By Jebril Domenico – Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday November 27, 2019.
Somalia has a lot of economic potentials including mines, agriculture and commercial potentials for economic growth of the country, including underground treasures such as iron, gas, oil, copper and so on…
Geographically, Somalia is known as the pearl of Indian Ocean, because of its strategic location on the Indian Ocean and near the Gulf of Aden, which is one of the most lucrative shipping lanes in the world.
This makes the country important in the overall global economic system which could be the best and shortest trade route among international ships.
Despite many opportunities, the economy of the country is facing many problems that can only be resolved through long-term policies.
Currently, Somalia is extremely dependent on foreign aid and international community for fulfillment of its basic needs such as counter terrorists, government personnel salaries, construction of infrastructures and so on.
One of the most serious damages to the Somali economy is over-reliance on foreign aid and international community. The international community, especially the United States of America has contributed millions of dollars to Somalia.
Thus, the counter terrorists have also cost around a billion dollars. So, the truth of the Somali economy is that it is not necessarily based on national production and the efforts of economic institutions, but rather on foreign aid.
Somalia’s continuing reliance on foreign aid has increased the opportunities for bilateral and multilateral aid agencies to influence policy making in the country.
Foreign aid can be the real cause of political dependencies and a pretext for interference of regional countries; the more economical dependent, the more political dependent.
In other words, providing military, economic, educational and other assistance to the country can leverage pressure on government policies. Therefore, having a self-relying economic and political infrastructure can make country stronger and more independent .
However, it never means that Somalia does not need to have international relations; it means a meaningful relation which can be the only way to rescue the war-torn country.
Based on these challenges before the stoppage of foreign aid, Somalia will have to make a lot of efforts to meet its economic needs. Somalia needs a development strategy that supports the private sector, attracts foreign investment, and empowers the country – not more foreign aid.
In spite of challenges at national level, the government must undertake some basic measures and plans to rebuild the economy of the country.
Thus, it seems necessary to gradually reduce its economic dependence on foreign countries otherwise after withdrawal of donor countries and sudden stoppage of their aid we will face severe economic problems that may result in insecurity and social unrest in the country.
The Federal government and other political elites should understand that international aid is neither a good economic prescription and nor it will be endless.
So, availing the current opportunity, we need to replace the existing economic resources and opportunities to a stronger and self-relying economy. At the end it must be emphasized that the current economic challenges which results in social and security is the biggest challenge of the country.
The government must take serious measures to address these problems in order to achieve self-sufficiency and finally stand on its own feet. As long as we cannot overcome the economic challenges we cannot achieve stability.