Following more than two decades of civil war and absence of state control, Somalia is on a path to emerge from fragility and has embarked on a political reconstruction process.
The government faces a range of state building challenges, not only on security but also on developing a viable system of federal government, adequately resourcing the core functions of the state, reducing corruption, fostering growth, responding to climate induced shocks and investing in longer term recovery.
The EU and Member States’ objectives in Somalia are building state legitimacy and responsiveness, democratic governance and rule of law, building effective and sustainable responses to security challenges, responding to vulnerabilities and creating economic opportunities to foster inclusive and sustainable growth.
Education is at the heart of these objectives in Somalia, both as a building block for human development and fundamental rights as well as a vital catalyst to achieving the EU’s priorities.
The proposed priority areas under EU cooperation are designed to address key challenges facing Somalia.
Governance and Peacebuilding
In order to address the persistent fragility of the country, we focus on strengthening inclusive governance, promoting peacebuilding and advancing stabilisation while also addressing some of the root causes of migration. This will also contribute to the potential Team Europe Initiative on governance, peace and security, which focuses on reconciliation with a continued engagement in favour of building legitimate state institutions, specifically in the security and justice sectors, while promoting the advancement of the federal project throughout the range of EU interventions.
Inclusive and green economic growth
This priority area aims at improving financial and economic governance, improving access to quality education, supporting the development of skills, and addressing the issues constraining economic development.
A key component of EU support to Somalia is strengthening the capacity of the Government to mobilise domestic resources and deploy these to deliver services to the citizens. The EU will continue providing assistance for Somalia to continue its reforms to reach Heavily Indebted Poor Countries completion point and maintain macroeconomic stability, which includes careful debt management. Support to improve public financial management (PFM) will be based on a PFM reform action plan, and will focus on putting in place the key building blocks of a functioning modern administration, which will include domestic resource mobilisation, budget accountability and transparency, intergovernmental fiscal arrangements, as well as oversight mechanisms, and digital solutions where appropriate.
The EU will support green economic development and strengthen the economic base, through the promotion of economic reforms to improve the business environment and legal frameworks, as well as by developing sustainable agri-food systems (agriculture, fisheries, and livestock). In addition, the EU will support the integration of Somalia’s commercial banks into the international financial system and help address the key bottlenecks that are hampering engagement by international Development Finance Institutions in Somalia. This will complement regional programmes on sustainable finance, investment climate, private sector development, and Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorist Financing measures.
Resilience building and social inclusion
This priority area aims at building resilience and promoting social inclusion through a multi-sectoral approach to resilience and by integrating environment and climate change considerations in all sectors. The focus will be on vulnerable communities such as the rural and urban poor but also on displacement-affected communities, in particular women, young people, persons with disabilities and minority groups.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for Somalia for 2021-2024 amounts to €257 million.
Priority area 1: ‘Governance and Peacebuilding’ will play a key role in achieving objectives, specifically in promoting citizens’, and particularly women’s, participation in public affairs and holding state institutions accountable. This will be ensured by associating civil society organisations in the implementation of new governance and security programmes as well as by providing dedicated support towards the following objectives. To promote inclusive and institutionalised decision-making processes and strengthen the responsiveness of the state, including the protection of human rights, and the reconciliation and peaceful resolution of conflict, actions such as Strengtehning Inclusive Governance in Somalia (SIGS) and Human Security programme are implemented. Furthermore, we aim to strengthen the capacities, accountability and effectiveness of the security sector, including maritime security.
Priority area 2: ‘Inclusive and green economic growth’ is a critical factor in terms of stimulating public debate as well as holding duty bearers accountable. The EU support focuses on strengthening state capacity to deliver core functions, improve the education and training systems for delivery of inclusive quality education and training and to promote green, low-carbon, climate-resilient economic development and regional integration through an enabling environment, offering direct support to the private sector and climate-responsive infrastructure services. Main actions approved as of July 2022 under this priority area are: Education Access and Quality Improvement Programme (EAQIP) and Economic Governance and Anit-corruption Programme.
Priority area 3: ‘Resilience building and social inclusion’ aims to advance climate action, by contributing to climate-resilient and low carbon development in vulnerable communities. Also, it will enhance durable solutions to displacement, improve migration management, promote inclusive, disaster-resilient and sustainable urban development and expand access to basic services and social protection, under a core action titled “Green deal - Boosting Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Change (BREACH)”
The EU has been a key contributor to the development of core state functions:
- Federal and regional administrations have prepared an impressive number of key legislation and policies.
- Financial governance has improved considerably at the level of budget planning, procurement and payment processing.
- Reengagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has laid the ground for debt relief.
In education, since 2013 primary, secondary and vocational training opportunities have been expanded with a particular focus on newly liberated areas. Recent key achievements are the standardised national exams for secondary students and the Somali-owned curriculum.