U.S. Ambassador Donald Y. Yamamoto joined H.E. during Somalia Youth Investment Expo. Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire announced a new collaborative effort to support young entrepreneurs and innovators to contribute to the stability and prosperity of Somalia through jobs, skills creation and entrepreneurship. The new effort will be introduced through the current GEEL (The Growth, Enterprise, Employment and Livelihoods Program), which is sponsored by USAID (United States Agency for International Development). GEEL harnesses the dynamic growth, employment and poverty reduction of Somalia’s private sector, and will now include concrete commitments to help youth-owned businesses and promote investment by Somali banks and microfinance institutions.
“Somali youth often face a range of challenges to their economic success,” said PM Khaire. “But Somali youth are also some of the most motivated, resourceful, business savvy, and resilient contributors to our economy. The initiative launched today will help begin a sustainable path for access to finance for our youth, who are the key to our country’s growth and stability.”
“Through the USAID mission to Somalia, the United States is promoting a stable and resilient Somalia by increasing youth economic opportunities across Somalia. “Somali youth are Somalia’s future and they should be empowered to invest in their own futures and in their nation,” said Ambassador Yamamoto. “Working hand-in-hand along with the Government of Somalia and the private sector, we are investing in our shared commitment to improve Somalia’s economy.”
By extending the current GEEL programme, USAID will provide Somali youth with opportunities for jobs and skills development, in collaboration with leading private sector companies dedicated to engaging Somali youth in innovation. It is estimated the new effort will create more than 1,000 new job opportunities for Somali youth by developing the skills they need in today’s global economy.
Six banks pledged $289,703 in start-up loans to 95 youth-owned businesses during the Youth Investment Expo, using the resources to invest in the cold storage facilities, inspiring workers through qualification training, building greenhouses, and using innovative technologies.
“It is inspiring to witness the enthusiasm and work ethic of Somalia’s young people – our workforce of tomorrow,” said Mr Mahat Mohamed Ahmed, CEO of IBS Bank. “At IBS Bank, our mission is to positively transform peoples’ lives by providing quality, accessible and affordable financial services. Partnering with the USAID. GEEL program having a greater positive impact on the Somali economy by creating jobs, lifting up promising youth and helping them to thrive economically through sustainable solutions. Because when they succeed, Somalia succeeds.”
Data Source: U.S. Embassy in Somalia