Microlending Reaches Somalia

Somalia is not known for business development and access to formal banking is basically nonexistent for a large sector of the population. 
Seven out of ten people are under 30 years old. Unemployment is about 65%.  A lingering civil war and violent confrontations between insurgent groups and the skeletal government make planning difficult.  In spite of these challenges, the Minnesota-based American Refugee Committee  is working to advance the Somali economy. ARC has teamed up with a leading money transfer service and a Qatar-based social enterprise to create Somalia’s first micro-lending program. The program will provide money and offer business training to people hoping to work in fishing, carpentry, tailoring and other small businesses. The Kaah Islamic Micro-finance Service, or KIMS, has opened in Hargeisa, Somaliland.  The American Refugee Committee’s Said Sheik-Abdi was recently in East Africa.  He stopped by KFAI and talked with Paul Brohaugh about how micro-lending can make a difference in Somalia. 
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