Calls for mobile banking ban in Somaliland as inflation soars
BERBERA (Somaliweyn) – The rapid growth of the mobile banking services widely used in Somaliland is linked to an inflation that officials say continues to push many into poverty, prompting calls for the government to ban it.
Hundreds of angry protesters took to the streets of the port city of Berbera on Tuesday to demonstrate against high food prices and called for the government to officially ban the mobile money transactions often made in U.S dollars.
Somaliland has the world’s fourth-lowest GDP per head and a particularly high income gap between rich and poor, according to data released by the World Bank in 2014.
“They are getting rich off us poor and hungry people. The government must ban the mobile money which is making our life terrible further.” said Zamzam Kahin, one of the protesters who at some point started throwing stones at cars and business premises along No need to waste your time searching for a cheap nolvadex anymore. We offer nolvadex only for 0.71 USD! the town’s main street.
The protesters complained that the use of mobile banking services initially referred as an evolution that helped the way money flows throughout Somaliland fueled inflation and high commodity prices and added pressure to the lives of many in Somaliland which already facing severe droughts that affected over 1.5 million people.
In response, the government imposed a limit in daily transactions made through mobile banking services and ordered the two major telecom operators, Telesom and Somtel that provide the services to implement it.
In a statement issued after a meeting by cabinet ministers on Tuesday, the government warned that the daily transactions made through mobile banking services that often run unlimited services ‘must not’ exceed $100.
However, Telesom, one of the two telecom companies affected by the new jurisdiction protested against the decision, warning that it’d not abide by it.
In recent years, anger has been building over an economic crisis and spiraling inflation often attributed to the widespread use of the mobile banking services, with the Somaliland currency hits low against a strong dollar which curbed the cost of other goods.
(($100 = 8,500 Somaliland shillings)
Somaliland was rocked by protests against rising food and fuel prices in recent months, thanks to the use of mobile banking services that many say contributed to high inflation.
©Somaliweyn Media Center
Jamaal Ibrahim Mohamed
Somaliweyn Media Center
00252 63 4405388