by Yusuf Abudi
Friday, April 26, 2013
Would you go back to Somalia if you’re given a grant worth of 100,000 U.S dollar to invest in the country to generate new resources? If your answer is yes, then it’s time for you to design your project and head back home. That’s at least what one international agency is offering to the Somali Diaspora.
After two decades of civil war, security and stability in Somalia is improving. One place in particular, Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia where the sound of daily gunfire has been replaced by the noise of construction. This little progress has attracted many including international investors. In February of this year (2013), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has said that it will provide a grant worth 1.5 million U.S dollars to finance innovative Diaspora projects in Somalia in a new initiative to tap investment. IFAD said amounts ranging from 20,000 dollars to 100,000 dollars will be provided to implement projects such as cross- border investment in agriculture, improve food security and increase rural employment.
The launch of the agricultural project follows a recent call by the Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to its Diaspora to invest in the reconstruction of the country said IFAD. Somalis living abroad send home well over one billion U.S dollars each year, which equals up to 50 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). On top of that, many go back home each year, to open small businesses. But in order to prevent future food insecurity, the country needs an investment in the agriculture sector which can be practiced to any extent.
If there was ever a time to invest in Somalia it is now. The country is emerging out of over two decades of crisis; security is improving and a semblance of stability is taking hold. Investing in the country is crucial- to ensure that the recent progress is not reversed. The question is will the Somali Diaspora answer the call or they will wait “until the country becomes peaceful again”?
Yusuf Abudi is an activist and a writer with a focus on contemporary social and community issues including civil rights, education and economy. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org