Due to the frequency of shipwrecks in the treacherous seas near Cape Guardafui, the British signed an agreement with sultan Osman Mahamuud of the Majeerteen Sultanate, which controlled much of the northeastern Somali seaboard during the 19th century. The agreement stipulated that the British would pay annual subsidies to protect shipwrecked British crews and guard wrecks against plunder. The agreement, however, remained unratified, as the British feared that doing so would “give other powers a precedent for making agreements with the Somalis, who seemed ready to enter into relations with all comers.”
Sultan Yusuf Ali Kenadid of the Sultanate of Hobyo, which also controlled a portion of the coast, later granted concessions to an Aden-based French hotel proprietor and a former French Army officer to construct a lighthouse in Cape Guardafui. Capital for the project was raised by a firm in Marseilles, but the deal subsequently fell through.