By Abdirisak Itaqile
Hargeisa, (Somaliland Monitor) — Amid cheers and applause from the gathered officials and guest, Somaliland president Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud “Silanyo” has on Sunday officially cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of Dahabshiil International Bank headquarters in Hargeisa, the first commercial bank in Somaliland’s history.
The inaugural ceremony attracted a large number of dignitaries including Dahabshiil Group CEO Abdirashid Duale, members of the cabinet, Chairpersons of the National political Parties, parliamentarians, traditional leaders, religious scholars, intellectuals and distinguished guests greeted the Somaliland leader.
In his remarks, President Silanyo expressed his delight to officiate the inaugural ceremony of the country’s biggest investment since its inception in 1991, where he lauded Dahabshiil Group’s contribution to the economic development of the country.
“I am very happy to attend the grand opening of Dahabshiil Bank International headquarters , Dahabshiil Group has played an important role in the development and progress made in the country since the time of the civil war , today the opening of the Dahabshiil Islamic bank hails a new era and I believe it contribute to the economic development of this nation ,Somaliland needs investment in order to grow our economy and increase the business opportunities ,I do hereby take this opportunity by inviting both local and foreign investors to come invest in the country,” President Silanyo said in his opening speech.
Located in the heart of the capital, the $12 million brand new and relatively ultramodern building is much more than just a bank building. It will also house the first truly modern mall in Hargeisa, which is substantial in size.
Besides the bank and modern mall which also being launched the building will also house other businesses and facilities including a state-of-the-art hotel, conveniently situated in central Hargeisa. In this way, the Dahabshiil company ventures into the world of investment in high-tech hence encouraging businesses to thrive and grow in Somaliland, in a truly modern environment. Neither the sun nor the rain will get in the way of business in the new building, which will also be a safe and secure place to shop and do business in.
Dahabshiil, Africa’s largest money transfer business, expanded into banking where Dahabshiil International Bank, a full service bank headquartered in Djibouti with branches across the Somali territories offers banking, mobile banking and debit card service.
Mr. Abdirashid Dualeh , the CEO of Dahabshiil speaking at the opening ceremony of the new Dahabshiil International Bank headquarters narrated the history of Dahabshiil business.
“This is an emotional day for Dahabshiil. The business started more than forty years ago, as a small shop in Burao, and now we are launching a commercial bank, mall and other ventures in this beautiful building, the first of its kind in Somaliland. Unlike some Somalis who invest their money outside, today is proof that we invest our money here, a show of faith in Somaliland, its stability, its good environment to do business in, and its future,” Dahabshiil CEO Abdirashid Daule said during his speech of the inaugural ceremony.
“I hope it will serve as an inspiration for all Somalis, to show what you can do if you work hard and have good ideas, even if you start with nothing, and even – if like us – you lose everything and have to start again from scratch. Aim high, but always keep your feet on the ground. Also, I hope the new building will serve as a launch pad for other Somali businesses. Come and join us!” Abdirashid Duale added.
Dahabshiil CEO Abdirashid Mohamed Saed Duale went on to say: “A next phase of Dahabshiil Bank’s development will be ATM machines, which should revolutionize life here. We have signed a contract with MasterCard to offer credit cards to our clients soon. Many people in Somaliland have never had a credit card in their life (and possibly most of them don’t know what a credit card is!). Opening such a project in Hargeisa is a truly special day for us, but I would like to remind you that we are already open elsewhere – from our headquarters in Djibouti, to Muqdisho and Bosaaso. Who knows where we will open next?!?! Kismayo, Kenya, Burao, London.
Dahabshiil Group CEO Mr. Abdirashid Mohamed Saed Duale also stated that Dahabshiil Group invested and helped more than 700 businesses enabling them to start and succeed.
“Although today is the official launch; we have already invested and helped more than 700 businesses, enabling those who would not previously have had the opportunity to get off the ground,” Abdirashid Duale said.
Finally, Mr. Duale called international community and international banks to work with Dahabshiil Group in order to help community develop. “All of this creates jobs, enables people to start businesses and helps community develop. To make this work better and faster, we would like others including the international community and international banks to work with us. But what makes me most proud today is to be launching our bank – and this beautiful new building. It is proof of what a place that only twenty years ago was destroyed by war, especially this city of Hargeisa which was literally reduced to rubble, can do – if its people are resilient, hardworking and dynamic.
About Dahabshiil Group
Dahabshiil is Africa’s largest money transfer business, with branches in 126 countries worldwide and over 5,000 employees. It is one of the most important multinational businesses in the Horn of Africa, which provides a vital money transfer lifeline to those living in many countries across Africa and beyond. For over 40 years it has provided a valuable lifeline to many in East Africa and the Horn of Africa and it remains committed to its original values of trust, reliability, integrity and customer-focus
In addition to serving individual customers, Dahabshiil offers money transfer and bank services to local businesses and some the world’s leading humanitarian organisations, including the United Nations, Oxfam and Save the Children.
Dahabshiil is headquartered in London, where it opened its first office in 1989. It is core business is remittance services; Dahabshiil’s portfolio includes Dahabshiil Bank International, a full service bank headquartered in Djibouti with branches across the Somali territories, and a leading telecommunication services provider, Somtel.