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Africa
Economic success in Somaliland
The breakaway territory is hoping that with prosperity will come independence.
Last Modified: 20 May 2007 18:01 GMT

Somaliland's port in Berberra is the centre
of the country's economy

Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow reports from the breakaway territory of Somaliland, finding that stability has built a strong economy.

Somaliland booms.

On the dusty streets of the market place in the Hargeisa, the capital, goods are displayed.

Money-changers also do a brisk trade, converting between shillings, dollars and euros.

They are cashing in on relative stability in the enclave to build solid businesses.

Goods in the market are brought in through the port of Berberra. The port itself is the backbone of the territory's economy and the main source of revenue for the government.

This is the port of Berberra, the single most important facility in Somaliland, it accounts for about 80 per cent of national revenue.

Strategically located off the Gulf of Aden, which connects this part of Africa to the Middle East, it is the port of choice for many.

Ali Omar is in charge of the port's management.

"This port is important not only to Somaliland but the whole region," he says. 

"Goods brought in through here find there way to Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and sometimes even Uganda."

Two-way aid

If the docks of Berberra oil the wheels of the government, then it is remittances from abroad that keep the private sector moving.

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Many families survive on money sent back by relatives in Europe, the US and the Gulf who fled during during the 1991 civil war.

The government estimates that the diaspora sends back about $500m to Somaliland every year.

Yet Somaliland's population also sends money to their relatives abroad, when the going gets tough for them.

As one woman, Amina, says:

"I am sending money to my mother who lives in Canada. I want her to come and stay with us during the summer. I have up to seven relatives living in Canada. We support each other."

Optimism

Somaliland's economy has flourished in a
secure and stable environment 
The large flows of capital have contributed to the rapid economic recovery in post-war Somaliland.

In the capital, multi-storey buildings are springing up.

The livestock sector has traditionally been the backbone of the Somaliland economy.

A seven-year ban on export of Somali livestock to the Gulf had a crippling effect on both the rural and urban economies.

However, a recent lifting of this ban has provided much optimism.

Somaliland's people for now depend on their more predictable sources of income to survive.

And for now they seem to succeed.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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