Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images

“It is very difficult to say when it is going to happen, but we can say that we in Somaliland have always sought and struggled to get the independence and recognition we need. We know that’s not an easy thing to achieve immediately, but still it remains our main goal”

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PHOTO: Charlie Rabicano

An increasing number of businesses from the continent’s largest economy are seeking out new opportunities across Africa, but questions linger about whether policy makers in Pretoria are doing enough to encourage this trend

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“In the early years, I think we did what a lot of corporate foundations and a lot of foundations in general do, which is fund lots of small projects with a lot of not-for-profit partners around the world,” says Chris West, who, after a career that spanned both the private sector and the development world, joined the Shell Foundation as director a decade ago. “Pretty quickly we realised that that achieved neither scale nor sustainability... I think in many ways that’s a historic reflection of how a lot of donors and NGOs and indeed corporates have behaved in the past, and it’s been driven by short term reputational benefit over real genuine systemic change.

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