Feature: Somalia radio station spurs recovery process through promoting enterprises

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-14 22:45:51|Editor: yan
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by Abdi and Wang Xiaopeng

MOGADISHU, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- A new radio station in Somalia that airs business programs round the clock is behind hastening the Horn of Africa State's recovery process through promotion of entrepreneurship.

Goobjoog Business that has over 25 radio stations across Somalia usually airs content rich in economics, finance and entrepreneurship to the delight of citizens and local leaders.

It commenced operations early this year and has stood out as the only channel dedicated to business while providing a platform for entrepreneurs and their clients to interact.

Abdiwali Jama Bare, the director of Goobjoog Business, told Xinhua recently that the decision to start a business radio was informed by the growing need for specialized coverage of topics related to entrepreneurship.

"We started this idea because we realized there were no media outlets dedicated to covering business and we felt the need to fill this gap in the market," said Bare.

"We offer opportunities to make visible business ideas for entrepreneurs in Somalia. Since we do not spend time on politics as most stations do, we are able to build our expertise in covering business and gradually becoming a reliable source for business news in Somalia," he added.

The World Bank said in its Somali Economic Update last month, the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated to have reached 6.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, adding the Horn of Africa country lost about 1.7 billion dollars in livestock deaths and another 60 million dollars lost in crop production during the recent drought.

Bare said the increasing number of Somali Diaspora returning to the country and foreign investors find it difficult to get a clear picture of the country's investment opportunities and challenges but Goobjoog Business is now addressing that need.

"Different companies want to invest in Somalia because of the improvements in terms of security and general business environment. We help them get accurate and latest business news round the clock. We also carry out in-depth programming covering market research," Bare said.

After signing out his daily business show, Abdisalan Ali Hussein, a business reporter told Xinhua his choice as reporter with Goobjoog Business was an opportunity to bring positive changes to the society.

"I wanted to present our listeners with something new; something different from what we get on radio every day. Most journalists in Somalia do not cover business but we are fully committed to giving our listeners the best of business news and in-depth analysis," said Hussein.

Managing to keep the station on air sixteen hours a day is not easy for Bare since business requires specialized understanding by the journalists and the absence of established media schools in Somalia makes it more difficult for journalists to build expertise.

Nevertheless, Bare said his venture is slowly building a team of journalists who are keen on developing their capacity and interest in business journalism.

The station also publishes online monthly market watch reports covering currency performance, prices and other market developments.

A trader in Mogadishu, Mahad Fiqi, told Xinhua he relies on Goobjoog Business for information on business climate in Mogadishu and surrounding regions.

"I am happy with this radio because it presents new business ideas and this for us is encouraging. People know the new things in the market and this is another good thing that was not previously available," Fiqi said.

Somalia which largely depends on foreign donor funding and Diaspora remittances is working to reverse these trends by building its domestic market to finance its budget and create job opportunities especially for the youths which account for some 75 percent of the population.

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