Somalia. Slowly, but surely rebuilding.
This is the patch American soldiers were wearing when they went to Somalia.
I am sorry, but this imagine is too demeaning. Too damn colonialist.
Why an arrow, with stars and stripes, striking the heart of Somalia?
Why could they not have an image of a helping hand, in stars and stripes, if you prefer, going to Somalia?
Banking in Somalia
In 1920 Banca d’Italia opens a branch in Mogadishu. This was the first bank of its kind in Somalia.
1938 Banco di Napoli opens a Branch in Mogadishu.
1920-1940 Banca d’Italia and Banco di Roma establish branches in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Merca.
1952 National Bank of India opens branches in Berbera and Hargeisa.
1960 The Republic of Somalia after unification (of North and South) establishes the National Bank of Somalia (Banca Nazionale Somala) following decolonization.
1975 The Somali Government renames the Banca Nazionale Somala (National Bank of Somalia) to Central Bank of Somalia.
1990 The Central Bank of Somalia ceased operation along with the Commercial and Savings Bank of Somalia due to break down of government as the result of the civil war.
2009 The Transitional Federal Government reopened the Somali Central Bank.
When financial institutional collapsed in 1990 due to war, business savy Somali entrepeneurs filled the void left and created money transfer industries that have made them millionaires today (see Dhabshiil)
What is interesting from all of this is how the Somali shilling has been able to survive without a government for over 20 years. It’s quite remarkable as noted by The Economist. The Somali Shilling has been in use in what is Somalia today since 1921.
This is a song written and performed by Abdullahi Qarshe. The album is aptly entitled “The Freedom Songs of the Somali Republic”. I translated one of his songs a few months ago. See it here. I won’t tell you about the song itself, I’ll let the man tell you himself, in an interview with/on Bildhaan in 1994 (if you haven’t seen Bildhaan already, please do. It’s wonderful for Somali culture and history). Read the full interview here. It gives a real insight into the man who wrote the Somali national anthem.
Interviewer: During the 1960s, two of your songs stood out. One was “Lumumba Mana Noola Mana Dhiman” (Lumumba is neither Alive nor Dead). The second was “Dugsiyada Ogaada u Aada” (Be Alert to Education and Go to School!). Could you remind us of some of the lines of the first song?
Abdullahi Qarshe: Oh, yes: “Lumumba mana noola mana dhiman, Labada midna ha umalaynina, Inu maqanyahay ha u moodina, Laba midna ha a malaynina” (Lumumba is neither alive nor dead, don’t think that he is either, for his spirit is with us, don’t think he has disappeared. Don’t think that he is either, for his spirit is with us).
Interviewer: How did this song come to you?
Abdullahi Qarshe: One day, I came out from my house and saw a crowd listening to the radio in front of a tea shop. The news was about the crisis in Congo in 1962. The U.N. forces had just intervened in the civil war, ostensibly to save the Prime Minister of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, who was arrested and later assassinated by his opponents. “Lumumba mana noolamana dhiman” had a kind of Pan-African sentiment because of Lumumba’s nationalist vision and courage.
This is the type of African nationalism I can get behind. I want those days back.
Maahmaah (Somali proverb): “A man with a purpose will not tire.”