Somalia is emerging as a prominent source of remittances for both Kenya and Uganda.

The envoy mentioned that skilled Kenyan workers are in various sectors like corporate, humanitarian, and hospitality. Currently, there are over 30,000 Kenyans working in Somalia, a number expected to increase significantly due to Somalia’s inclusion in the East African Community, ensuring free movement among member states.

Somalia was not included in the recent Central Bank of Kenya report on remittances, which highlighted countries like Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa as major sources of money transfers from Kenyan diaspora. Uganda’s Counselor in Somalia noted that Uganda is the second-largest labor exporter to Somalia after Saudi Arabia, with over 35,000 Ugandans working there.

Despite ongoing conflicts and security concerns in Somalia, East Africans remain cautious while seeking job opportunities. Some Ugandans have reported challenges, with a small percentage residing in Al-Shabaab-controlled areas. The hospitality industry in Somalia is described as fragile due to perceived security risks that deter visitors from exploring outside their hotel premises.

Somalia is making efforts to attract foreign investments by removing barriers and implementing laws to protect investors and ensure economic growth. The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of accelerating economic growth through private sector-led initiatives, with plans in place to boost foreign investments.

The Nation Media Group organized an Invest Somalia Conference & Expo in collaboration with Somalia’s Ministry of Planning, Investment, and Economic Development to showcase Somalia’s potential as a new frontier for entrepreneurship and investment. The CEO of the Nation Media Group emphasized the importance of telling Africa’s success stories and promoting regional integration through media channels.

Somalia’s admission to the East African Community in 2023 has opened up new avenues for trade and investment, providing access to a larger market and presenting opportunities in various sectors like agriculture, renewable energy, and tourism. Somalia’s strategic location, natural resources, and youthful population make it a promising destination for entrepreneurs and investors seeking growth opportunities in the region.

Additional contributions by Jackson Mutinda.

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