Bureau Chief, Egypt & Sudan
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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.

Apr 8, 2013

Kenya to swear in president, leave West with headache

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya swears in Uhuru Kenyatta as president on Tuesday after an election that avoided the bloodshed of five years ago, but left Western nations with the challenge of how to deal with a leader indicted by the International Criminal Court.

Western states regard Kenya as crucial to regional stability and have supported the role played by Kenyan and other African troops in efforts to push back al Qaeda-affiliated Islamist militants in neighboring Somalia.

Apr 8, 2013

Africa Oil eyes commercial finds in Kenya

NAIROBI (Reuters) – An intensive drilling campaign with partners this year should bring Africa Oil Corp (AOI.V: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) much closer to confirming that Kenya has commercial quantities of oil, it said on Monday.

Chief Executive Keith Hill, whose Canadian-listed firm has interests in its 12 blocks covering 250,000 sq km in the region, told Reuters about $468 million would be spent in 2013 to drill at least 10 wells in Kenya and other locations in east Africa.

Apr 5, 2013

Kenya private equity firm kicks off 1st fund, property venture

NAIROBI, April 5 (Reuters) – Kenya-based private equity firm
Catalyst Principal Partners has an eye on demand from East
Africa’s growing middle class as it starts to make investments
from a broad $125 million fund and from a partnership dedicated
to real estate.

Mauritius-registered Catalyst, which in November finished
raising cash for its first closed-end fund, sees opportunities
in a region of about 200 million people, where consumer demand
is rising and a big boost from recent oil and gas discoveries is
expected for the future.

    • About Edmund

      "Responsible for Reuters coverage from Egypt and Sudan, and overseeing operations of the Cairo-based Reuters Arabic language service. Previously was Bureau Chief, Iran. Have worked throughout the Middle East for most of the past 15 years, including covering the Iraq war and Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Have also covered financial and energy affairs, holding positions that inlude equities reporter in London."
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