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The African Development Bank and the Federal Government of Somalia concluded a two-day (26-27 April 2018) consultation and knowledge-sharing workshop on “Regulating the Somalia Energy Sector.”
The main objective of the Workshop, funded by the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Fund, was to provide an opportunity for Somali policy makers to share information from Korean, Ethiopian and Kenyan counterparts on best practices for developing the energy sector. The Workshop also served as a platform for guidance on developing renewable energy in Somalia, including data on the most suitable technologies and providers. Participants examined the organizational aspects of the Somali Electrification Institute (SEI) as well as providing an avenue for strengthening bilateral relationship between Korea and Somalia.
About 70 participants from Somalia’s energy ministries, representatives of the private sector, officials from the Energy Department of the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, authorities responsible for oversight in the energy sectors in Kenya and Ethiopia as well as other development partners.
Opening the workshop, Nnenna Nwabufo, Deputy Director General, Eastern Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office and country Manager for Somalia, underscored the importance of enhancing oversight in the energy sector in Somalia through the establishment of the proposed Somali Electrification Institute (SEI). This, Nwabufo said, is an important prerequisite for rapid economic growth in the country. She emphasized the need to examine all pertinent issues, urging the delegates to be realistic about what can be achieved in the short-term given that Somalia is still overcoming decades of conflict. She also used the occasion to thank the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Trust Fund for its financial contribution that made the Study and Workshop possible, and the Federal Government of Somalia for their support in organizing the event.
Commending the organizers, Senior Energy Advisor to the Minister of Energy and Water resources, Mohamud Hagi Salah, underscored the need for development partners, including the Bank, to help Somalia deepen access to energy in order to speed up and sustain growth in the country. He also confirmed the government’s view that the proposed electrification institute is a key institution that has the full backing of all stakeholders in Somalia, noting that it will enhance oversight of the energy sector and enable the stabilization of Somalia’s economic growth. He thanked the Bank and the KOAFEC Trust Fund for supporting the Somalia energy sector.
Other policy makers at the workshop reiterated the importance of the Bank’s support to Somalia’s energy sector for growth. Several discussants shared experiences that Somalia could build on to enhance the energy sector. Case studies from Ethiopia, Kenya and Korea provided innovative approaches from which Somalia can learn.
The Workshop proposed a road map for developing the country’s energy sector with the enactment of an energy act and regulatory policy, launch of Somalia Energy Institute, need for Somalia to embrace renewable sources, and enhance capacity in public and private organizations involved in the energy sector as key milestones.