Conference proceeding on Strengthening Institutions and Financial Integrity in Somalia
The conference brought together the leadership of the federal government of Somalia, (H.E. the President and H.E. the Prime Minister, among them) several Ministers and members of Parliament, senior civil servants, the heads of financial institutions, and representatives of the civil society and the private sector. Also participating were representatives of the international development partners of the country, among them the EU, UN, USAID, World Bank; and subject matter experts to discuss recent socio-economic developments in Somalia, and in particular, challenges and opportunities in the areas of institutional strengthening and financial integrity building.
The objectives of the conference were to:
- Interrogate the state of institutional capacity, the broad factors that determine the trajectory of strengthening institutional capacity in Somalia, assess what lessons have been learned in building national capacities, and identify critical gaps in capacities to deliver reform efforts in Somalia.
- Discuss and debate the essential policy reforms required, and the prescriptions and coordination mechanisms that are needed to improve the effective management of institutional reform efforts and foster accountability.
- Assess the success or lack thereof of financial governance reforms and what Somalia could learn from other post-conflict countries and existing evidence; and what is the proper and effective role of national and international entities in impacting on governance reforms; including the role of oversight institutions (Parliament, and external Audit and Anti-corruption institutions).
The international recognition of the Federal Government of Somalia in 2012 has enabled comprehensive reconstruction programs to be launched at all tiers of government (local, state and federal level). The need for institutional reform, as shown by the wide variety of programs undertaken, is undoubtedly warranted and urgent. However, the promise of change and the success of institutional strengthening and financial integrity reforms depend on their planning and implementation.
The conference could not have been in a more appropriate place or come at a more appropriate time. With the closure of a political chapter in June 2016, hosting this gathering inside Somalia has created the space for high level participants to examine the social, political and programmatic factors that have enabled or constrained the implementation of reforms.
The conference has underscored the need for successful state-led development in Somalia. The need to ensure that multiple reform efforts are appropriately coordinated, their progress tracked, impact assessed and resources adequately raised and accounted for was highlighted.