It is widely acknowledged that the solutions to Somalia’s instability must come from within Somalia, and the phrase ‘local ownership’ has become a ubiquitous buzzword in the Somalia aid community. Yet more often than not, the key organisations and leaders that manage development funds are internationals or diaspora. While there is little question of the important roles that international organisations play and will continue to play in Somalia, there is a challenge to find and nurture Somali-led and Somali-owned entities to set the agenda.
That is why, in addition to its objectives of supporting local governance and reducing conflict, the Somalia Stability Fund is charged with supporting and developing Somali organisations. Back in January this year, the Stability Fund started the search for capable Somali organisations, with strong people and good ideas that we could support. We targeted our search around two areas: organisations supporting economic opportunities for young people, and the private sector. Some 200 applications and months of shortlisting, selecting, negotiating and supporting later, we have selected four successful investments. In our first newsletter, we’re proud to showcase two of these investments: Somali Green Initiatives & Technology and the Center for Education and Development.
Of course the Stability Fund itself has significant international and diaspora staff within its ranks. But, we now have a strong permanent presence in Mogadishu, Baidoa and Garowe, and over the last month have travelled the length and breadth of the country from Sanaag in the north to Lower Jubba in the south, in addition to over a dozen paces in between. We will continue to expand our coverage and the number of Somali organisations we support.