Enterprising Somali businessmen fund country’s $20m fuel storage facility; eyeing oil boom

Investors stumped up money over the last four years to rebuild tanks damaged in civil war.

SOMALIA reopened a $20 million petroleum- storage facility restored with funds from the country’s businessmen after it was destroyed in the Horn of Africa nation’s two-decade civil war.

The facility has seven tanks capable of storing 40 million litres of fuel each, Isma’il Abdullahi Gooni, head of the Somali Fuel Company, which restarted the operations, said during its opening ceremony. Businessmen invested the funds over the past four years.

“You have invested in your country, you have created opportunities for hundreds of unemployed people,” Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud told investors in an address at the opening ceremony.

The country, which has mainland Africa’s longest coastline, has in April 2016 scheduled an oil and gas summit in Turkey a it seeks to showcase what it says is significant energy potential.

Somalia has been mired in civil strife since the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. Mohamoud’s internationally backed government is trying to rebuild the country’s institutions and consolidate territorial gains made against al-Qaeda-linked militants.

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