile money services. It was quickly perceived as a convenient and safe way of making transactions and storing money. Unlike Kenya’s famous Mpesa mobile money transfer services, Somalia’s transfers are mainly available in US dollars.
Though the companies offering mobile money services are mobile network operators, as in Kenya, they are increasingly forming part of large conglomerates that also offer banking and money transfer services. When looking at the total value of transactions, Mpesa’s are about $ 10 million a month while all mobile transactions in Kenya come to $ 3.17 billion a month.
In Somalia transactions are worth about $ 2.7 billion a month. Several factors have encouraged the impressive uptake of mobile money: Many Somalis own mobile phones – about nine out of ten Somalis, above the age of 16 own one. Nearly 60% of Somalia’s population is nomadic, or semi-nomadic, and move around a great deal, to find adequate grazing and water for their livestock.
So mobile money suits their lifestyle and is also used to facilitate trade. Concerns over the high prevalence of fake money, absence of monetary regulation, capacity, and limited access to traditional banking services also make mobile money an effective substitute for cash. Today, mobile money also facilitates vast remittance flows which are critical to most Somali households due to a lack of opportunities in the Somali labour market.
Taking advantage of this trend, remittance companies are increasingly partnering with mobile operators to transfer funds directly to recipients’ mobile money accounts. Our household survey data suggests that about 73% of Somalis above the age of 16 use mobile money services at least once a month – though most use it a few times a month, and high income earners use it a lot more. About 155 million mobile money transactions take place every month.