Excellencies, Heads of State, David Cameron,
The Somali nation and I thank the world for their sustained support over the past few years. As things have got steadily better, you have worked with us to build on that confidence and maintain the momentum.
We appreciate the support of the G8 under the UK Presidency, and the international support confirmed during the Somalia Conference in London in May. We hope that this will develop through the New Deal process and the donor Conference in Brussels in September.
We have made very considerable progress over the past year on security sector reform, political issues, and rebuilding state institutions. But I am not under any illusion about the challenges that remain, and nor should you be. This is a job in progress but with much still to do.
My priority now is to agree an inclusive political settlement on the federal framework for all Somalia; this will include agreement on power and resource sharing between the federal government and the regions.
Additionally, I am building strong public financial management systems, in particular increasing transparency and strengthening our controls over revenue collection, allocation of budgets, and expenditure of public money.
Investors are starting to return to Somalia, having witnessed the progress being made. However we must do more if we are to be able to rebuild the country. Somalia has significant natural resources – oil, gas, bauxite, copper, iron ore, and salt and we have already started talking to a number of exploration companies.
In order to manage this sector and to make sure that all Somali people benefit most from Somalia’s hydrocarbons, we are developing the right strategy and, alongside that, an enforceable legislative and regulatory foundation, that leads us towards greater investor confidence and long-term economic growth.
This will need to include wide consultations with regions and communities and a firm commitment to environmental management, and we must ensure that this happens in a transparent, accountable, and legal way. All this is in line with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and although it is too early to talk about joining, we look forward to the point when we will be ready to do so.
To achieve this aim, we will need support from our international partners – in particular from the international financial institutions who will be able to help us with technical financial and economic expertise.
Security – We appreciate the support in security sector reform and we ask that it be sustained.
Good governance – We request debt clearance. This is the crucial next step to receiving the loans that free us to accelerate governance and institution building initiatives. We ask that this be supported.
We wholly appreciate the early work undertaken by the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund to re-engage with Somalia and look forward to their further collaboration as we demonstrate progress on our public financial management reform plan.
Commerce – We ask that you begin the process, as we did last month in London, to encourage business to look at the opportunities developing in Somalia.
My vision is for a Federal Somalia at peace with itself and its neighbours and which poses no threat to the world; a Somalia with a resurgent economy, thriving business ventures and sustainable employment so that families are provided for; a Somalia with values of kindness, respect and human rights, all underpinned by an education system that harnesses our intellectual spirit.
I have talked about this many times – security first; justice and good governance second; investment, trade and jobs third. It is the simple aspiration of every Somali father and mother to have a legitimate means to put food on their family’s table and bring up their children in a peaceful, secure environment.
I know the Somali people would wish to thank you for everything that is being done to help us realise a peaceful future.