WAR RAVAGED Somalia plans to set up its own stock exchange to be based in Nairobi to help tap investments aimed at reviving the troubled country's economy.
Representatives of the Somalia government and the Somalia Stock Exchange Investment Corporation yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nairobi Securities Exchange to help in technical expertise needed to set up a bourse.
Somalia which has suffered economically and socially due to over two decades of war and civil strife has never had a stock market. "Initially the exchange could be based here in Nairobi but as the situation improves it could move to a suitable place in Somalia," said NSE boss Peter Mwangi. NSE will have the primarily help in technical development of the Somalia stock exchange and also help in developing a business plan for the planned exchange.
Mwangi said that Kenya was helping Somalia just as it had done with other countries in the region like Tanzania and Rwanda where it also played a key role in setting up of their stock markets. "Kenya is also the most Somali friendly country in the world," added Mwangi and as such, he said the onus is on the country to help. "There is a large Somali business presence in Nairobi, we are targeting Somali businesses inside and outside the country," explained the deputy permanent representative of Somalia to the UN Idd Mohamed.
Mohamed revealed that key firms that are likely to support the Somali bourse are private banks, oil exploration firms and others in the energy sector, telecommunication and Hawallas (money transfer institutions) that are vibrant in Somali and dominated by the community of that country. According to Mohamed, Kenya is also Somalia's largest business partner hence the cooperation for the bourse set up. It is however not clear how soon this stock market will be operational. "The sooner the better," said Mohamed adding that the government of Somalia is currently working hard to ensure that the economy of that country is revived.