A former Danish minister and a Non Governmental Organisation operating in the Horn of Africa are planning to set up a fish production plant in Somaliland.

Christian Friis Bach who served as the minister for development cooperation in Denmark says Somaliland has a great potential to produce fish for export and gain the much needed foreign exchange.

“Together with the FairFishing we are here to provide an opportunity to support Somaliland’s fish industry,” Friis said after holding a meeting with Somaliland president Musa Bihi and the ministers of livestock and fisheries, planning, and the investment.

“We see a chance to develop the fish industry and that is the reason I am currently on a visit to Somaliland. Somaliland is our ally. I met with president of Somaliland H.E Musa Bihi Abdi, the minister of livestock and fisheries, planning minister, and the investment minister. All the meetings I had with them were quite important and fruitful. I want to thank president H.E Musa Bihi who stood by us in supporting the project . He showed his commitment and encouraged us in the implementation of the project,” Friis added.

Friis first visited Somaliland eight years ago while serving in the Danish government. He is credited for launching the Danish office in Hargeisa.

Together with Fair Fishing, Friis says a fishing plant in Somaliland will not only create jobs for the youth but also help improve the economy of the country.

FairFishing is a Danish NGO working to create better lives on the Horn of Africa through fresh fish. By strengthening the local fishery, the NGO says it is working on reducing poverty and creating employment and income opportunities.

Friis said that he expects that some day that Denmark will consume fish imported from Somaliland. He said that a company named IFU is funding the project which has bankrolled 3 million US dollar investments in more than 100 countries around the world.

According to FairFishing, the idea to develop the fishing industry in Somaliland started in 2012 when American Arsenault Family Foundation made the first donation of USD 20.000 for a fact-finding mission in Somaliland whose purpose was to see if fishery was possible and how. 

The results showed there was no fishery infrastructure at all in Somaliland and everything had to be built from scratch. It was then decided to not choose one local partner, but to be inclusive and welcome anyone interested to cooperate.