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Somalia Hosts Forum On Sustainable Energy

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Mogadishu, 7 November 2017 – A two-day forum on investment opportunities in Somalia’s sustainable energy sector opened today in the Somali capital.

The participants are led by the Federal Government of Somalia, members of the private sector and international partners. Speaking at today’s opening session, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Michael Keating, lauded the three groups for coming together to address the energy challenges for Somalia.

“This meeting today is about bringing key stakeholders together who can contribute to a take-off in access to energy, renewable energy in Somalia, and each of us has a strong interest in making this happen,” Mr. Keating.

The SRSG said Somalia has enormous energy resources which can be used to address health, education, social, environmental and security challenges  facing the country. However, he said that more regulation of the renewable energy sector was needed to promote its growth.

“At the moment it’s fairly unregulated and even though some businesses are making money, it is very small compared to what could be done if the sector was more regulated,” Mr. Keating noted.

Some speakers noted the adverse effects of 25 years of conflict and instability in hindering the development of Somalia’s energy sector.

The federal Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Salim Aliyow Ibrow, said the government was in the process of drafting regulations to govern investment in the energy sector. He also recognized a pressing need for the country to move in the direction of renewable energy sources.

“The country needs investment to harvest energy from the sun, water and wind. The investment will develop industries and hence create employment,” the minister added.

The Deputy President of the Somali Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Abdirahman Abdullahi Adan, described the forum as a timely event, adding that Somalia needs to embrace sustainable use of energy.

“We truly believe that this conference is being held at the most appropriate time, and we appeal for support to this initiative,” said Mr. Adan.

Somalia’s federal Minister of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, Jamal Mohamed Hassan, said the government was working as a team to ensure the country has adequate electricity that can be provided at more affordable rates.

A United Nations expert on renewable energy, Andrew Morton, observed that the energy sector in Somalia is in the hands of the country’s private sector, which has been receiving grants from the international community.

“But to really grow, it needs to bring in financing, it needs to bring credit. And to get that happening, we need to set up the right environment. We need to have interesting projects and interesting businesses in which companies can invest,” Morton added.

The forum will discuss challenges facing the energy sector that include low rates of investment and the high cost of energy in Somalia, which is saddled with one of the highest household tariffs for electricity in the world. It will also look at opportunities for investment in oil and gas in addition to renewable energy options such as wind, solar and hydropower.

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Somali News

Somali fisherwoman breaks boundaries in Mogadishu

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Riyan Abukar Ali is determined to succeed as a fisherwoman in Somalia, in a trade dominated by men.

She used be a tuk-tuk driver, but took to the seas off the coast of the capital Mogadishu when the social pressures of being a woman in her previous job became too much.

Video journalists: Alinur Hassan and Mohamud Abdisamad

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Ethiopian PM says they will continue to develop Berbera Port so Ethiopia and Somaliland can benefit

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Somalia’s al Shabaab denounces ex-spokesman as apostate who could be killed

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Somali al Shabaab Islamist militants, who have carried out frequent bombings in the capital, Mogadishu, said a former leader who defected to the government side was an apostate who could be killed.

Al Shabaab fell out with its former spokesman and deputy leader, Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, in 2013. He defected to the U.N.-backed government in August last year.

Al Shabaab has been fighting for years to try to topple Somalia’s central government and rule the Horn of Africa country according to its own interpretation of Islamic law.

“If Mukhtar Robow thinks he can destroy Islamic sharia and the mujahedeen, he is deluded. Allah will protect Islam and Jihad will not stop just because of you and your likes who joined the enemies,” Ali Mohamud Rage, al Shabaab’s spokesman, said in a video posted late on Monday.

It was not immediately possible to reach Robow for comment.

“No doubt, Mukhtar Robow left his religion and joined the disbelievers and the enemies are still the enemies,” al shabaab’s spokesman said.

“Anybody who joins the line of non-Muslims is an apostate who can be killed.”

A report by rights body Human Rights Watch released on Monday said al Shabaab had threatened and abducted civilians in Somalia’s Bay region to force communities to hand over their children for indoctrination and military training in recent months.

“Al Shabaab’s ruthless recruitment campaign is taking rural children from their parents so they can serve this militant armed group,” said Laetitia Bader, senior Africa researcher for the rights body.

The insurgents, who are allied with al Qaeda, were driven out of the capital Mogadishu in 2011. They have also since lost nearly all other territory they previously controlled after an offensive by Somali government troops and African Union-mandated AMISOM peacekeepers.

Al Shabaab, however, remains a formidable threat and has carried out bombings both in Mogadishu and other towns against military and civilian targets.

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