Somaliland business community members raised US$8 million to rebuild the Waaheen market which a huge fire destroyed on April 1, 2022, wiping out an estimated 5,000 small, medium and large family businesses and therefore devastating the local economy.
The Somaliland Business leaders came during a fast-breaking Afur invitation the President of the Republic of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi threw for leading business people, Waaheen Fire-related committees, and fund-raisers at the presidency in Hargeisa.
At the pre-dinner Afur break, where Somaliland business leaders such as WordRemit, Dahabshiil, Telesom, Ominco Group (Oomaar), MSG (Mohamed Said Guedi), Al Harbi, Shukri, Waraabe, Red Sea, Bahsane, Sompower, Al Ikhwa, Shaafici, and many more attended, participants lost no time in calling out respective contributions to the appeal.
According to Somtribune, the Keynote speakers, including Abdirashid Duale of Dahabshiil Group, all emphasized how important and life-saving any amount committed towards the re-building of the burnt-out Waaheen market was.
Equally, speakers pointed out, it was of utmost urgency that contributors consider the plight of the thousands whose livelihood depended on the market whether they be stalls owners or employees, and the cumulative number of dependents looking up to them for their livelihood, schooling, health needs and the like.
The Chairman of the Somaliland Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Jamal Aideed Ibrahim, addressed the gathering and thanked the President for establishing a committee that provides national assistance to those affected by the fire. He also commended the business community for their response to the meeting and their contribution to the fundraising.
Dr. Farhan Liban, Chairman of the Waaheen market support sub-committee, and Dr. Ahmed Aden Buh, who spoke on behalf of the country’s leading clerics and businessmen, emphasized the importance of working together to respond to the tragedy in the Waaheen market. It was also announced that $8,000,000 was raised thus far for the Waaheen Disaster Relief Fund.
Mayor Abdikarim Ahmed Moghe called on all Somalilanders and – in fact – on all Somalis to cease demeaning the noble issue of rebuilding the market through unfounded propaganda issues and finger-pointing accusations.
President Bihi, speaking at the end of the event, urged participants at the event, Somalilanders in-country and abroad, the Somaliland Business community, and the international community to pool efforts and not rest until the estimated US$2 billion loss at the market blaze on April 1 was realized.
President Bihi profusely the Somalia community at the head of whom was federal Somalia President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, and the Somalian business community of Mogadishu.
Waxaan u mahad-celinayaa ganacsatada Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland ee caawa sida naf-qaybsiga leh ugu yaboohay $8 Milyan walaalahoodii dhibtaada dabka Suuqa Hargeysa soo gaadhay.
Waxa ay astaan u tahay Gobonnimada dadkeena, midnimada Qarankeena iyo isku-tashiga Shacabkeena gobta ah. pic.twitter.com/eLzE7IAlsa
— Muse Bihi Abdi (@musebiihi) April 8, 2022
Together, they pledged US$3 million, augmented by an US$11.7 million the World Bank previously earmarked for the Somaliland Republic but was held back under dubious circumstances by Mogadishu, which was released to the Waaheen market rebuilding accounts opened.
President Bihi on the rest of the five Somali-inhabited areas that would have made the 1960 union but did not rise up to the occasion. He also thanked the Somaliland Business community.
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