Jul 06, 2011

Somaliland: EU Commissioner Commends Stability And Economic Progress

In a speech at Somaliland’s Parliament announcing increased development support, the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, has commended Somaliland on its political and economic progress.

Below is Press Release by the European Commission:

During a visit to Somaliland, the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, announced today [6 July 2011] that the European Union is considering to provide around additional €175 million in EU support to Somalia, including to Somaliland.

In his speech before the Somaliland Parliament, Mr Piebalgs said: “The European Union welcomes the contribution that Somaliland is making to peace and good governance in the region. It is an encouraging example of peace, democracy and stability. This is why we will invest additional development funds as security and the socio-political conditions favour sustainable development.”

Additional EU support in Somaliland will focus on areas to foster economic development, education and governance.

During his visit, Commissioner Piebalgs met President Silanyo and delivered a speech to the House of Representatives in Hargeisa. Commissioner Piebalgs underlined that Somaliland is an example of stability and democracy which will hopefully encourage others to promote broader political dialogue, development and integration. He stressed that Somaliland has a role to play in economic integration and development in the Horn of Africa region.

Mr Piebalgs encouraged Somaliland to stay engaged in international efforts to curb piracy, and commended the efforts of the Somaliland coastguard, police and judiciary.

The EU Development Commissioner discussed the political, social and economic situation of Somaliland during a meeting with members of civil society and the business community. He commended the constructive role played by the Somaliland Diaspora and reiterated the importance of the European Union’s engagement with Non-State Actors - including civil society and the private sector - in its development efforts.

Commissioner Piebalgs concluded his visit to Somaliland with a tour of Berbera Port and a livestock quarantine facility, where he also met the principal and students of the EU-supported Sheikh Technical Veterinary School.

[…]EU aid in Somaliland is mainly focused on the following areas:

Economic development including infrastructure: The EU has allocated €19 million to rehabilitate and expand urban water infrastructure in several cities across Somaliland. Further areas of infrastructure support will be identified under the increased package.

Education: With strong EU assistance, school enrolment has already grown from 38.6 percent in 2006 to an estimated 60 percent in 2010. Somaliland’s Education Ministry will be supported by technical experts provided by the EU to develop a sustainable solution for the recently-announced Free Primary Education Policy.

Governance: The EU is already the main donor in major UN programmes assisting the public sector, police, courts, democratic institutions, electoral processes and civil society in Somaliland. Responding to the clear political commitment that Somaliland has demonstrated towards public sector reform, this assistance will be intensified and expanded, especially in the area of public finance management.

Click here to access the full article


*             *             *