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The African Development Bank has reaffirmed its support to Somalia’s reconstruction as the country embarks on the path of irreversible and durable peace and stability.
This was during the roundtable on Somalia held on Friday, May 23, on the closing day of the 2014 of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank in Kigali.
Speaking on behalf of the Bank, Gabriel Negatu, the AfDB’s Regional Director, Eastern Africa Regional Centre, said the Somali Country Brief for 2013-2015 was approved in April 2013 and lays out the Bank’s scaled up programme of reengagement, through the Somali Enhanced Programme (SEP) which will form the basis for the Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
“An initial concept note for the AfDB Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Somalia has been prepared and is currently being reviewed by colleagues in the Bank’s Resource Mobilization and External Finance Department before being discussed with external partners and potential donors,” Negatu said.
He pointed out that $3.9 million approved in December 2013 for strengthening governance and capacities is now effective for disbursement.
Under the Bank’s Somalia Enhanced Programme (SEP), the objective is to establish a macroeconomic and budget framework that will promote fiscal discipline, strategic and efficient allocation and use of public resources. It will also contribute to macroeconomic stability, he said
“About $1.6 million has been set aside to finance statistical capacity building in Somalia as a whole, including Puntland and Somaliland.
This capacity is critical for, amongst other things, macro-fiscal planning and onto an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff-Monitored Program,” he said.
Currently the Bank has two ongoing projects including the $0.5 million for a country wide population estimation survey, which is being supported in partnership with other donors and implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and $ 0.5 million for building capacity of the Somaliland Statistics Department.
“The Bank is planning a similar capacity building project in Puntland ($0.5 million) and has committed $160,000 in partnership with the World Bank, who will contribute $200,000) to support the preparation of a National Strategy for the Development Statistics,” Negatu said.
Since November 2013, the AfDB has been working in partnership with the IMF and the World Bank to develop a comprehensive financial governance programme which is being managed and implemented by the Financial Governance Committee.
“The Bank’s representative on Financial Governance Committee will be on board from next week,” Negatu said.
During the roundtable, donors and strategic partners agreed on the importance of strengthening coordination of support to the country and the need for government ownership for any support programmes to succeed.
The importance of speeding up the process of clearing the arrears of the country while, at the same time, continuing to support the country’s public financial management systems was also underscored.
“We have continued implementing our economic agenda in this critical year, in which gains in security have to be accompanied by restoration of basic government services,” said Ali Issa Abdi, a Senior Adviser to the Central Bank of Somalia.
He pointed out that among the key measures implemented by the Government includes the country’s 2014 budget which includes significant steps to improve revenue collection and that the Council Of Ministers recently endorsed the new Procurement Act.
In addition, the country’s Parliament is deliberating the public financial management and the Development and Reconstruction Bank Acts among others.
“With progress in economic policy implementation, the Government hopes to start an IMF Staff-Monitored Program later this year. In this, we count on the flexibility in data and other requirements for a Staff-Monitored Program in view of Somalia’s post-conflict situation,” Issa Abdi said.
The Government is also working to achieve a 60% increase in domestic revenue especially through inland taxes and administrative measures.
“In line with the compact and other recent donor commitments and pledges, we are looking forward to increased contributions to multi-partner funds and other forms of collaboration among donors,” Issa Abdi said.
After more than two decades of civil conflict, Somalia is currently at a “turning point” in terms of positive political and security developments as well as the commitment of the international community for a sustainable resolution of the protracted crisis in the country. Somalia has entered a new phase of peace-building, stability and recovery, after the end of the political transition on August 20, 2012.
The TFG has given way to a new Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), a provisional Constitution and a Parliament. The outlook is more positive than it has been in a generation. However, the situation remains extremely fragile. Joint and concerted domestic and international efforts need to be sustained and enhanced to ensure national reconciliation, durable peace, stability and state-building.