Baidoa, Somalia, September 2021 – Policymakers, investors and partners in Somalia’s South West State interim capital City can now benefit from a UN-Habitat study that has identified the construction industry the most suitable sector for the value chain development that can lead to the region’s economic development.

The value chain analysis in the infrastructure sector in Baidoa, funded by The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), will better position the 320,000-strong city as an emerging urban center that can attract more investment for critical infrastructure, construction and value chain projects.

Baidoa is a highly urbanizing city with a large influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs), and suffers from inflation, instability, a fairly new system of government, and lack of essential services. The UN-Habitat analysis will, thus, inform the skills development training manual meant to equip vulnerable beneficiaries to better prepare them to be marketable and in turn qualify for meaningful livelihoods.

“Since many cities in Somalia are at different levels of socio-economic development, there was need to carry out the exercise to determine the type of support the community in Baidoa needs when it comes to economic development, livelihood enhancement and job creation. This exercise exposed the existing gaps, challenges and opportunities there are for local economic development in the city,” Falastin Omar, UN-Habitat Programme Manager said.

Infrastructure, in particular the construction sector, was selected for value chain development primarily due to its disposition in the Somali economy as an employment rich growth sector.

One community member noted that “IDPs are usually recruited into the construction sector without signing any contract and given less salary than their peers. The sector needs regulation and fairness. I am also aware that displacement affected communities are not given good opportunities in the construction sector. It is a common understanding that people usually employ their kinship.”  

Through partnership with the local and state authorities, the UN-Habitat programme was able to map out the construction sector value chain, identify entry points and activities within the value chain where the project has the most value-addition potential while leveraging existing structures that enhance and strengthen the value chain development within Baidoa.

The value chain analysis is part of the “Youth and Urban Regeneration” project which supports building the socio-economic resilience of communities through harnessing value chain development for maximum industrial development, job creation and resilient livelihood impact.