Somaliland: State and Telesom Agree on New Zaad Service Guidelines


While Dahabshil submits letter acquiring to immediate implementation of presidential decree on e-banking limitations

Telesom CEO Abdikarim Mohamed Eid at his joint press briefing with minister Mahmoud Abdi Hashi after meeting at the Somaliland presidency in Hargeisa

By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- Telesom company shall comply with a Presidential decree limiting the amount of foreign currency transferable electronic.
This follows a meeting between the presidency and Telesom company in Hargeisa where discussions related to new measures put in place by the government as a means of reigning in the recent high devaluation of the local currency.
The parley was necessitated by controversies surrounding a directive issued by the head of state recently in which the government establishes new guidelines for e-banking transactions geared towards enhancing use of the local currency as a means to arresting the recent high rate of exchange that saw the Somaliland shilling devalue against the dollar exorbitantly
At a post meeting joint presser by presidency minister Mahmoud Abdi Hashi and Telesom CEO Abdikarim Mohamed Eid it was revealed that the early bone of contention relating to full implementation of the presidential decree has been resolved amicably and a omitted of experts shall be established to advise on technicalities and oversee implementation.
“Apart from the committee, the state has also availed Telesom ample time to reconfigure its Zaad service server “ the two officials concurred
According to the presidency minister the presidential decree has been construed by many to mean that the government has banned the country’s two electronic banking services of Zaad and E-Dahab operated by Telesom and Dahabshil respectively.
“Contrary the directive only wants to limit the amount of money transferable electronic by the two e-banking services to $100 and above in foreign currency while all figures less than $100 are transacted in the local Somaliland shilling” said minsterHashi
Acknowledging that the two companies operating e-banking services namely Telesom and Dahabshil were major contributors and back one to the Somaliland Economy the presidency minister informed all and sundry that the government had at no time deliberated on curtailing any of the two companies services.
Said he, “ The government only intends to protect citizens against rising inflation by bringing down the rate of exchange between the dollar and local shilling as well as institutionalize the wide use of the Somaliland shilling as only legal tender in the country”
Revealing that Dahabshil Group of companies has submitted a letter to the government in which its e-banking service of e-Dahab operated by its subsidiary Somtel shall comply with the new guidelines, Minister Hashi said that the meeting with Telesom and subsequent agreements shall see blanket compliance nationwide.
As for Telesom its initial objection was not to do with the new electronic cash transfer limitations imposed by the government but on the timeframe accorded to comply and implement.
“Our main issue was the 48 hours deadline given to reconfigure our electronic banking server thence facilitate the transaction of figures below $100 in local currency through our Zaad service” said the companies CEO Abdikarim Mohamed Eid.
Stating that discussions with the government have ended in complete agreement Abdikarim M Eid said that the new guidelines shall be implemented as soon as the Zaad server is properly configured, adding that “ a committee of experts appointed by the state shall work closely with us as pertains timeframe and implementation”
Arguing that the Zaad service is broadly used in the country by citizens from all walks of life and pocket sizes, within urban and rural areas not to mention the ease of drought relief aid it facilities, not to mention the technicalities involved in reconfiguring the server, the Telesom CEO thanked the administration for its understanding while promising to work tirelessly thence expedite the presidential decree implementation.
In a nutshell the two sides agreement was two pointed of which Telesom company and in extension Dahabshil get a time extension thus reconfigure their e-banking servers and establishment of a committee composed of banking and ICT to advise the government

This arrangement brings a huge sigh of relief to citizens of Somaliland who have been in a quandary as per the continued use of the popular Zaad service which most us especially translating small amounts that range between half a dollar to thousands on a daily basis.
Be as it is, the new measures established by the government, now clarified are very welcome as it shall instill the use of the local currency in transactions not exceeding $100 while retaining e-banking services intact.