Somalia National Economic Forum Tackles Policies To Revamp Growth & Development
This year’s National Economic Policy Forum focused on the “Growth and Economic Transformation Strategy (GETS)”, an ambitions strategy based on a new vision for Somalia with the aspiration to rebuild a secure, stable and democratic country, and to achieve a national middle-income status by 2050.
During the two-day Forum, the NEC advisors and independent sector experts presented a total of (12) studies under the GETS for discussion by policy makers, field experts, government officials, change agents, and other relevant national stakeholders.
The 5th National Economic Policy Forum on Growth and Economic Transformation Strategy (GETS) was officially opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, H.E. Mahdi Mohamed Gulaid, who subsequently chaired the first session of the Forum.
In his remarks, the Deputy Prime Minister underlined the importance of having national strategic plans such as the GETS which can be utilized as a tool for shaping and accelerating Somalia’s long-term economic growth and recovery.
Similarly, H.E Mohamed Amin Sheikh Osman, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidency who also attended the opening session, highlighted the need for meaningful debates and discussions on the country’s economic trajectory, reaffirming the new government’s commitment in addressing the challenges facing the country through prioritizing the implementation of a sound and effective economic policies.
The 5 th National Economic Policy Forum aimed at bridging the current gap in knowledge for strengthening the application of effective policies and impactful reforms to address the critical pillars under the GETS, in particular the needs of the productive sector, the disaster risk reduction of food insecurity and enhanced resilience to climate change, as well as the development of the blue economy. 6. The Forum attracted more than 200 participants including senior officials from the FGS and FMS, dignitaries from the development partners, policy makers, field experts, representatives from the academia, civil society and other key national stakeholders.
The Policy Forum focused on the following plenary sessions based on the GETS studies: o Policies for Growth and Economic Transformation o Trade and Economic Infrastructure Development o Domestic Resource Mobilization and Institutional Development o Access to Finance and Financial Inclusion o Agriculture, Food Security and Environmental Sustainability o Climate Change Adaptation and Building Human Resilience o Social Sector-Education and Health for Women and Youth o Sustainable Blue Economy in Somalia.
Key Action Points of the Forum:
The Forum discussed the current key challenges of the economic and social sectors as well as the preconditions of sustainable economic development including peace, security, reconciliation and the rule of law, which are all dependent on competent and reform committed leadership.
The Forum underlined the need for the urgent completion of the ongoing debt relief process which is a prerequisite for the sound management of macroeconomic policies. The Forum emphasized that in order to have inclusive development and to generate enough employment, particularly for the youth, the country has to invest in its small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The development of the productive sector enterprises requires adequate economic infrastructure like roads and utilities and sufficient financial resources which entail the development of the financial sector to provide funds for investments, both small and large. The Forum underscored that the country needs to prioritize the allocation of more resources for the social services sector, specifically health and education, as well as public services for the vulnerable communities.
The Forum noted that Somalia lacks effective and capable governance to eliminate prevalent corruption in all aspects of Somali society. Therefore, in order to build trust among the different levels of government, and to ensure a proper administration and mobilization of domestic resources, Somalia needs to establish an autonomous and independent revenue authority. In view of its emerging competitiveness and productivity, the information technology sector in Somalia has considerable potential.
Therefore, the Forum calls for the adoption of relevant policies focusing on the information technology and digital economy, as well as its effective utilization across all economic sectors. o The Forum emphasized that Somalia’s medium and long-term sustainable high growth trajectory depends on the performance of its agricultural sector, and critical interventions that enhance environmental protection and human resilience should be put in place.
The Forum noted that one of the most critical risks for the livelihoods of the population is to address the challenges of climate impact and in particular prioritizing food security and building human resilience. o The Forum stressed on the need to develop the blue economy including the potential for oil and gas, marine resources and the renewable energy, while ensuring environmental protection.
The Forum calls on the government to create a unified intergovernmental authority for the oil and gas revenues administration, allocation, and management, with a single treasury account and with a clear investment portfolio to preserve and generate returns in the form of a sovereign wealth fund. 9. At the end of the second day, the Forum was officially closed by the Minister of Planning, Investment and Economic Development H.E Gamal Mohamed Hassan, who applauded the National Economic Council and the National Economic Advisors for their role in supporting and advising the Somali government on the formulation and management of sound economic and social policies to attain sustainable economic development.