The raggedy cargo truck drives onto the ferry which immediately sinks deeply into the water, only seemingly buoyed by the grace of mother nature. The truck appears misplaced on the ferry, but locals assure me that this is the cheapest and quickest route to the final destination. “This is Africa” is often an overused phrase, but this truck is a microcosm of the continent’s transport and logistical challenges (and subsequent investment opportunities).
It is an often overlooked fact, but only about 30% of African roads are paved, and 50% remain in “poor condition,” according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. It is this reality that makes shipping cement from Shanghai to the shores of Djibouti about 60% cheaper than shipping from Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to neighboring Djibouti by road. This statistic does not indicate better things for ports. The same UN report estimates that Africa’s ports productivity is mere 30% of the international norm. This is logistics in Africa. But why?read more
(Somalilandsun – Guul Group has developed a network and mustered years of experience working with individuals, groups, institutions and government agencies in Somaliland, Somalia and the Horn of Africa.
The company has been in business in Somaliland for a while and now deeply understands the tenets of doing business in the area. The level of experience garnered by Guul Group through the successes and challenges has put the company in a suitable position to offer proficient consultancy services to individuals and businesses that eye doing business in Somaliland.
Consequently, Guul Group is currently offering services in Business planning, development & strategy, project management, event management, marketing, branding and training, all of which are provided across Somaliland and Somalia with partners across the Horn of Africa.
So far, the company has enabled a number of investors to take advantage of business investment opportunities in Somaliland and have been able to reap hefty profits through such informed business initiatives. Guul Group works with individuals, small, medium and large sized businesses in enhancing a more conducive investment environment through acquiring, analysing and presenting practical business information to interested businesses.
Entities that would like to make worthwhile investments in the region should not hesitate to contact Guul Group. That is because investment should not be done blindly, but should be spearheaded by a well informed entrepreneurial team with up to date hands-on information about the potential business environment. That is what Guul Group has to offer. With a wide network, business experience, projects management and marketing projects, Guul Group is the exact service provider that you need to provide you with invaluable consultancy services that will guarantee your business prosperity.
Business in Somaliland is lucrative, but that can be elusive if the initial process of setting up the business is not well done. There are a number of challenges that are associated with investing in Somaliland, particularly if it is by someone who has not done extensive research or contracted the services of a well informed consultancy company like Guul Group.
If you really want to do business in Somaliland, Somalia and in extension, the Horn of Africa, you should contact Guul Group for its consultancy services in business, management and marketing.
About Guul Group
‘Guul’ meaning ‘success’ in the Somali language has been incorporated with the English word ‘Group’ to portray and highlighting the amalgamation, collaboration and affiliation of successful Somali and foreign investors. Guul Group is a corporation that has a sizeable portfolio and is operating across a range of sectors that include agriculture, livestock, and consultancy. It has striven to establish and bolster trade within Somaliland, Somalia and the rest of the Horn. The company is fully primed to invest and create in the region’s growing economy thus will contribute to the eventual growth of the region.
Guul Group’s vision is to spread its wings far beyond the Horn of Africa with significant international operations in many industries by 2020. The brand is focused; a clear vision of the future, guiding the organisation’s path to growth. GG management envisage reaching that vision, not only by connecting and building trust with customers, consumers and clients but by entrepreneurial qualities such as pioneering, creativity, innovation, knowledge and inspiration. Guul Group’s growth plans encompasses diversification through adding new lines to existing business , adopting horizontal and vertical growth strategies and moving to new regional markets. The Group’s vision for an environmentally friendly and sustainable growth is guided by strong values of trust, credibility, quality, integrity and transparency.
Guul Group is headquartered in Hargeisa Somaliland, with partners across the Horn of Africa and the UK. We are constantly looking for new ideas, opportunities and partnerships; please get in touch.
