Somalia New Deal: Way Forward

Published on 17th September 2013

Somalia will benefit from 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in aid aimed at rebuilding the country's economy. The European Union led the financial pledges, committing 650 million euros in a forum of Somali leaders and about 50 international delegations who met in Brussels.

While the international community stands with this country of 10 million people to boost output, foster political dialogue and improve day-to-day security after decades of debilitating civil war, it should be remembered that individual donor countries are facing unique financial challenges. Such challenges made the donors who pledged to increase aid to Africa by $50bn at the G8 meeting at Gleneagles in 2005 to renege the pledge. The current economic difficulties in the Eurozone made David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, to call upon the EU to start living "in the real world" by recognizing the need for financial belt-tightening in line with national austerity measures.

This should be a pointer for Somalia and the African Union to craft alternative strategies for putting the country on its feet. The current government of Somalia has an onerous task to develop a growth trajectory that will ensure growth and self-reliance. This will partly entail Somalia prioritizing on building its human resource and connectivity infrastructure. Another way would be reconnecting the country to global markets as an outlet for its vast farming, mineral and fishing resources. Donor nations should not override the priorities of the citizenry and existing government.

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