Key to Somalia's Recovery
Piracy, terrorism and criminal activities originating in Somalia can only be addressed by creating a climate of security, engagement and empowerment that will encourage home grown businesses, international investment and alternative employment for Somalia’s young people.
That’s one of the key conclusions of the second high level meeting of public and private sector experts on Somalia brought together by DP World and knowledge partner the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA) in Dubai under the theme ‘Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Opportunities, Communities’ Engagement and Soft Diplomacy’. The expert panel was the second in a series that form part of DP World’s ongoing counter piracy efforts and Somalia capacity building.
The panel was attended by around 50 government representatives, industry experts, academics and Somali youth, including H.E. Abdighani Abdi Jama, State Minister of Presidency, Jubbaland, H.E. Prof. Ali Mohamed Gedi, Former Prime Minister, Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Ambassador Mahash Saeed Alhameli, Director of International Security Cooperation Department, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and DP World Group CEO Mohammed Sharaf.
A white paper following the discussion was released today in the run up to the fourth public-private Counter-Piracy Conference to be held in Dubai later this month under the theme ‘Securing State Recovery: Sustaining Momentum at Sea, Confronting Instability on Land’.
The paper highlights the pivotal role of public-private partnerships (PPP) and community engagement in countering instability, attracting investment and creating a sense of solidarity and belonging among Somali nationals.
DP World Group CEO Mohammed Sharaf said, “Public-private partnerships are a way to develop economies and infrastructure. We have experience of PPP agreements around the world, particularly where governments are often seeking expertise as much as they are pursuing foreign direct investment.
“The question of who delivers such major projects was in large part answered by the presence in the panel discussion of Somalis of all ages and from all walks of life and their willingness to be involved in an initiative which aims to help Somalia move beyond piracy permanently and become once again a vibrant economy, an engaged community and a safe place to live and work.”
INEGMA Director of Research and Consultancy Dr. Theodore Karasik said, “Creating hope in Somali societies will encourage communities to implement change and soft power that develops cooperation strategies between public and private stakeholders as alternatives to a military or coercive approach. Emphasising the role of local cultures and policies is crucial in promoting national security and boosting the economic sector.
“At the same time, measures such as Communication for Development (C4D) – a communication tool and process for sustainable democratic development – have emerged as drivers for the delivery of aid programmes involving social media campaigns which could impact the recruitment of young people into piracy.”
The white paper also highlights the importance of youth and gender engagement to promote community dialogue. Some 70 per cent of Somalia’s population is below the age of 30 and while there are no laws that limit women’s political participation, employment or education, the panel commented they remain marginalised in society despite steps to reinforce democracy and state-building processes in the country.
The paper also recommended that there was a need to view Somali issues with a wider perspective and as a nation state, taking into account all its smaller and scattered communities. The previous emphasis on local politics and rivalries highlighted the limitations in the effectiveness of PPP programmes.