Somalia promises incentives in bid to attract international investors

Published: December 1, 2022

Leaders of the Federal Government of Somalia, its international partners, and a cross-section of Somalis gathered in the capital on Monday and Tuesday for the country’s first-ever International Investment Conference–an opportunity for the world to appreciate the progress being made by Somalia on the political and economic front.

President Mohamud highlighted the efforts of his government to create a favorable investment environment to attract foreign direct investment through constitutional governance and stability based on the rule of law and democracy as the country rebuilds after years of conflict. Held under the theme: ‘Unlocking Sectoral Investments to Accelerate Economic Growth,’ the conference is organised by the Federal Ministry of Planning, Investment, and Economic Development, in partnership with the private sector and development partners, and is supported by the United Nations in Somalia.Potential for investment.

In his remarks at the opening day of the conference, the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Somalia, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Adam Abdelmoula, noted that the investment conference was in line with the objectives of the UN in Somalia to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030, and was aligned with the Sustainable Development cooperation framework between the UN and Somalia (2021-2025).

The United States Ambassador to Somalia, Larry E. André Jr., who was one of the keynote speakers during the opening of the conference, expressed confidence in Somalia’s full economic revival and noted that the United States supports the partnership between Somalia and international financial institutions.

In recent years Somalia has normalized its relations with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and other international financial institutions after 30 years outside the international financial system.

The US Ambassador said that ongoing reforms to have Somalia qualify for debt relief through the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, will ensure the flow of significant resources to support reconstruction efforts.

The Somali diaspora continues to play an important role in providing much-needed financial remittances, which are key to boosting economic growth in the trade, hospitality, banking, fishing, and real estate sectors. In the recent past, Somalia has focused on improving infrastructure, regulating import and export standards, accession to international and regional trade mechanisms such as the World Trade Organisation, and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The gathering heard that Somalia’s strategic location with the longest coastline in Africa for trade and market access and its endowed natural resources makes the country a prime investment destination with opportunities in priority sectors of energy, ICT, banking and finance, fisheries, and agri-business.

In his address at the closing day of the conference, the Prime Minister of Somalia, Hamza Abdi Barre expressed the government’s commitment to implement legislative, economic, and security reforms to enhance the ease of doing business and create a favourable investment climate.