Both budding and aspiring tech entrepreneurs in Somalia, as well as Somalian startups, were treated to a variety of offerings aimed at furthering the growth of the country’s tech ecosystem in this year’s Mogadishu Tech Summit. What undeniably took the cake, however, was the launch of a USD 1 Mn investment fund aimed at supporting Somalian startups.
In a country that is not in the news very often for startup-related activity, the Mogadishu Tech Summit afforded Somalian startup founders and entrepreneurs the opportunity to brainstorm with industry players and policymakers on ways to move the country’s tech scene forward, as well as highlight some of the successes recorded and identify areas that could use improvements.
This year’s Summit kicked off on Tuesday, 23rd October, and at yesterday’s closing ceremony, what could be considered one of the highest points of the event came through in the form of an announcement from Jibril Mohamed, Chairman of Premier Bank.
The Chairman’s statement signaled the launch of an investment fund worth USD 1 Mn which is the result of concerted efforts between Mogadishu-based Premier Bank and Somali business support organization, iRise Hub. The fund is believed to be aimed at financing Somalian startups.
However, it remains unclear if the fund will target all kinds of startups or just tech startups. Efforts by WeeTracker to get clarification from both the bank and the innovation hub in that regard, amongst others bordering on the manner of funds disbursement and other specifics, are yet to yield fruit are this time.
It may also be important to note that the latest announcement is coming after an earlier development which saw small businesses in Somalia being targeted by an investment fund worth USD 10 Mn. This fund dubbed the Nordic Horn of Africa Opportunities Fund, is believed to have been launched by Norfund; a Norway-based investment firm. With these developments, it could be surmised that the Somalian startup ecosystem may indeed be in for better days.
Image via GaroweOnline