This article was authored by Michael J Carroll, and was originally posted on telecomasia.net.
The Swiss government is tipping the Republic of Somaliland as one of Africa’s best investment bets, after a meeting between its foreign office and local community representatives.
Representatives from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) claim nearly 20 years of political stability in the area makes it a good bet for investors from the communications and other industries. The agency sits within the Foreign Affairs department of Switzerland’s government, and coordinates development activities.
Provision of media and information services on fiber networks was one of several topics discussed at the meeting with community leaders. The services could be provided by tapping capacity on a recently installed optical network running to Ethiopia – one of three countries the sovereign state shares a border with.
SDC delegation member Edna Adan Ismail, a UN diplomat, French Legion of Honour recipient and former Foreign Minister of Somaliland, says the country’s track record of “political stability and security,” means it is “ready for business right now.”
Ismail’s view was echoed by fellow delegation member Jeremy Carver, CBE and president of the British branch of the International Law Association. “In a fragile, and still largely divided, region, it is essential that high quality investors, committed to sustainable growth for themselves and the communities in which they operate, are attracted. The wrong investors can undo all the progress made. The most stable environment for investment remains unquestionably in Somaliland.”
The SDC’s interest may boost Somaliland’s chances of being officially recognized as an independent state, something the Somaliland Sun notes has yet to happen despite the strong track record of successive autonomous governments.
Power generation, detection of fake pharmaceutical companies, and ways of encouraging foreign investment were among other subjects discussed at the meeting.
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