Nairobi, Kenya, March 11, 2015 –
The World Bank Group is supporting private sector development in Somalia, especially the development of smaller businesses, to help the country recover from conflict, create jobs and opportunities, and lay the foundation for future growth and stability.
As part of this strategy, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the World Bank co-hosted the Somali Investment Forum, a three-day event held in Nairobi that brought together investors, entrepreneurs, government officials and development intuitions to discuss ways of boosting investment in Somalia.
The forum was also hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, and Shurakko, a non-profit investment promotion agency.
Manuel Moses, IFC Country Manager for Kenya, said, “The key to unlocking the potential and sustainability of the Somali people lies in a dynamic private sector, working closely with, and supported by, a strong government. IFC is committed to helping Somalia shake off its troubled past and is working closely with public and private sector partners in the country to launch programs that will boost small business growth, and create jobs.”
The Somali Investment Forum featured a trade show open to Somali-based businesses and business support services. Discussions during the event focused on sector-specific challenges and opportunities, youth in business, women in business, and accessing support from the large Somali diaspora, among other topics.
As part of their wider support for Somalia, IFC and the World Bank last year launched a program to catalyze investment climate reforms in the country, where businesses have singled out access to finance as the major obstacle to growth. Few formal businesses exist in Somalia, and few pay taxes, leaving the government heavily reliant on customs duties to generate revenue.
IFC is also supporting an improved public-private dialogue process in Somalia and is in the early stages of launching its Business Edge management training program and an Islamic Leasing program in the country. Islamic leasing enables SMEs to leverage an initial cash deposit with the inherent value of the asset being purchased acting as collateral.
IFC’s Conflict Affected States in Africa Initiative, which helps conflict affected countries rebuild their private sectors, is active in Somalia and in nine other countries in sub Saharan Africa. In Somalia, CASA is supported by Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark.
The World Bank recently redoubled its efforts to support growth in Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa region with a $1.8 billion initiative announced in 2014, when Jim Yong Kim became the first World Bank Group President to visit Somalia in more than forty years.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit