Apr 14, 2011

Somaliland: Western Union Launch Money Transfer Service

International business recognition of Somaliland continues despite political reluctance ot recognise relaities on the ground.


Below is an article published by Somaliland Press:


The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, has extended its rapidly growing agent network to Somaliland, taking the total number of African markets it serves up to fifty.

The strategic agreement between Western Union and Global Exchange and Money Transfer, a subsidiary of Global Export and Import Agency Ltd, will see it offer the Western Union® Money TransferSM service for the first time in the area, initially at a location in Hargesia with additional locations to be rolled out across Somaliland in the course of 2011.

This follows a string of recent agent network expansions by Western Union, which last year celebrated 15 years in Africa and has grown its agent network on the continent to reach more than 22,000 Agent locations.

Mr. Jean Claude Farah, Western Union’s Senior Vice President for Middle East and Africa commented: “We’re very excited to be in Somaliland – a vibrant and growing market that plays such an important role in the economic development of the broader region. We also welcome the addition of an agent with strong community ties like Global Exchange and Money Transfer to our global network.”

The extension of money transfer services to Somaliland marks a further step in Western Union’s commitment to the expansion and development of its pan-African network which provides a critical link to the ever growing African diaspora. The Western Union service will initially enable only receipt of funds in Somaliland from its global network of over 440,000 agent locations.

With the World Bank estimating annual remittance inflow to Somalia at USD1bn, the agreement between Western Union and Global Exchange is expected to further facilitate formal remittance flows from key Somaliland diaspora hubs in the US, Canada, UK, Nordics, the Gulf and Africa where Western Union services are readily and conveniently accessible.

Abdikarim Abdi Adan, Managing Director of Global Exchange & Money Transfer, comments: “Western Union is one of the most recognisable and trusted names in the money transfer industry and we are delighted to be working with them to offer their much needed services in Somaliland. In addition, their investment here is a testament of the economic viability of our homeland and a great encouragement to other international investors.”

Somaliland’s Minister of Commerce, the Right Honourable Abdirisak Khalif Ahmed, added: “As Somaliland’s potential as a politically stable gateway to the wider region gains increasing attention among the international business community, we are optimistic that the entry of Western Union, a company recognised for its industry leading standards in compliance, will not only serve to underpin confidence in our financial services sector, but also in Somaliland as a technologically progressive market for foreign direct investment.”