The Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) said on Sunday that Ziraat Katilim Bank of Türkiye has established a branch in the nation’s capital, Mogadishu, making it the first foreign bank to do business in the East African nation in over 50 years.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Sunday in Mogadishu, where officials hailed the inauguration as a “historic moment.” In an interview with the governor of Somalia’s central bank, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi told VOA Somali that “this marks more than 50 years [since] the first international bank that comes to the country”.
According to CBS, the opening of the nation’s first foreign bank will strengthen Somalia’s financial sector by expanding trade and economic prospects with neighboring countries. “We welcome the investment and the establishment of Ziraat Bank,” Abdullahi said. “It will boost our financial sector, it will create jobs, it will attract or facilitate investment.”
“The new Ziraat Katilim Bank branch in Somalia is expected to offer a wide range of corporate banking services to businesses, international institutions, and development partners,” the country’s top bank stated in a statement released from Mogadishu.
After a rigorous application process in July 2022, the CBS awarded two operating licenses to two foreign banks: Egypt’s Banque Misr and Ziraat Katilim Bank.
As a part of the Ziraat Finance Group, a state-owned participation bank with 15 subsidiaries and 27 foreign branches, Ziraat Katilim conducts business throughout 20 nations.
“We are happy to see the operationalization of the Ziraat Katilim branch in Mogadishu. This is a testament to the success of the reforms of Somalia’s financial sector, further enhancing opportunities for investment and development,” CBS Governor Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi said.
According to the CBS governor, the presence of Ziraat Bank will also make it easier for Somalis to conduct transactions outside the country. Officials said on X, formerly known as Twitter that the bank’s operations will focus on corporate financing and trade financing.
According to Mohamed, CBS is still dedicated to helping Somalia achieve equitable economic growth and establish a strong and stable banking sector. “We anticipate the new bank to add value to the development of Somalia’s financial sector and contribute to the growth of our economy.”