More and more, Somaliland is being “discovered” in the media, and is attracting more interest and attention from international investors and businesses, and international organizations. As progress has been made in the south militarily against Al-Shabaab, but the TFG continues to face extensive institutional uncertainty, the time is surely approaching for other nations to start moving toward formalizing Somaliland’s status.
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, has extended its rapidly growing agent network to Somaliland, taking the total number of African markets it serves up to fifty.
The strategic agreement between Western Union and Global Exchange and Money Transfer, a subsidiary of Global Export and Import Agency Ltd, will see it offer the Western Union® Money TransferSM service for the first time in the area, initially at a location in Hargesia with additional locations to be rolled out across Somaliland in the course of 2011.
This follows a string of recent agent network expansions by Western Union, which last year celebrated 15 years in Africa and has grown its agent network on the continent to reach more than 22,000 Agent locations.
Somaliland has been receiving an estimated $1B per year in transfers from it’s diaspora, but inclusion in the Western Union network should make a variety of inflows easier and more “regular” for institutions.