How A Central Bank In Somalia Is Helping To Reduce Poverty

The Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) is Somalia’s monetary authority, enforcing financial policies throughout the country.

central bank Somalia, Somalia bank, Somalia banks, bankiga dhexe ee Soomaaliya

Central Bank Of Somalia

Somalia’s monetary authority is the Central Bank of Somalia. Since the fall of an authoritarian regime in 1991, Somalia has struggled to reestablish a functioning state. Somalia has been used as a real-world example of an anarchist stateless society with no formal legal system.

The Transitional Federal Government, established in 2004, was recognized as Somalia’s central government. It is responsible for, among other things, ensuring financial stability, maintaining the internal and external value of the local currency, and promoting credit and exchange conditions that facilitate the national economy’s balanced growth. It also contributes to the State’s financial and economic policies within the scope of its powers.

Historical background

As part of its campaign to restore national institutions, the Transitional Federal Government reopened the Central Bank of Somalia in Mogadishu in 2009. The bank already had a branch in Baidoa that was fully operational and staffed. Yussur A.F. Abrar was appointed as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Somalia in September 2013.

She was the first woman to be appointed to the position. She was a former Vice-President at Citigroup and Vice-President of Credit Risk Management at the American International Group. Isse was appointed as the new permanent Central Bank Governor by the federal Cabinet in April 2014. His new Deputy Governor is Maryan Abdullahi Yusuf.

Read more: Premier Bank Somalia

Central Bank Somalia Objectives

Price stability is the Central Bank of Somalia’s medium and long-term monetary policy objective. This is further followed by:

  • Creating and enforcing monetary and exchange-rate policies.
  • Keeping and increasing the value of the Somali shilling.
  • Keeping financial stability.
  • Harmonizing and coordinating fiscal and monetary policies of the government.
  • Internationally and internally, promoting a sound credit and payment system.

Overview of policies and services

In terms of financial management, the newly resurrected Central Bank of Somalia is in the process of formulating and enforcing monetary policy.

Because of a lack of trust in the local currency, the US dollar, along with the Somali shilling, is widely accepted as a medium of exchange. Regardless of dollarization, the large issuance of the Somali shilling has increasingly fueled price increases, particularly for low-value transactions.

However, this inflationary environment is expected to end as soon as the Central Bank assumes full control of monetary policy and replaces the currently circulating currency introduced by the private sector.

Currency and banking operations

Executive Director Ahmed Hundubey leads the Currency and Banking Operations Group. Under the CBS Act of 2012, the Group is tasked with carrying out CBS’s responsibility to issue the Somali Shilling. It is charged with being both the issuing authority and the custodian of Somalia’s national reserve. The Group is also in charge of carrying out CBS duties as the government’s fiscal agent.

The Currency and Banking Operations Group manages the National Payment System, which was launched in July 2021, ensuring smooth transactions on both the ACH and RTGS platforms. The Group employs cutting-edge technology to provide banking services, manage foreign exchange reserves, develop debt management strategies, and conduct debt sustainability analyses.

Monetary, financial, and regulatory policy

Dr. Abdilahi Ali is the Executive Director of the Monetary, Financial, and Regulatory Policy Group at the Central Bank of Somalia. By providing comprehensive and timely research papers, statistical reports, and policy analysis, the Group assists the bank in meeting its monetary and financial stability objectives.

It also carries out this goal by monitoring the safety and soundness of domestic banks and non-bank financial institutions licensed by CBS, such as money transfer companies and mobile money operators.

The Group regulates and oversees the national payment system, as well as the financial health of the country’s finance sector as a whole. It is in charge of providing advice and guidance for the formulation and implementation of monetary policy, as well as maintaining the stability of Somalia’s financial system. It carries out fundamental research on monetary policy tools and targets, national financial transmission mechanisms, financial stability, and foreign exchange policies.

Financial, administrative, and support services

General Manager Mohamed Abdi leads the Central Bank of Somalia’s Financial Administrative and Support Services Group. The Group is in charge of providing the bank with support and administrative services. This includes departments such as financial affairs, which is responsible for budgeting and planning, general accounting, financial reporting, and the bank’s other internal financial needs.

Financial, administrative, and support services

It is also in charge of human resource operations, which include implementing the bank’s HR policies and coordinating employee benefits, performance management, and employee relations. The Group oversees all of the bank’s support services, ensuring the smooth operation of the security, transportation and maintenance, procurement, and information technology divisions.

National Payment System

Although Somalia was without a central monetary authority for more than 15 years between the outbreak of the civil war in 1991 and the subsequent re-establishment of the Central Bank of Somalia in 2009, the country’s payment system is quite advanced, owing primarily to the widespread existence of private money transfer operators (MTO) that served as informal banking networks.

For the first time in Somalia’s history, the Central Bank of Somalia has established a transformative national payment system. The system connects all of the country’s banks and allows them to transact with one another. It combines automated clearing house (ACH), real-time gross settlement (RTGS), and instant funds transfer (IFT) functionality into a single platform that connects CBS and commercial banks.

The national payment system is expected to transform the country’s financial sector by enabling a more secure and efficient payment infrastructure. It promotes the stability of the financial system, the speed of service and transactions, the development of new lifestyle products, and financial inclusion.

Keep reading: Salaam Somali Bank

Supervision and licensing

The Licensing and Supervision department issues all CBS licenses to Somali financial service providers and supervises them to ensure they follow the country’s rules and regulations. The department is motivated by the primary goal of enabling a safe and sound financial sector that adheres to international standards. It offers regular training and workshops to help service providers build their capacity, as well as on-site and off-site examinations.

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