Abdikariim A. Jama
The National Investment Strategy (NIS) draft document of July 2019 is premised on strategies that aim to push for enterprise driven development. The document indicates that Somalia’s economy can recover and reemerge strongly as an important member of both regional and international communities. This would mean joining the ranks of local and international nations that are economically sound and possess stable and reliable business environments.
According to the document, Somalia has the potential to emerge as a hub to investors and a home for private capital. And that in the light of peace agreements signed between Ethiopia and Eritrea and the opening up of air relations with Ethiopia, Kenya and Qatar, Somalia can embark on a path towards progressive regional cooperation.
In question are ‘effective linkages of economic and physical (trade-based) infrastructure’. The move to strategize on how to approach the future is based on among other indicators, a recent positive endorsement of the economy of Somalia by the World Bank. The World Bank’s Somalia Economic Update 2019, that came out in August says that the country’s economy rebounded in 2018 from the 2016/17 drought. It notes that real GDP grew by an estimated 2.8 percent, up from 1.4 percent in 2017.
There is need for the country to harness the existing potential for private capital. Private investment, as the country grows more stable and business opportunities open up, is the best and fastest way to get Somalia on the right economic and development footing. The government must put in place the right kind of measures that can support and sustain small, medium and large enterprises in bringing investment to the market.
The building blocks of an enterprise driven development like the one that the government is attempting to attain are simple, basic but very necessary items: Labor force, improving the country’s image abroad, and targeting specific investments that are critical anchor and ancillary investments.
Identified as priority sectors for investment are; livestock, agriculture, fisheries, energy, financial services, ICT and infrastructure. The document illustrates the feasibility and viability of each when it comes to increasing both domestic and foreign investment.
Appropriate economic policy reforms to reduce risk, improve competitiveness and strengthen internal and external markets will pay dividends for investors, government and consumers. Developing special technical instruments and facilities as well as new financing structures to include blended nance, impact investments, social nance and other underused channels will form part of a new approach to development.
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