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Recent Diplomatic Moves have Raised Somaliland’s Economic Profile

The streets of Somaliland’s capital city of Hargeisa were without a diplomatic neighbourhood. However, recent bilateral developments have emboldened Somaliland’s dreams of independence and boosted hopes of a windfall of trade and investment opportunities. The flurry of activity is a result of shifting alliances in the region and Somaliland’s strategic position on the Gulf of Aden, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. The two countries are expected to cooperate in areas including farming, education and minerals. Kenya Airways will operate direct flights to Hargeisa, and Kenya will not only recognise Somaliland travel documents but also enable the acquisition of visas on arrival. Somali citizens still have to apply for visas in advance. Somaliland is also hoping to attract investment to build a transport link dubbed the “Berbera corridor” which will link the port to Ethiopia by railway. Ibrahim believes that the port and the accompanying free zone will attract over 1,500 companies.