Somalia: Somaliland President Musa Bihi Abdi Visits Guinea

Somaliland President Musa Bihi Abdi is in Guinea to strengthen bilateral and economic ties between the two nations.

The Somaliland head of State visited the West African nation on President Alpha Conde's invitation.

During the visit, Presidents Bihi and Conde pledged to promote economic cooperation as the Horn of Africa nation builds its case for recognition.

Mr Bihi, who has been on a shuttle diplomacy, has also visited Ethiopia, Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates.

Somaliland, which already enjoys cordial relationship with other East African counties like Kenya, is keen to market itself as a strong economy in the Horn of Africa region.


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Unlike Somalia, which continues to battle Al Shabaab militants, Somaliland enjoys peace.

This explains why Kenyans are seeking job opportunities in the Horn of Africa nation. Many Kenyan teachers, hotel managers and architects now work in the country.

Somaliland minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Yassin Haji Mohamoud said President Bihi's mission in Guinea is to build closer economic ties with West African countries.

"The two countries will be discussing matters of mutual interest during our stay in Guinea," the Mr Mohamoud said.


Guinea has an estimated quarter of the world's reserves of bauxite, more than 1.8 billion metric tons of high-grade iron ore, diamond and gold deposits, and uranium. Somaliland has iron ore, uranium, platinum, gold, copper and manganese.

Recent geological surveys indicate that the country has huge deposits of gemstones, from emerald to aquamarine, ruby, sapphire as well as garnet, quartz and opal. It also has oil and gas.

Two international oil exploration companies, the British company Genel and the UAE based RAK Gas will begin drilling their first exploration wells in the country early next year.

Somaliland Finance Minister Saad Ali Shire, who is part of the delegation to Guinea, said they hope to learn how the country has modelled its mining sector. The country is relying on its untapped business opportunities to attract African investors.


Somaliland has an 900km coastline with some of the richest seafood and marine resources as well as fertile agricultural lands.

But the economic transformation of Somaliland is already underway with the $450 million investment by the UAE global logistics company DP World currently transforming Berbera Port in Somaliland into a regional transportation hub.

The country's economy is currently dependent on remittances from its diaspora community which provides 55 per cent of the GDP.

The country exports livestock. President Bihi aims to foster deeper and closer links with African countries on the basis of trade, business opportunities.

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