Because of my travels, I was not at all surprised to discover that the telecommunications industry is alive and booming in Somaliland. In fact, all of Africa is becoming saturated with cellphones, and mobile companies and phone manufacturers are paying close attention. An emerging African middle class combined with the increasingly low prices of mobile phones mean that the continent now offers millions of potential customers in a large market that is only beginning to be tapped. Somaliland is an ideal example of why the telecommunications industry is booming in Africa. In the late 1980’s, Siad Barre, the repressive dictator of the Somali Republic, launched repeated air attacks on Hargeisa.
The bombing completely destroyed most of the city and crippled the infrastructure and development of the northern region. I doubt that telephone poles had been erected in the country back then, but if any did exist, Barre’s assault surely took them out.
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