Somalia is home to one of the most active mobile money markets in the world, performing better than most countries in Africa.
According to a report issued by the World Bank, the Horn of Africa nation records approximately 155 million transactions, worth about $2.7 billion per month.
Mobile money has superseded the use of cash in Somalia, with over 70 percent of adult Somalis using mobile money services regularly.
The World Bank report titled “Rapid Growth in Mobile Money: Stability or Vulnerability?” also laid out recommendations for the country to introduce mobile money regulation that can boost a secure system for widespread financial inclusion.
We will continue to support the partnership between the Central Bank of Somalia, the National Communications Authority and the key private sector actors as they deliberate on an appropriate regulatory framework for the sector.” said Tim Kelly, Lead ICT policy specialist at the World Bank.
Somalia’s economy has grown modestly in recent years, and it remains vulnerable to recurrent shocks. Between 2013 and 2017, real annual GDP growth averaged 2.5 percent. Nonetheless, growth has not been sufficient to translate into poverty reduction.
The World Bank now projects the country to grow at an annual rate of 3-4 percent.
Somalia has been dogged by an Islamist insurgency for over a decade, which has taken tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions others, also crippling various basic sectors.
The World Bank urged Somalia to allow public investments in basic services as a way of strengthening the economy.
“Somalia needs to continue to build the fiscal buffers to allow greater public investment in basic services. Recent efforts to broaden the tax base, enhance compliance, and reduce wasteful expenditures are starting to pay off,” said John Randa, Senior Economist at the World Bank Macroeconomic, Trade and Investment Global Practice and Lead Author of the SEU.