Somaliland Exports Millions of Livestock to Saudi Arabia

Somaliland has existed with de facto independence since 1991. Livestock is the lifeblood of its fragile economy and over four million animals are exported yearly, mostly to Saudi Arabia during the annual Hajj. Once purchased in Hargeisa market, the animals are trucked from the capital to the port city of Berbera. [Ashley Hamer/Al Jazeera]

Horndiplomat-Somaliland livestock trade is officially back in business after Saudi Arabia imposed an import ban on livestock from Somaliland and Somalia in December 2016.

The ban, which had a devastating effect on Somaliland’s economy, was lifted earlier last month.

On June 11,The Somaliland’s government has confirmed the Livestock Export Ban to Saudi Arabia has been lifted,This is according to the assistant minister of livestock and fishery development Mrs. Yurub Abib Abdi.

Meanwhile,Somaliland Ministry of Livestock coordinator for Sahil region, Hon. Ahmed Looje  confirmed over Half million livestock exports from Berbera Port to Saudi Arabia

“Over 500,000 livestocks export in Berbera Port and forthcoming days 1 Million and Four hundred livestocks mainly Sheep ,Goats will be exported to Saudi Arabia.”Said Ahmed Looje


Somaliland’s Economic Backbone

Livestock is an important mainstay in Somaliland’s economy, contributing to about 40% of the country’s gross domestic product. In 2015, the Horn of Africa nation exported record 5.3 million animals, the highest such figure in two decades, according to the Food and Agriculture (FAO) organization.

The biggest market for Somali livestock is Saudi Arabia, which imports more than two-thirds of the goats, sheep and camels. Most of this importation takes place during the Hajj when millions of Muslims travel to Mecca. During the Eid ul-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice festival, Muslims are expected to sacrifice an animal as part of the Hajj rituals.

At the port of Berbera in Somaliland, this increased demand for livestock in Mecca translates into good business and top dollar for Somaliland’s livestock traders.

Somaliland declared its independence nearly three decades ago from Somalia, but despite having its own currency, parliament, military and legal system The territory has been experiencing stability and economic prosperity and has been influential in the fight against piracy and terrorism in the Horn of Africa.

This is a developing story, Please check back at the Horndiplomat for Updates

By: Mohamed Duale Editor-in-Chief HornDiplomat Tweets @MohamadDuale


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