Somalia installs the country’s first ATM in Mogadishu
With over two decades of clan conflicts and extreme religious militia causing havoc across the country. Somalia has little to show off in terms of a formal banking system, especially when compared to its neighbors.
This is however set to change or at least it seems like it after the Salaam Somali Bank installed the country’s first-ever ATM machine for withdrawing cash. The machine was installed in an upmarket hotel in Mogadishu.
The ATM allows the Bank’s customers to withdraw money in US dollars since the country’s formal currency, the Shilling, is “almost worthless” as cited by BBC Africa. Foreigners in the country and local businessmen alike shun away from the Somalia Shilling and instead prefer trading in US dollars.
People can now withdraw money from their international bank accounts, through Visa, American Express and MasterCard. Said Abukar, a spokesman from the Salaam Somali Bank, told BBC Africa the following:
“We may add other international currencies in the future. People from the diaspora and foreigners have welcomes the move with enthusiasm. We are planning to install more ATMs in Mogadishu.”
A visitor to Somalia from the UK, Omar Hassan, welcomed the move to install the ATM, terming it as a “big step forward” for the country.
“I have been staying in Mogadishu for longer than I originally planned, so I ran out of cash. I couldn’t believe my luck when I heard about the new cash machine.” – Omar told BBC, as he was in the queue waiting to withdraw cash from the machine.
Other people were so confused about how the ATM works, since it was their first time to use the machine.