Abdirashid Duale, Dahabshiil Group Chief Executive, infinitely pleased women and youth entrepreneurs by announcing that Dahabshil Bank International and its microfinance department will, in future, encourage them through very much lowered services to ease access to financial services.
“Women and youth are at the top of our coveted clientele and would remain so in the foreseeable future,” he said. “We, at Dahabshiil, pledge that our services will all be geared to ease access to financial services for them at much-lowered rates”.
Mr. Duale was one of the keynote speakers at an event where the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Tuesday, launched a large-scale program with major Somali Financial Institutions, among whom was Dahabshil Bank International (DBI), to expand the provision of low collateral loans to Somali-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The program aims to increase access to finance for merit-worthy SMEs that lack sufficient collateral or possess other non-financial credit challenges. The program will in particular target female and youth entrepreneurs and business owners.
“This kind of partnership between Somali banks and international actors like SIDA will increase job creation and development across the Somali-speaking regions. Thanks to SIDA working with Somali financial institutions, this will have a positive impact on stability and security,” Duale said.
Addressing participants at the launching event at the head of the occasion, Ambassador Andreas von Uexkull said: “This program provides tools for Somali financial institutions to expand their lending procedures and opens up new, viable markets”.
“SMEs are widely recognized as key drivers of new job creation and overall economic growth. This program will provide these businesses increased access to financing,” Ambassador von Uexkull added.
The government was well represented at the event. The Vice Ministers of National Planning and Foreign Affairs, Engineer Hussein Buuni, and Liban Osman, respectively, the Director General of Commerce, Dr. Osman Hussein Warsame, Director General of Investments Ahmed Abokor, Central Bank Governor, Mohamed Abdi Ibrahim, among many more, all welcomed the initiative pointing out its merits and contribution to not only the direct SMEs beneficiaries but to the overall economic development of the private sector.
Other luminaries gracing the event included Dr. Edna Adan Ismail, founder of the Edna Adan University of Hospital and a veteran, internationally renowned social welfare campaigner. Abdullahi Ahmed, Director General of the Central Bank was, also, among the front-line participants.
Dahabshil Bank International played an instrumental role in bringing about the program in conjunction with the Swedish development agency. Dahabshil bank and its affiliates offer its clients services including loans, microfinance, global remittance services, mobile payments, credit card services including MasterCard, and serves clients from every walk of life. It serves the business community and international and local partners, among others. This all contributes towards development and job creation.
SIDA is a governmental agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government, with the mission to reduce poverty in the world. Through their work, and in cooperation with others, SIDA contributes to implementing Sweden’s Policy for Global Development, which includes activities that will enable poor people to improve their lives. SIDA conducts enhanced development cooperation with a total of 33 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. SIDA has more than 700 employees, located in our three offices in Sweden as well as abroad in our cooperation countries. The Swedish strategy for Somalia focuses the contributions on crisis management, democracy, human rights and job creation.