U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Donald Y. Yamamoto today met with six Somalia business owners who recently traveled to Gulfoods Expo 2019 in Dubai as part of a U.S. and Somalia effort to increase job creation and promote economic development and trade in Somalia. Three of the participants in the discussion were Somali women business owners. During the discussion, the Gulfoods Expo participants described how their businesses improved due to this initiative, including through accessing new markets.
This is the third year that the United States Government has supported Somali-owned businesses to participate in the Gulfoods Expo. This year, we supported a booth hosting 20 Somali business people. Somali exhibitors sponsored their own airfare, while the U.S. government assisted with local transportation and accommodation. A true, U.S.-Somali partnership. The theme of the booth was “Somali Rising” and covered a range of products such as sesame, pulses, bananas, mangoes, dried lemons, peanuts, dried fish, and meat products. An estimated 4,000 people visited the Somali Rising booth and many sale deals were made. There are indications that total sales by the participants as a result of Expo participation will reach $3,000,000 by May 2019 and this amount is likely to increase over time.
The participation of these Somali businesses in Gulfoods Expo 2019 was part of the USAID-supported Growth, Enterprise, Employment, and Livelihoods (GEEL) program. Through GEEL, the United States seeks to better the lives of Somalis through improved income generation opportunities. The United States believes that a thriving economy in Somalia will contribute to a more stable future for the country as well as improved trade opportunities for the United States.
The GEEL program promotes inclusive economic growth in Somalia. Through GEEL, USAID accelerates Somalia’s integration into the global economy by improving the country’s competitiveness in export markets, reducing reliance on imports, increasing market linkages and business partnerships, and spurring new investments to create jobs. In regions recovering from years of conflict and natural disasters, USAID aims to boost production of high-quality fish, agriculture, and dairy products for domestic and international consumers.
Some Somali businesses that participated in Gulfoods Expo 2019 with U.S. support are:
Dhulkii, Land of Frankincense
Somali Fresh Fruit Company
Somali Seafood Product Company
For more information, please contact
Public Affairs Officer
United States Mission to Somalia
Visit us at https://so.usmission.gov/
Follow us on Twitter: @US2SOMALIA