28 September – Source: Asharq Al-Awsat – 258 Words
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz discussed regional issues at al-Salam Palace with visiting President of Somalia Mohammed Abdullah Farmajo. During the meeting, King Salman and Farmajo reviewed relations between the two countries and various fields of cooperation and discussed latest developments in the region. The talks were attended by Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Governor of Makkah Region Prince Khaled al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz, Member of the Cabinet and Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Minister of State Prince Mansour bin Meteb bin Abdulaziz, Minister of State Ibrahim Abdulaziz al-Assaf, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Minister of Finance Mohammed bin Abdallah al-Jadaan, and Saudi Ambassador to Kenya Mohammed Abdulghani Khayat, Somali Foreign Minister Yousef Garaad Omar, Somali Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dahir Mohamed Geele, and President of Somalia’s Adviser Bilal Othman Mohammed.
Earlier, King Salman held a luncheon in honor of the visiting president and his accompanying delegation. In other news, King Salman received at al-Salam Palace UK Member of Parliament of the Conservative Party Leo Docherty accompanied by a number of members of the Parliament. During the meeting, they reviewed the relations between the two countries and prospects of bilateral cooperation, especially in the parliamentary field. The audience was attended by Speaker of the Shura Council Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh, Minister of State and Cabinet Member Musaed bin Mohammed al-Aiban, Minister of State and Cabinet Member Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz al-Assaf, Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, and British Ambassador to the Kingdom Simon Collis.
- King Salman Receives Somali President (Asharq Al-Awsat)
- Operate On Realistic Revenue Projections IMF Urges Somalia (Goobjoog News)
- Conference Between Federal Finance Minister And Regional States Finance Ministers Concluded In Garowe (Dhacdo.com)
- Weeks Left To Save East Africa’s Starving Children – World Vision (Reuters)
- World Tourism Day: Tourists Are Heading To Somalia To See The Ruins Of A Two-decade Civil War (Quartz Media)
Operate On Realistic Revenue Projections, IMF Urges Somalia
28 September – Source: Goobjoog News – 317 Words
The IMF has called on Somalia to align its budgetary expenditure with realistic revenue projections or confirmed grants to avoid accumulation of domestic arrears. The global lender noted Somalia’s domestic arrears had accumulated numerous times in the past owing to budgets to non-viable revenue projections echoing a World Bank warning in July in its second Economic Update report. Following a five day assessment of the country’s economic outlook past week, IMF staff stressed the need for fiscal discipline and fiscal performance. They recommended speedy implementation of the revenue measures in the budget particularly the sales tax on telecommunications and hotels.
The government in its 2017 Appropriations Act projected an expected earnings of $100 million annually from telecommunications companies once the Telecommunications Act which was passed by parliament last month comes into effect. Currently, telecommunication companies pay a negotiated accumulated tax of $5 million annually. The World Bank noted in its Economic Update that Somalia’s recurrent expenditure levels were way too high subjecting the country into perennial deficits. “On the expenditure side, recurrent expenditures account for almost all expenditure, with capital spending accounting for just 3 percent of total spending in 2016. Unrealistic revenue projections, coupled with weak expenditure controls, contribute to the accumulation of arrears.”
Somalia’s tax revenue as percentage of GDP in 2015 stood at 1.9 way below Sub-Saharan Africa average which stood at 17.9% in the same period. Afghanistan and Burundi recorded 10.1% and 10.3% in the same period respectively according the World Bank. Parliament endorsed a $260 million 2017 national budget in May. Somalia’s domestic revenue stands at 2% as a ratio of the country’s GDP. Economic growth for 2017 will remain at 2.4 per cent while inflation stands at 2.9 per cent, IMF said. During the first half of this year, the fiscal position weakened. Lower-than-expected domestic revenue and expenditure pressures resulted in a fiscal deficit in June.
Conference Between Federal Finance Minister And Regional States Finance Ministers Concluded In Garowe
28 September – Source: Dhacdo.com – 106 Words
A conference between Federal Finance Minister and Regional States Finance Ministers was concluded in Garowe. The meeting discussed a number of issues regarding the country’s financial and economic situation such as the unification of tax revenues. The event was attended by finance ministers from Puntland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Southwest, and Jubbaland.
At the end of the meeting, a nine-point communique was released. The ministers agreed to harmonize taxes on cigarettes, Khat, and international departure. They also agreed to strengthen their cooperation and relations. Minister Abdirahman Duale Beyle hailed the agreement as a success and announced that the next phase of the meeting will be held in Kismayo.
27 September – Source: Reuters – 315 Words
More than 800,000 children risk death by starvation in East Africa and aid agencies have just weeks – months at most – to save them, World Vision charity said on Wednesday. Conflict in South Sudan and Somalia, and prolonged drought across the region have left more than 15 million children in need of food, water, healthcare, education or protection, said the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF.
Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya have witnessed a spike in hunger levels among children in recent weeks, with several areas reporting that more than a third of their children have health problems as a result, World Vision said in a statement. “We are still in the danger zone. More than 800,000 children remain severely malnourished and are at risk of starving to death,” said Christopher Hoffman, World Vision’s humanitarian response director in East Africa. “We have months, maybe only weeks, to stop this from happening,” he said, as World Vision – the world’s largest international children’s charity – launched its second appeal in six months for the region. “We’re seeing emaciated children, nearly skeletons, lying in pain in hospital beds … We’re seeing mothers unable to breastfeed because they are malnourished themselves,” he said.
Famine struck parts of South Sudan earlier this year, and there is a high risk that it could return there and develop in Somalia, U.N. agencies said earlier this month. “The hunger crisis is wreaking havoc on 24 million people (in East Africa) – more than the population of Berlin, London, Chicago and Bangkok combined,” said Hoffman. Much of Somalia is experiencing emergency hunger levels, which is one level below famine on an internationally-recognised scale of hunger. Drought has forced more than 890,000 people to leave their homes between November and August, on top of 160,000 who fled fighting. The displaced are particularly vulnerable to hunger, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Baffo was born in Mogadishu and studied tourism management in Malaysia. He founded SOMTA in 2012 as a nonprofit dedicated to making tourism accessible to all Somalis. Yasir says the country’s natural beauty, its good weather, white sands, its mountains, and rivers combine to give it a head start. To jumpstart his idea of reviving domestic tourism, Baffo organized tours for young Somalis outside of Mogadishu.”
27 September – Source: Quartz Media – 1223 Words
For a trip to the Puntland region in northeastern Somalia, Christian Matzenauer didn’t know what to expect. After traveling from Dusseldorf, Germany to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia he flew to the Somali city of Bosaso in January, drove along the coast to the towns of Alula and Bareeda, before finally arriving at Tohen. There, at the apex where the Horn of Africa meets the Indian Ocean, Matzenauer walked to see the Guardafui lighthouse: a 19-meter tall, abandoned tower built by the Italians during the early 1920s. Guardafui’s lighthouse is also unique in that it features a stone ax blade, a symbol that represented authority in Fascist Italy. Built during Benito Mussolini’s rule, it is one of the last known standing fascist monuments in the world.
Somalia’s reputation as a tourist destination with pristine beaches faded after the start of the civil war in 1991. Somalia is not your everyday vacation spot. It is one of the world’s most dangerous countries (pdf, pg. 9), plagued by political infighting, violence, and terrorism. The United Nations World Tourism Organization has never recorded the number of people who visit the country since it started collecting data on tourism in 1995. Governments across the world also advise their citizens to avoid traveling to the country, for fear of kidnapping or attack. Somalia’s reputation as a tourist destination with pristine beaches completely disintegrated following the start of the civil war in 1991.
Security is still a major challenge, with the terrorist group al-Shabaab attacking almost all major hotels and restaurants in Mogadishu. Between 2007 and 2014, the al-Qaeda-linked group has carried out more than 1,700 attacks in and out of Somalia, killing more than 4,000 and wounding the same number, according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism. But that isn’t stopping tourists like Matzenauer from flying there every year. The tourists come as the nation recovers from decades of civil war. Since 2011, a new central government has led the country, and a semblance of normal life is evident in the opening of new businesses, hospitals and schools. The hospitality industry is also picking up with the opening or renovation of hotels, restaurants, and pizza parlors. “It was the most fascinating experience I had,” Matzenauer said. The trip to Guardafui was his second to the country after visiting the capital Mogadishu in 2013.
The process of traveling to Somalia is easier said than done. Matzenauer went with Untamed Borders, a British adventure travel company that takes tourists to off-the-beaten-track destinations. These include Afghanistan, Pakistan, northeast India and Somalia. During the trip, the clients are escorted by high-level personal security, a translator, and a fixer to show them around. Since the first trip in 2012, the company’s co-founder James Willcox says they have guided 39 trips to Mogadishu, the same number for Somaliland, and one trip to the Puntland region. In a city like Mogadishu, bedeviled by war and filled with bullet-pocked buildings, the mundane, day-to-day activities, he says, can leave indelible memories for a visitor. “Danger is not the reason for what we do,” Willcox says. “What we try and do is show places for the kind of complex, multifaceted places they are.” In Somalia, he says, tourists pay a visit to the popular Lido beach, take a boat ride on the Indian Ocean, visit the fish market and go see the lone deserted and destroyed cathedral.
.@HarunMaruf: Police in Mog find publishing house used for printing Al-Shabab leaflets and fake docs; suspect pleads his innocence to the Minister of Secu
.@DalsanFM #Somalia Marks First World Tourism Day In 27 yrs Amid Rising Interest By Foreign Tourists #wcd2017http://radiodalsan.com/en/
.@MoPIED_Somalia: Signing of Record of Discussions on Technical Cooperation Project with Somalia: First new technical cooperation p..
.@Goobjoognews: OPERATE ON realistic revenue projections, IMF urges Somalia –
IMAGE OF THE DAY
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Saudi-arabia.