Somaliland business community members raised US$8 million at a fast-breaking Afur invitation the President of the Republic of Somaliland threw for leading business people, Waaheen Fire-related committees, and fund-raisers Friday.
At the pre-dinner Afur break, where business leaders such as Dahabshiil, Telesom, Oomaar, MSG (Mohamed Aw Saeed Geeddi), Al Harbi, Shukri, Waraabe, Red Sea, Bahsane, Sompower, Al Ikhwa, Shaafici, and many more attended, participants lost no time in calling out respective contributions to the appeal.
Keynote speakers, including Abdirashid Duale of Dahabshiil Group (above), all emphasized how important and life-saving any amount committed towards the re-building of the burnt-out Waaheen market was. Equally, speakers pointed out, it was of utmost urgency that contributors consider the plight of the thousands whose livelihood depended on the market whether they be stalls owners or employees, and the cumulative number of dependents looking up to them for their livelihood, schooling, health needs and the like.
Mayor Abdikarim Ahmed Moghe called on all Somalilanders and – in fact – on all Somalis to cease demeaning the noble issue of rebuilding the market through unfounded propaganda issues and finger-pointing accusations.
The Mayor said it was time to stay united, time to abandon petty differences.
President Bihi, speaking at the end of the event, urged participants at the event, Somalilanders in country and abroad, and the international community to pool efforts and not rest until the estimated US$2 billion loss at the market blaze on April 1 was realized.
President Bihi profusely the Somalia community at the head of whom was federal Somalia President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Rooble, and the Somalian business community of Mogadishu. Together, they pledged US$3 million, augmented by a US$11.7 million the World Bank previously earmarked for the Somaliland Republic but was held back under dubious circumstances by Mogadishu, which was released to the Waaheen market rebuilding accounts opened.
President Bihi urged the rest of the five Somali-inhabited areas that would have made up the 1960 union to rise up to the occasion.