World Bank Group Director Visits Hargeisa to Discuss Development Priorities

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The FINANCIAL — Cecile Fruman, World Bank Group Director of the Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice has completed a three-day mission to Hargeisa. During her visit, she was briefed by high-level stakeholders on private sector investment in key development sectors. She also discussed World Bank Group collaboration with the authorities to implement reforms to make the business environment more attractive to private investment and support development of Small and Medium Enterprises.

Mrs. Fruman met with key Ministers, entrepreneurs and development partners and discussed the challenges and opportunities linked to the ongoing economic development agenda, notably the development of infrastructure and the energy sector. The exchanges highlighted how the World Bank Group program in Somaliland is laying a foundation to create job opportunities and to accelerate the pace of economic development by fostering business reforms and investment promotion, according to IFC.

Cecile Fruman shared the critical points of her stakeholder engagements during a courtesy call to H. E. President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo. The President has just signed a decree setting up a Doing Business task force – reporting directly to Cabinet- to implement reforms of the business environment and pave the way to more investments and jobs. In April 2015, the World Bank Group presented a Doing Business Memorandum that will inform some of the reform work that the Taskforce will undertake.

Mrs. Fruman also participated in a briefing session on the Reform Champion Program, which aims to develop the capacity of government officials and some private sector representatives to implement key reforms addressing constraints to economic growth and development. The project is expected to help trained reform champions to implement at least 5 reforms to improve Government to Business services by July 2016.

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Cecile Fruman said “I am impressed by the commitment and energy of the Somali authorities and private stakeholders to improve the country’s business environment. Despite the challenges, achieving this objective can allow the Somali private sector to contribute to job creation, prosperity and peace, and so foster sustainable development”. She added “The World Bank Group is collaborating with the Government of Somaliland through a series of programs to create those conditions”.

In Somaliland, the World Bank Group is implementing the Somali Private Sector Development Re-Engagement Project Phase II, funded by DfID the British Department for International Development, DANIDA, Denmark’s development cooperation and the World Bank’s State and Peacebuilding Fund. The World Bank Group is also supporting the Somali Core Economic Institutions and Opportunities, a program funded by the Somalia Multi Partner Fund and the Somali Investment Climate Reform Program, primarily funded by DANIDA and IFC.

 

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