During the summer of the 2012, Somaliland opened a Coca-Cola factory in the outskirts of the capital Hargeisa. The plant produces and estimated 11,000 bottles and hour and 18,000 cases a day when running on half capacity. The opening of the factory has also created jobs for many people in Somaliland. The plant produces Coca Cola products, and other beverages under the same umbrella like Sprite and Fanta. One of the most popular drinks in Somaliland is Red Fanta.
The opening of the Coca Cola Factory within Somaliland is highly significant because it is a $17 million dollar bottling plant and is an extremely substantial investment by foreign investment considering Somaliland’s unrecognized status. Somaliland now distributes Coca Cola products to not only regions within Somaliland but Somalia and neighboring countries like Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and the Middle East.
Many people are hopeful that this act of foreign direct investment by a major corporation will also lead to more interest in Somaliland for investment. Another hope among locals is that with the success of this plant, Somaliand’s economy will continue to diversify beyond livestock export to the Middle East.
Looking for Blog Editors/Contributors! Suggestions also accepted!!!
Please message us on here if you would like to contribute to this blog. We need writers, contributors, photos, poems, anything really. We have decided to make this blog more interactive and to also make it a way to tell the story of Somaliland and the people who make it.
We are also looking to our loyal followers for suggestions! We need to know what you would like to see in this blog. Would you like more reporting from back home? Photos? Twitter integration? You decide and you will help us create a high caliber page which celebrates our land.
During our stay in Somaliland, we often frequented Summertime Restaurant. Summertime Restaurant is a popular restaurant in the capital, Hargeisa. Summertime Restaurant has a reputation around town for being the spot for youth from overseas. During our visits to the restaurant, we met people from U.K., U.S., Denmark, Ireland, Finland, the Khaleeji Gulf, and Switzerland.
The restaurant has a delicious array of dishes. From traditional Somali dishes to burgers and chips, this place has it all. Below we have shared a video with footage from a typical summer night at summertime, with interviews from Somalis visiting from overseas.
This summer, some of the editors of this blog were privileged to attend the 5th Annual Hargeisa Book Fair. Hargeisa’s international book fair is already making a name for itself and is even gaining comparison to the UK’s Hay Festival. The theme for this year was “Visualizing the Future”. The book fair was established by Jama Musse Jama, a computer scientist living in Italy. Jama felt it was necessary to establish the book fair in order to give the youth something productive to do and preserve Somaliland’s rich oral tradition. Jama believes the arts are necessary in order get the youth engaged, considering 17% of the population of Somaliland are under the age of 30.
Ayan Mahamoud, who co-manages the event, expressed a similiar sentiment and said,
"You can’t become a nation by just building an army and a police, you need the arts … through books you change people’s minds,” she said. “You need a culture of peace and tolerance. The book fair provides a space for our youth to engage and discuss with each other.”
The book fair featured performances from spoken word artists, local youth, musicians, and international writers. Among the notable guests was Hadraawi, a famed Somali poet, who is considered Somalia’s greatest living poet.
Hargeisa’s book fair is truly an inspiring event. It is also a great way to spread the importance of literacy and education in ensuring Somaliland’s success. We cannot wait to attend again next year, if God wills.
Sorry for our absence, but this page will be up and running again soon. The primary editor of this blog has been away on holiday in Somaliland. Sub-editors will be contributing to the blog until Abdi’s return. We hope we can share the beauty of Somaliland with the tumblr community!