Somaliland: Why Invest in an Unrecognized Country?


Why Somaliland? What sectors? Who is Responsible? How to Invest? What are the Benefits

By: Latifa Yusuf Masai

Somalilandsun – This part of Africa, strategically positioned as the gateway from Arabia to the Indian Ocean, has long been home to the region’s traders – the Somalilanders.

The region’s ports, once Zeila, and now Berbera, were – and remain – key trading routes to inner and Southerly Africa, especially the now land-linked Ethiopia.

With ruins of former synagogues and Ottoman villas in evidence, Somaliland also has close links with the UK, harking back to the maritime activity of the East India Company, World War II near Berbera and all the way to independence from the UK on 26 June 1960.

Today this part of Africa offers an intrinsically business-minded culture that is eager to interact after three decades of isolation following cold war-influenced agendas, civil war and negligible inward foreign investment.

The region is now ready for investment in diverse business sectors, including:

• Internet and media

• Banking and insurance

• Agriculture and livestock

• Health and education facilities

• Logistics supplies for Ethiopian imports/exports

• Tourism potential

• Potential extraction of hard minerals and hydrocarbons.

Indicative Projects

The Somaliland Development Corporation-SDC plays an integral role in protecting investors and local communities in order to sustain the interests of both parties and encourage capacity building and long term, stable relationships.

An integral aspect of SDC activity is to provide capacity building for local communities to allow them to better understand the potential of their local business environment or resources, as well as the competitive investor market at large.

This will allow for knowledgeable interaction and better development of investor-community relationships, creating mutually-beneficial business associations. In turn, internationally-enforceable legal contracts and stringent transparency further protects the interests of investor entities and their owners – thereby creating a more fertile platform in which to invest in the Horn of Africa.

• Tanning and Leather.

• Extractive Minerals, Oil and Gas businesses

• Agriculture

• Berbera Port

• Fibre Optic Communications

• Banking, Insurance and Risk Mitigation

For more information on some of SDC’s Indicative Projects in Somaliland click HERE

With a rich millennia-old history and beautiful landscapes, and a trading culture and self-sufficient population of three million, we invite you to explore the Horn’s opportunities in a manner that is both beneficial for investors and hosting communities, through the SDC.

About the Somaliland Development Corporation- SDC

Empowering Economic Investment in the Horn Region of Africa

The SDC was founded in 2011 and is part of a process that seeks to better integrate the former protectorate Horn region of Africa into the international community. The organisation aims to increase outside investment in Somaliland – and the surrounding regions of the Horn of Africa – by providing a secure, professional and mutually beneficial environment for investors and local communities to interact. The SDC assists in developing and negotiating mutually beneficial contracts between communities and investors, thus supporting the long term sustainability of relationships, transparency of business practices and full accountability for both parties. In so doing, local host communities will be better able to improve their international business capacity and increase their choice and access to quality international investors. Working within local customs and practices, the SDC is structured to employ high standards of disclosure to investors and host communities to ensure that all transactions are competitively priced. The SDC’s Board will oversee transactions and will regularly assess financial, developmental and reputational risks. By applying World Bank anti-corruption guidelines and transactional transparency principles, the SDC provides investors and host communities with a safer platform on which to transact. For further information on the SDC, please visit

Following last year’s LAUNCH of the SDC, hosted by the APPG and with the Minister of Africa and the President of Somaliland in attendance, the SDC has constituted itself as a Community Interest Company with an agenda complementary to the current initiatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.