INEGMA took part in the 16th Plenary Session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) held at the UN Headquarters in New York on 14 May 2014. Greg Ohannessian, INEGMA Analyst and Project Manager, presented the findings of the recent DP World and INEGMA Counter Piracy and Somalia Capacity Building Program (CPSCBP) Expert Panel entitled “The Business Environment, Regulatory Reform and Key Economic Sectors for Investment in Somalia” during the official CGPCS Side Meeting on 15 May 2014.
The audience was composed of official state delegates and private sector representatives to the CGPCS including the Chairman, Mr. Maciej Popowski, U.S. State Department Coordinator for Counter Piracy and Maritime Security, Ms. Donna Hopkins as well as the Somali National Security Advisor, Mr. Abdirahman Sheikh Issa.
Simultaneously, DP World and INEGMA’s CPSCBP released a major white paper based on the discussions and results of the expert panel on “The Business Environment, Regulatory Reform and Key Economic Sectors for Investment in Somalia” organized by DP World and INEGMA on 8 April 2014 in Dubai. Participants included UAE government representatives, international and Somali academics, private sector representatives as well as entrepreneurs and businessmen from Somalia and beyond. Key note speakers included H.E. Yusuf Moallim Amin, Minister of Ports, Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Prof. Ali Mohamed Gedi, Former Prime Minister, Federal Republic of Somalia, and H.E. Ambassador Mahash Saeed Alhameli, Director of International Security Cooperation Department, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A key finding was the need to tap into the young, well-educated and passionate Somali diaspora to the economic rebuilding of Somalia, which is the long term solution to maritime piracy off Somalia’s coast.
The panel and white paper are part of DP World and INEGMA’s CPSCBP ongoing commitment to thought leadership on issues impacting the industry, including maritime piracy. It is the first of a series of three meetings with a focus on economic capacity building, foreign investment, community engagement, public-private partnership, and other related areas critical to Somalia’s future development.
DP World Group CEO Mohammed Sharaf said: “With the success achieved so far in curbing pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia, we need to turn our attention now to developing a sustainable economy in Somalia and supporting the country so it can build its economy, attract international investment, create jobs and a future for its young people as an alternative to taking to sea as pirates.”
“The UAE continues to play a vital role in counter piracy efforts through the annual conference co-convened by DP World and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This series of expert panels held in preparation for the 2014 Counter-Piracy Conference in Dubai is aimed at engaging the international community, businessmen and Somali diaspora in the country’s reconstruction and economic development.”
Panel moderator Dr. Theodore Karasik, INEGMA Director of Research and Consultancy, said: “It is important to continue the dialogue begun at the third UAE Counter-Piracy Conference held in September 2013. This series of roundtable meetings aims to continue that discussion by focusing on key sectors of Somalia and the requirements needed for capacity building. By convening panels throughout 2014, we are able to provide more analysis to hone in on the themes we will pursue at the 2014 UAE Counter Piracy Conference slated for the Fall 2014.
Today’s white paper summarizing the discussion held last month is important because of the wide representation of views it captures from the Somali community, not only those living abroad but also Somali leaders and nationals who were visiting us from their homeland. Their input is valuable and important for all to hear.”
The white paper covers the discussions that took place over three sessions with the first focusing on business opportunities in Somalia, followed by a discussion on regulatory reforms required. It concluded with an exploration of the key economic sectors required to drive the Somali economy.
Panel members noted that to tackle maritime piracy, Somalia’s young people have to be given the opportunity to not just survive but thrive. They emphasized the key role the Somali diaspora plays in leveraging investment, expertise and building capacity in the country.
The participants underlined the urgent need for investment rather than aid and cited the UAE example in helping Somalia make that transition.
To see the full report, please click here