Bureau Chief, East Africa
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Jul 2, 2013

Somali central bank governor denies U.N. charges over funds

NAIROBI (Reuters) – The governor of the Central Bank of Somalia denied on Tuesday allegations in a U.N. report linking him to irregularities regarding millions of dollars withdrawn from the bank, saying the charges were malicious and baseless.

Somalia, under a Western-backed government that took office last year, is trying to rebuild after 20 years of war in which the nation was carved up into fiefdoms by warlords and then ruled by Islamist militants. Its public institutions remain feeble.

Jun 24, 2013

IMF help puts Somalia on road to debt relief -c.bank governor

NAIROBI, June 24 (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund
will offer Somalia technical support and advice, a first step in
efforts to secure debt relief for the country emerging from two
decades of civil conflict, the central bank governor said on

The IMF officially recognised the Somali government in
April, ending a 22-year hiatus during which the African nation
was mired in grinding poverty, militancy and maritime piracy,
without a functioning central government.

Jun 17, 2013

Warburg Pincus to back new African oil and gas explorer

NAIROBI, June 17 (Reuters) – Private equity company Warburg
Pincus is leading an investment of up to $600 million in
Delonex Energy, a newly formed oil and gas exploration and
production company planning to tap into the central and east
African hydrocarbon boom.

The region has become hot property for energy investors
after gas discoveries in Mozambique and Tanzania, and other
hydrocarbon finds in Uganda and Kenya. However, progress towards
production, notably in Uganda, has taken years.

May 17, 2013

Central bank chief turns recovery skills on Somalia

NAIROBI, May 17 (Reuters) – When Washington D.C. was in
financial crisis in the 1990s, Somali-born Abdusalam Omer joined
a team that turned its “junk” bonds into investment grade paper.
Now, as governor of the Central Bank of Somalia, he wants to
transform a “failed” state.

There is no escaping the scale of his new assignment. His
office in Mogadishu is surrounded by the bombed out shells of
former banks, symbols of Somalia’s shattered economy and its
broken financial system after two decades of conflict.

May 8, 2013

Somali banker sees hope in business order after chaos

NAIROBI, May 8 (Reuters) – Somalia’s government must lure
more investors to drive the private economy because business
owners have an interest in cementing fragile security gains, the
chief executive of Somalia’s biggest financial firm said.

Abdirashid Duale’s company, Dahabshiil – which with a
handful of others has survived the anarchy of the past two
decades – exemplifies a strong entrepreneurial spirit, he says.

May 3, 2013

Kenyan leader, charged by ICC, invited to Somalia meeting in London

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court, is expected to visit London at Britain’s invitation next week for a conference on Somalia.

It will be his first trip to a Western capital since his election in March. Britain and other countries said before his victory that, if he won, they would only have “essential contacts” with him because of the court case.

Apr 15, 2013

Somali minister looks to turn global goodwill to hard cash

NAIROBI, April 15 (Reuters) – Somalia’s finance minister has
his eye on conferences in Washington, London and beyond in the
next six months to shore up international support for a slow
recovery whose fragility was exposed by this weekend’s suicide
bombings in Mogadishu.

Mohamud Hassan Suleiman can count on a wave of goodwill on
his travels but needs more than diplomatic backing to steady a
nation emerging from two decades of war and anarchy with debts
of $2.2 billion and state revenues of just $84 million a year.

Apr 11, 2013

Tackling Somali piracy needs new onshore focus – World Bank

MOGADISHU, April 11 (Reuters) – Ending Somali piracy
requires a shift from reliance on security at sea to targeting
those on land who enable the lucrative business to thrive,
according to the World Bank.

Although the number of attacks has markedly fallen since
2011 thanks to tougher security aboard ships and increased
Western naval patrols, piracy emanating from the lawless Horn of
Africa nation may still cost the world economy about $18 billion
a year, the bank said in a report released on Thursday.

Apr 9, 2013

Kenya swears in president, West faces balancing act

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta took his oath of office on Tuesday, presenting Western states with a challenge of how to deal with a leader indicted by the International Criminal Court.

After a calm election that followed a bloodbath five years ago, many Kenyans hope Kenyatta will deliver on his promise to be a president for all and not just work for his own ethnic group, a practice they have come to expect from politicians.

Apr 9, 2013

Kenya to swear in president facing trial in The Hague

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyans packed a stadium to witness the swearing in of Uhuru Kenyatta as president on Tuesday after a peaceful election that has left Western nations with the challenge of how to deal with a leader indicted by the International Criminal Court.

Many Kenyans hope the son of the nation’s independence hero will live up to his pledge to be a leader for all and not just work for people from his own ethnic group, a practice they have come to expect from their politicians.

    • About Edmund

      "Edmund Blair is responsible for Reuters coverage from more than a dozen East African nations and Indian Ocean islands. He was bureau chief for Egypt and Sudan, and ran the bureau in Iran. He has worked across the Middle East and Africa, covering the Egyptian uprising, Iraq war, Palestinian-Israeli conflict and crises in East Africa. He also has experience in covering the oil and gas industry and financial affairs, including a period as an equities reporter in London."
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