Microlending Reaches Somalia
June 12, 2014
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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