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Somali accelerator graduates receive $15k investment

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Three Somali startups have shared US$15,000 in investment after coming out on top of the demo day that was the culmination of the inaugural Innovate Ventures accelerator programme.

Disrupt Africa reported earlier this year Innovate Ventures announced the 12 early-stage Somali startups accepted onto the inaugural Innovate Accelerator in Hargeisa, Somaliland, which was held in partnership with the Work in Progress! Alliance and VC4Africa.

The 10-week programme culminated with a demo day, which saw each team pitch their startup to a panel of judges from experts and entrepreneurs.

Joint first place went to Guriyagleel, an online property rental startup, and MuraadSo, an e-commerce startup, who both received US$5,000 in seed investment.

Other winners on the day were SomSite and Hargeisa Daily Media, who received US$3,000 and US$2,000 respectively.

Over 180 applications were received for the programme, which also reached almost 250,000 people via SMS, billboards and online advertising, and was broadcast on several Somali TV channels.

Dr Abdigani Diriye, director of Innovate Ventures, said he had been impressed by the drive, commitment and traction of many of the startups in the programme.

“This further underscores the potential of the Somali tech scene and the wealth of talent and skill in Somaliland and Somalia,” he said. “We believe technology, innovation and entrepreneurship can be one of the drivers of economic prosperity in Somaliland and Somalia.”

Next year’s programme will aim to build on the foundations of this year and give the Somali tech startup scene a further jump start by engaging with more startups, partners and investors.

SOURCE: DISRUPT AFRICA

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DP World says Djibouti incident could hurt Africa investment

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Port operator DP World said on Thursday that Djibouti’s decision to seize control of a terminal project could hurt African efforts to attract investment.

The Dubai state-owned port operator is facing twin political challenges in Africa.

Djibouti abruptly ended its contract to run the Doraleh Container Terminal last month and Somalia’s parliament voted this week to ban the company.

DP World has called the Djibouti move illegal and said it had begun proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration, which last year cleared the company of all charges of misconduct over the concession.

“Africa needs infrastructure investments and if countries can change their law [to take assets then this] is going to basically make it more difficult to attract investment,” Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told a news conference in Dubai.
DP World reported 14.9 percent rise in 2017 profit to $1.18 billion profit and said that it would invest $1.4 billion across its global portfolio including in Berbera in Somaliland. [L8N1QX0F2]

It is developing a port in Berbera in partnership with the governments of Somaliland and Ethiopia. It is also developing a greenfield free trade zone in the breakaway region.

Bin Sulayem said he was not concerned by the vote in Somalia’s parliament to ban DP World from the country, which the parliament said nullified their Somaliland contract.

It is unclear how Somalia’s federal government could enforce the ban given Somaliland’s semi-autonomous status.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounted for about 42 percent of the cargo DP World handled in 2017.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; editing by Jason Neely

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INTERVIEW: Somalia gears towards improving its monetary policies

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CGTN — Somalia’s central government imposed a five percent sales tax this month as part of efforts to win billions of dollars in international debt relief. This was followed by protests in Mogadishu’s main market by traders opposed to the tax. CGTN’s Abdulaziz Billow sat down with the country’s minister of finance who shed more light on the country’s monetary policies

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Somalia Tax Argument From Both Sides: Bakara Traders vs The Government

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Somalia’s busiest and largest open-air market in Mogadishu has been closed for the past two days.

Business owners in Bakara market are protesting over a five percent tax imposed by the government, in an effort to pay back some of its international debt.

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