Somalis living in Somaliland are rightly proud of their track record on democracy over the last couple of decades. This last week has seen yet another significant milestone, with local elections passing off peacefully and with a high turnout. International observers, including representatives from Progressio (http://www.progressio.org.uk/content/somaliland ) and Somaliland Focus (http://www.somalilandfocus.org.uk/ ) have been favourably impressed by the degree of democratic engagement and minimal irregularities. Somaliland’s continuing spirit of calm, is just one of a number of reasons why economic activity has increased apace in recent years. The country’s strategic location coupled a general improvement in the international climate locally has helped foster a greater appreciation of Somaliland’s potential. Diaspora communities in the UK, USA, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, as well as Australia and New Zealand have maintained strong ties and there is increasing evidence of Somalis being eager to return to play a constructive role. Private enterprise is fast proving to be the dynamo of the economy. Mahamed Liban, the founder of Guul Group (http://www.guulgroup.com/) is typical of the bright, articulate members of the Somali Diaspora who are returning in droves, eager to share their knowledge and skills. Liban, one of an increasing number of British Somali entrepreneurs, is upbeat about the prospects for his Hargeisa-based company; “We have already been approached by a number of foreign investors, namely from Australia and the UK and Guul Group is well placed to facilitate commercial activity by drawing up on market insight, local knowledge and contacts. The company provides investment opportunities with the aim of attracting and working with foreign investors and strategic alliance partners on projects in Somaliland and potentially other Horn of Africa markets.” In common with other returning members of the Diaspora he recognizes that even as a Somali there is need for considerable readjustment; “Culture is enormously significant and so for someone who has been away for two decades, much will seem alien and so a measured approach is best.”. Liban is candid when talking about the challenges new businesses face; “…many returnees and foreigners have a distinct lack of local knowledge and market insight. It is important to remember that what might work or sell in Europe or the US will not necessarily work or sell here.” The fact that Somalis are happy to embrace new technology is an added draw and this will be further encouraged by the fact that the country is currently being connected to fibre optic cables. Economic development is well under way and there is increasing body of evidence to suggest that many foreign, Diaspora and local investors are going to achieve that thing they are all seeking, namely ‘Guul’ (meaning ‘success’ in Somali).read more
With increased economic activity throughout the Horn and East Africa the regions’ ports are more important than ever. Mombassa and Dar es Salaam are at full capacity, Djibouti is undergoing further expansion, which leaves Berbera Port the only other viable entry/exit point until the Lamu development is completed. Berbera Port sits in a very strategic location on the Red Sea and looks set to become a major port in the region for Somaliland, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan. Somaliland’s government has signaled its eagerness to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects and views the upgrading and expansion of the port as integral to the development of the Berbera Corridor. In recent years a number of companies including France’s Bolloré Africa Logistics, the Hong Kong based, Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), and Holland-based, APM Terminals have expressed an interest in playing a role in the Port of Berbera. With the green light having been given for privation already bids are being placed with Somaliland’s National Tender Board with regard to securing the rights to manage the Berbera petroleum storage facility. Companies such as Hass Petroleum, Jet Oil and Red Sea Petroleum have already thrown their hat into the ring. The likelihood is that further interest will follow and before too long Berbera will be in a position to offer effective competition to Djibouti.read more
If has been fascinating to monitor the international media with regards to coverage of the Horn and East Africa over the last eighteen months. Assuming that editors are even prepared to give to run a story at all the stories have been depressingly predictable, ranging from stories of Somali pirates and militants, child soldiers and outbreaks of the Ebola virus in Uganda, and famine and inter-ethnic strive along the disputed border between South Sudan and its northern neighbour. The HABA region is no stranger to climatic and geo-political woes, but equally is beginning to attract serious interest as a gateway into Africa and as an emerging economic zone in its own right. Negativity and well-worn stereotypes apart, there has been a frisson of interest from those interested in hydrocarbons. Whilst thought of petro-dollars has excited some in the business press, the more discerning have noted serious investment in infrastructure along with signs of improved aviation links. IT, solar energy and livestock are all areas that look to have considerable potential. When it comes to the Horn rarely do journalists, analysts or policy makers see the whole picture, it is as if they appear to be looking at the region through colanders. For some risk, both perceived and actual risk frames every decision taken, while for others much of East Africa and all of the Horn is viewed as a forbidding terra incognito. What is required is a rational and informed approach to a part of Africa that is already proving a useful entry point into Central and Sub-Saharan Africa – HABA for its part is determined to help others to see more clearly.read more