The Government of Italy Contributes Additional US$2 Million to the PSDP to Boost Job Creation, Access to Economic Opportunities for Youth and Women, Promote MSMEs Development and Strengthen Governance to Boost Economic Growth in Somalia

15 Jul 2021

The Government of Italy Contributes Additional US$2 Million to the PSDP to Boost Job Creation, Access to Economic Opportunities for Youth and Women, Promote MSMEs Development and Strengthen Governance to Boost Economic Growth in Somalia

Mogadishu – The Government of Italy has made an additional US$2 million contribution to fund the Productive Sectors Development Programme (PSDP) that seeks to boost job creation, access to economic opportunities for women and youth, development and strengthen governance to boost economic growth in Somalia.

On Wednesday, H.E. Ambassador Alberto Vecchi, Ambassador of Italy to Somalia, signed an agreement to grant a second funding contribution to the PSDP during a ceremony in Mogadishu. Under the programme, Italy will provide financing through the UN-Somalia Multi-Partner Trust Fund.

The Productive Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for Somalia is implemented through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The programme is implemented in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, the federal Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. 

At the launch, the federal Minister of Commerce and Industry, H.E. Khalif Abdi Omar, hailed the contribution by Italy. He added, in particular, this additional contribution of Italy to the programme would help expand the network of UNIDO and Somali Chamber of Commerce and Industry backed Enterprises Development Units network, increase the numbers of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) having access to critical financing solutions while also boosting the role of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in supporting the development of productive sectors.

“Indeed, the work of the PSDP is appreciated by the Government of Somalia, as it is support to the public and private sectors together and the Somali economic growth potential,” added Minister Khalif.

Over the past few months, since the programme started implementation, the work of the PSDP team in support of the other line ministries has been remarkable. FAO and ILO, working respectively with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs have contributed, within the core areas of expertise and their mandates, to support incremental improvements of government and private sector contribution to the development of Somalia productive sectors for job creation and improved livelihoods for all Somali.

During the signing ceremony, the Italian Ambassador to Somalia, H.E. Alberto Vecchi, said the Italian Government’s provision of funding under the PSDP is in line with the Government of Italy’s strategy for international development in coordination with its multilateral partners.

He added that the Italian Cooperation, which is the development arm of the Italian Government, seeks to promote the concept of work as a concrete tool to enhance social cohesion, peace and stabilization as a prerequisite for human development to create opportunities for youth and other vulnerable groups.

“Through a strategy of private sector development, the Somali authorities and their international counterparts can indeed play a very effective and productive role critical to increase access job opportunities, access to those jobs, especially for women and youth,” said Ambassador Vecchi.

He added, “Employment creation and continuous dialogue between the federal government and federal member states on concrete issues represent essential elements to support Somalia achieve the goals as set forward in the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030”.

The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, H.E. Adam Abdelmoula, noted that the PSDP sets the stage for economic development in Somalia and is a critical part of the Sustainable Development Agenda of the UN. The programme is fully aligned with the UN Somalia Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2021-25 and the 9th National Development Plan (NDP 9) of Somalia at large.

The goal of the Sustainable Development Agenda is, among others, to end poverty in all its forms, improve food security, promote entrepreneurship and Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises, achieve gender equality and empower women and girls. These efforts will create inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all.

“Over the last three decades, Somalia has focused on humanitarian aid. With improved political and economic stability, there is a need for a paradigm shift in the objectives of aid towards achieving development goals. It is thus high time for rolling out development initiatives,” noted Abdelmoula. 

H.E. Adam Abdelmoula continued “We can attain this goal through promoting sustainable livelihood, creating employment, providing access to skills development programmes, enhancing productive value chains, supporting demand-driven entrepreneurship initiatives, and facilitating access to finance by enterprises.”

Thanking the Italian Government for funding the first and the second initial phases of the programme, he invited more stakeholders and donors to join the programme and support UNIDO, FAO and ILO in their commitment to contribute to the development of Somalia productive Sectors.

Speaking from the UNIDO headquarters in Vienna, the Director of the UNIDO Agro-Business Department, Dejene Tezera said the agency would play a role in coordinating economic development programmes in Somalia.

“Today’s event is a testimony to what inter-agency collaboration has the potential to achieve. Through the PSDP, under the leadership of UNIDO, with FAO and ILO, the three agencies leverage their core areas of technical and specialized expertise to address constraints of job creation and access to economic opportunities, particularly for women, youth, and other vulnerable groups among the Somali society.”

UNIDO, after 30 years, opened a programme and representation office in Somalia, led by Ygor Scarcia. With relative stability in the country becoming evident towards early 2019, UNIDO took as its mandate to support Somalia economic growth. In particular, working on joint UN Programme, UNIDO brought its technical expertise to improve the employability potential of Somali youth, and through Italy funded Agrotechnology for Economic Growth project and later this flagship programme, the PSDP to work in building the productive sector in the country, reinforcing local capacities to support the provision of SME development services and to stimulate domestic investment through the technology sourcing and market access for the local SMEs.

The organization took initiatives out of its project deliverable contours in building synergies with other UN agencies and Federal Ministries.

“This whole sector approach aims to improve the resilience of food production systems in Somalia by lowering reliance on imported food and realizing the considerable growth potential in areas such as staple food and cash crops, horticultural and equitable fisheries production for local communities,” said Mr Etienne Peterschmitt, the FAO representative in Somalia.

The UNIDO Representative in Somalia and Industrial Development Expert, Mr Ygor Scarcia, thanked the Italian Government for funding the programme, hailed the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry for the leadership and the other UN agencies for the close collaboration.

"The programme will create an enabling environment for Somali businesses, strengthening the government capacity and turn trigger job opportunities for all and economic growth in Somalia," said Mr Ygor Scarcia, UNIDO Representative in Somalia.

Please read the PSDP press release here: