Somalia’s first cash machine opens in Mogadishu



Somalia’s first-ever cash withdrawal machine has been installed in the capital, Mogadishu.

According to BBC News Africa the machine, installed by Salaam Somali Bank in an upmarket hotel, allows customers to withdraw US dollars.

However, reports show that , some people are confused about how the machine works because they have never used one before.

Somalia has an undeveloped banking sector, with many people relying on remittances from abroad.
With the question arising on social media on which currency will the ATMs operate since Somali currencies died, financial institutions are not functioning and recovery plan not visible now, a spokesman for Salaam Somali Bank, Said Abukar, said people can only withdraw US dollars.

“We may add other international currencies in the future. People from the diaspora and foreigners have welcomed the move with enthusiasm. We are planning to install more ATMs in Mogadishu,” he said.

Somali has been thwarted by more than two decades of conflict involving clan and religious-based militia groups thus affecting Somali’s currency, the shilling, which is almost worthless and many businessmen and foreigners deal in dollars.
Following the breakdown in central authority that accompanied the civil war, which began in the early 1990s, the value of the Somali shilling was disrupted. The Central Bank of Somalia, the nation’s monetary authority, also shut down operations. Rival producers of the local currency, including autonomous regional entities such as the Somaliland territory, subsequently emerged.

These included the Na shilling, which failed to gain widespread acceptance, and the Balweyn I and II, which were forgeries of pre-1991 bank notes. Competition for seigniorage drove the value of the money down to about $0.04 per ShSo (1000) note, approximately the commodity cost. Consumers also refused to accept bills larger than the 1991 denominations, which helped to stop the devaluation from spiraling further.

The pre-1991 notes and the subsequent forgeries were treated as the same currency. It took large bundles to make cash purchases, and the United States dollar was often used for larger transactions

A street scene in Mogadishu, Somalia (3 October 2014) Mogadishu has been hit by instability for more than two decades and the Somali shilling is almost worthless.

The machine will allow people to withdraw money from their international bank accounts, using cards like Visa, MasterCard and American Express.


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