By Hon. Abdulkadir Osoble
Monday February 28, 2022
There is a huge Bomb
in Somalia and its shockwave will wash across the Horn and into the global
More than 70 percent
of Somalia’s population is now under 30, with about 70 percent of those people
unemployed. Less than 40 percent are literate - less again in rural
communities. Somalia is still classified as a fragile state, and Somalia’s
statistics for human health and wellbeing remain in the lowest band for every
category. The population is despondent. They yearn for opportunity to fulfil
their own dreams. In a land that is fragile in terms of security and politics,
the timebomb only grows.
This Bomb cannot be disarmed by wishful
thinking or political maneuvering. It cannot be solved by guns and bullets, nor
kill-or-capture, nor by more drone strikes. It does not do it with band-aid or by
zombie negotiations on odious debt. The only solution is economic expansion.
The economy must grow at a pace that can meaningfully employ Somalia’s
ever-expanding population and significantly reduce structural unemployment and
underemployment. It is about the economy. It always has been.
For thirty years, there has only been token
investment in macro-economic infrastructure. It is a priority to provide
Somalia with the macro-economic infrastructure it needs to allow the domestic
economy to grow. Macro-economic infrastructure provides a
positive multiplier, by giving Somalis the confidence to invest in Small
and Medium Enterprises (SME). It is also a positive multiplier in
peacebuilding, by signifying real change and the positive inclusion of Somali
communities that have been historically and culturally marginalized.
In tandem with macro-economic expansion,
there is the need to build the cornerstone of any economy - banking and
finance. It’s an obvious powerful multiplier for any society. Without this
sector SME development will not occur. The key is to make sure that financial
opportunities also reach the poorest and dispossessed, so that even at the micro-credit
level, Somalis have a chance to build a future for themselves.
Most employment in any economy is generated
in the private sector. By building the macro-economic, banking, and financial infrastructure
that Somalia needs, you create the preconditions for the private sector and
venture capital to invest. Jobs, not bullets. It is about the economy. It
always has been.
Somalia needs a leader with a vision to
build a new Somalia for the 21st century that can priorities and maximize job creation and
bring hope and opportunity to communities throughout Somalia. The alternative…
The alternative is a country in which no one would want to live.
Hon. Abdulkadir Osoble
Relations & Intern. Coop. Committee,