Welsh Somalilanders Urged To Start
Wales, Oct 30 2003, (The Western
Mail): TWO Somaliland ministers have urged Wales' Somali population
to start businesses that exploit new trade opportunities with their
Speaking at an official dinner
organized by the Ethnic Business Support Programme (EBSP) and the
Somaliland community, the ministers assured the 150 guests and
potential investors that Somaliland is open for business after years
of political turmoil.
With Cardiff and London as their only
two UK destinations on a world tour that has included China and the
United States, Dr Edna Adan Ismail, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
and Mohamed Hashi Elmi, Minister for Commerce and Industry, spent
time with community and business leaders.
Abdikarim Adan, director of the
Somali Advice and Information Centre in Cardiff Bay and Honorary UK
Representative of the Somaliland Chamber of Commerce, said the
Centre would work with the EBSP to ensure the community made use of
the help available from business-support organisations.
The Somali community in South Wales
was established in Cardiff Bay more than 100 years ago. Bolstered in
recent years by refugees fleeing from conflict, the population has
grown to 8,000 people, with groups spread throughout Cardiff and
Dr Ismail, Somaliland's first woman
minister and first-ever Minister for Foreign Affairs, said,
"There has been a strong cultural link for generations between
Wales and Somaliland, and we hope our visit will engender a new
commercial relationship between our nations. Modern Somaliland
offers a large and untapped market and is a safe place to
"With a stable political and
commercial climate in Somaliland, some Welsh Somalis are keen to
return to East Africa. However, for the core population that remains
in Wales, EBSP hopes that potential entrepreneurs will use their
knowledge of the Somali language and culture to start successful new
import and export businesses."
Said Akmal Hanuk, EBSP's programme
director, "The Somali population in Wales is battling with
adult unemployment levels of close to 90%, and the support of
Ministers Ismail and Elmi to encourage those with entrepreneurial
ambitions to get into business and use our range of free services is
very welcome indeed."