A Public Private Cooperation Agreement to jointly Accelerate Somalia’s Economic Recovery London May 10th PREAMBLE: Recognizing the unique role the Private Sector has played in Somalia’s past economic resilience, as well as its future prospects for growth, and ahead of the London Somalia Conference, the Federal Government of Somalia and Private Sector are making an historic and ambitious mutual commitment to collaborate in support of Somalia’s economic recovery to spur peace and state building.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES: ——————The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and representatives of the Somali Private Sector, through both national and regional Chambers of Commerce and business associations, commit to collaborate and engage in transparent dialogue that contributes to peace, stability, and prosperity for all Somalis. This includes support for implementation and realization of the National Development Plan (NDP:2017-19).
The Government affirms its responsibility to develop and strengthen regulatory frameworks and policies, in consultation with the private sector, to enable private sector led economic recovery that benefits all Somalis. The Government will work towards progressively strengthening capacity of the Somali businesses with a view to unleash the power of private enterprise in re-building the economy and help Somalia increasingly work its way out of poverty.
The Private Sector resolves to actively engage with the government to progressively establish a modern business environment based on rule of law, in line with applicable international standards and norms, and a fair, predictable and competitive taxation system. Furthermore, the Private Sector commits to meeting the duties of good corporate citizens, including respecting the law of the land, environment, and corporate social responsibility.
The Private Sector commits to collaborate with the Somali national and sub-national governments in broadening the tax base with a view to enhancing public finance to help the Somali Government secure its territory, people, and resources, including business.
AREAS OF COOPERATION.
In line with the priorities determined in the National Development Plan, and further to the discussions through the Somali Public Private Dialogue Forum since June 2016, the Federal Government of Somalia and the Private Sector jointly agreed to initially co-operate in a set of economic priorities, comprising the short and medium-term focus of this partnership.
The priorities will help reduce Somalia’s vulnerability to shocks such as the current drought that threatens the livelihoods of small holder farmers and pastoralists. These following priorities on economic growth complement the public finance reform of the Federal Government of Somalia, the process to normalize relations with International Financial Institutions, and on-going humanitarian assistance efforts.
The Federal Government and the Private Sector commit to continue to support and help alleviate the current condition of the Somali people entrenched in a terrible drought. The following high priority areas represent the initial focus of this agreement and will continue to be reviewed, monitored, and expanded as per the evolving needs of Somalia’s economic reconstruction and through the development of the Somalia Public Private Dialogue
. A. Infrastructure: Renewable energy, Basic Water, Roads – support to investment partnerships and outstanding regulatory issues; B. ICT and Innovative finance – strengthening regulation and harnessing innovation and technology to improve financial inclusion, better governance, and access to markets; C. Agribusiness: Improve security and access to national and international markets in the Livestock, Fisheries, Agriculture sectors important to the economic lives of the poor people in Somalia; D. Skills and Training: Work towards addressing the skill shortage resulting from the lack of access to formal education and training during the period of the civil war.
IMMEDIATE FOCUS OF THE AGREEMENT: The Somali Government and Private Sector (henceforth, “We”) resolve to work collaboratively to implement the following reforms deemed necessary for the transformative growth of the above sectors:- We commit to promoting investment, trade and fair competition by:
– Forging strategic international partnership and cooperation to catalyze the investment and technology Somalia needs in support of its economic interests and job creation.
Increasingly modernising the trading system to meet international standards and norms, and thus progressively work towards Somalia’s accession to multilateral and regional trade and investment systems and conventions such as the WTO, COMESA, and EAC).Promoting and supporting national economic interests with a view to providing a level-playing field, including appropriate support to local Somali businesses.
We commit to creating a modern business environment which is positive for investment, identified priority sectors and inclusive economic growth by:- Strengthening security and the rule of law in order that Somalia provides safety and security, including property rights, to businesses (and the people of Somalia).
Strengthening and modernizing the financial sector, especially the Central Bank’s regulatory and supervisory capacity.
Creating and enforcing a regulatory framework which support a fair and competitive business environment based on rule of law.
Protecting the rights of national and international investors and enabling timely and effective dispute resolution We commit to strengthening governance by: Establishing and complying with a fair taxation system which will lead to stronger governance.
Upholding the law of the land by pro-actively supporting regulatory enforcement and compliance and strengthening core economic institutions;
Harmonizing state and federal laws and regulations in close collaboration with all levels of government. We commit to delivering certain agreed key priorities quickly, demonstrating our determination and faith in the process, by:- – Establishing a unique secure ID for every Somali; – Operationalization of the Foreign Investment Act, including the establishment of an Investment Board and the development of enabling regulations; – Passage of the Communications Act; – Establishing systems and institutions for online company registration and licensing. Finally, we commit to holding ourselves mutually accountable to this agreement by making the Somali Public Private Dialogue effective and action-oriented by: Establishing a mechanism of biannual review by the President of the Republic of Somalia.
Operationalizing the implementation and coordination structures and processes, including a PPD focal point in the government and the private sector secretariat housed at the Somalia Chamber of Commerce and Industries. Establishing relevant working groups which are inclusive and action-oriented to work on areas highlighted in this declaration. Learning from our progress, to continuously strengthen the agreement and tangible impact of our collaboration.