October 5, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

UN-backed Innovation Challenge Opens In Somalia

04 October – Source: Xinhuanet – 427 Words

A UN-backed innovation camp is underway in Mogadishu with 55 young Somali men and women brainstorming on best business ideas to improve the dairy industry. A statement from the UN Development Program (UNDP) issued on Wednesday said participants in the first ever “Innovate for Somalia” will develop specific solutions to dairy industry challenges, which will then be reviewed, fine-tuned and developed into a business model.

UNDP Somalia Country Director, George Conway, congratulated the government on its leadership in making the event happen. “These kinds of processes must involve broad collaboration between the Federal Government, between civil society and between the private sector, to bring us all together and think through what we can do differently,” Conway said. “We need new thinking, new approaches to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and we rely on the youth of Somalia to articulate, bright, smart, new ideas that are bankable, that can create employment, that can help to reduce poverty in your country,” he added.

The social innovation event being run by two ministries is part of a series of innovation camps which will be held across Somalia and which will give young Somalis between the ages of 19 and 30 a chance to come up with innovative solutions to address development challenges in Somalia. According to the UNDP, such business ideas or prototypes might be the establishment of a new company, a new NGO, or expanding the work of existing organizations with a scale-up plan.

Key Headlines

  • UN-backed Innovation Challenge Opens In Somalia (Xinhuanet)
  • Bomb Blast Near Jowhar Town Leaves At Least 2 Dead (Shabelle News)
  • Puntland President Abdiweli Gaas Awards State Police And Marine Force (Goobjoog News)
  • Somali National Army Capture New Areas From Al-Shabaab Militants In Bay region (SONNA)
  • Italy-Somalia Military Parts Trafficking Gang Busted (Ansa.it)
  • New Communication Act To Contribute 11 Percent to Somalia’s GDP (Somali Update)


Bomb Blast Near Jowhar Town Leaves At Least 2 Dead

04 October – Source: Shabelle News – 99 Words

At least two civilians were killed and several others wounded in a remote-controlled landmine blast near Jowhar town, the regional capital of Middle Shabelle province. The explosion has resulted from an explosive device hidden in a water container left on the banks of the river at Munkay area, according to a resident, who spoke to Radio Shabelle.

Somali security forces cordoned off the scene following the bomb explosion and launched a manhunt in the area, but no arrest has been reported so far. No group has so far claimed responsibility of the blast, and the target still remains unclear.

Puntland President Abdiweli Gaas Awards State Police And Marine Force

04 October – Source: Goobjoog News – 163 Words

Puntland State President Abdiweli Ali Gas has praised police in Bari region and the maritime force for their efforts in preventing terror attacks on the state. Awarding the officers with certificates of honour on Wednesday, Gaas said the officers had done an exemplary job and others paid the ultimate price in ensuring security of the northern state. “This event is particular for the staff who have managed to arrest criminals including those transporting bombs to arm Puntland people” he said.

Gaas also paid tribute to officers who have died in the line of duty noting his administration will put in efforts to prevent any future attacks. The officers, 64 in number are drawn from various units including commanders, deputies and private officers. The event which took place in the presidential palace in Bosaso was also attended by the governor of Bari region, commissioner of Bosaso town, the Commander General of Puntland state military Said Mohamed Hirsi and the Bosaso police commander among others.

Somali National Army Capture New Areas From Al-Shabaab Militants In Bay region

04 October – Source: Somali National News Agency (SONNA) – 109 Words

Somali National Army on Wednesday have captured several locations and freed civilian hostages under the militant group Al-Shabaab near the town of Baidoa in Bay region, the administrative capital of Southwest State in Somalia.

Sidow Ali, Chief of Goof-Gaduud Burey told Somali National News Agency, SONNA that SNA’s 46 Division carried out the operation at War-gaduud Shanta about 35 KM to Baidoa town. “We captured several areas from Al-Shabaab militants, we also rescued and freed 6 hostages all (civilians) during the operation, we will still pursue them”, Mr. Ali said. He added that the operation will continue until all areas under Al-Shabaab militants is liberated completely.


Italy-Somalia Military Parts Trafficking Gang Busted

04 October – Source: Ansa.it – 69 Words

Italian police on Wednesday busted a criminal organisation trafficking military parts from Italy to Somalia. Three Somalis and one Italian were arrested in Florence, Pisa and Trapani. In many cases the parts were taken apart to resemble ordinary parts and then reassembled in Somalia, police said. The gang allegedly relied on a network of collaborators including truckers, junkyard operators and shipping agents in Tuscany, Campania, Calabria, Emilia-Romagna and Sicily.


“The World Bank’s ICT Sector Support Program has been providing expert technical assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia, the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Technology, and the Ministry of Finance, closely supporting them since 2013. The program was itself initially supported by the State and Peacebuilding Fund and, more recently, by the Somalia Multi-Partner Fund and Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Fund.”

New Communication Act To Contribute 11 Percent to Somalia’s GDP

04 October – Source: Somali Update – 793 Words

After more than two and a half decades of crippling conflict, Somalia faces considerable challenge of rebuilding its economy and institutions. This process took an important step as Somalia’s President signed into law Communications Act providing the tools to regulate a sector that, until recently, had made only a limited, formal contribution to the Somali Treasury, but could potentially contribute as much as 11% of Somalia’s GDP. Somalia’s new president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, was elected to office in February 2017. In August, the draft of the Communications Act received approval from both the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament, having been halted three times at those stages during Somalia’s internationally backed Federal Government, which was first established in 2012.

Compared to other countries in Africa, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have experienced relatively high levels of penetration and low prices in Somalia, with private enterprise leading the way. But while this progress is significant, the absence of any formal regulatory framework or independent regulatory body had resulted in uncertainty, creating vulnerabilities for the development and scalability of ICTs across the country.

Somalia is estimated to have over six million mobile phone users (of a population of about 14 million) but lags behind from most African countries in terms of international capacity, national connectivity, and Internet take-up. Mobile money has also proved highly popular, with some 72% of Somalis over the age of 16 using it, and the total value of transactions taking place in it amounting to about US$ 2.7 billion a month.

But, in the case of fraud, consumers have previously had no legal recourse to appeal. The lack of a solid legal framework for the ICT sector is a significant risk for the economy, specifically in areas of remittances, mobile banking, mobile-money services, and mobile-telecom services. By fostering a sense of certainty, and by promoting investment and infrastructure, a clear legal framework will result in major benefits for the people who use the ICT services now considered critical to Somalia’s economy.

The new law should mean Somali consumers benefit from an increasing array of mobile phone services, such as roaming, interconnection, and secure mobile banking services. The law protects consumer rights and provides the basis for issuing licenses to mobile operators and levying taxes, generating additional tax revenue for the government.

The possibility of interconnection among operators that opens the way for international roaming was previously held back by the fact that none of the operators had internationally accepted licenses. It creates the basis for the registration of SIM cards—an essential step for national security—and provides protection for national ICT assets, such as the +252-country code and the .so domain for internet addresses. The World Bank’s ICT Sector Support Program has been providing expert technical assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia, the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Technology, and the Ministry of Finance, closely supporting them since 2013.


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