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Bid to create a unified Somali Diaspora gathers pace

Final touches are underway for the Global Somali Diaspora conference, first of its own, in Mogadishu on August, 2016. The conference aims to promote investment for the Horn of Africa country, and use it as a platform to positively rebrand Somalia as the last frontier of investment in the Horn/Eastern Africa region.

Abdirahman Yusuf

Final touches are underway for the Global Somali Diaspora (GSD) conference, first of its own, in Mogadishu on August, 2016. The individuals drawn from various parts of the world are meeting next month in Mogadishu to share experiences and to inspire other potential investors to consider channeling investments in Somalia.

“We have more than two million Somalia people in the diaspora with most of them having fled the conflict, hunger and famine economic despair. We are seeking a global platform to bring together all these people with their vast experiences to help rebuild Somalia. They have better education, more exposure and in most cases better economically and those are among the things we want to tap into,” said Abdi Barud GSD Executive Director.

Since its inception in 2014, GSD, has been holding various meetings in locations including USA and the major bases for Somalis in diaspora.

The meetings are aimed at cultivating the need for unity among Somali citizens and forge robust investment frameworks that will create impacts back home and help raise the standards of living for those at home.

“We want to mobilise Somali diaspora for positive actions, because they have diverse skills that this county needs to rebuild, ranging from education and medicine,” Mr. Barud told The Somalia Investor Magazine.

At the conference, those in the diaspora who have already been engaged in various forms of investments are expected to share their experiences and create benchmarks for others who would want to take similar initiatives. This is also a chance for attendees to experience and tour the country as some may have never been in the country or left when they were very young.

The World Bank estimates that $1.4 billion flowed into Somalia from the worldwide diaspora in 2014, equal to 24 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. In addition to remittances, which are largely spent on monthly household expenses, diaspora funds contribute significantly to private sector investment.

Formed in Turkey in June 2014 by a group of young professionals, academicians, community leaders and businessmen from 20 countries, which have community Somali diaspora, the main objective of GSD is to mobilise Somali diaspora for positive actions, to promote investment in the country and create jobs in the rebuilding the nation.

About 250 people are expected to attend the event daily since the event was tied to the summer when most people travel home for holidays. The organisers believe the move will chart a new path that will promote investment in Somalia as the countries strives to regain its economic balance following two decades of political instability

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