30 January 2020, Berbera - The European Union jointly with the Somaliland Ministry of Planning and National Development, the Municipality of Berbera and UN-Habitat has launched the Berbera Urban Development Project.
The launching event was graced by Ambassador Nicolas Berlanga Martinez of the European Union, the Vice President of Somaliland, Mr. Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismail Saylici, the Somaliland Minister of Planning and National Development, Mr. Mohammed Alim, the Mayor of Berbera, Mr. Abdishakur Mohamoud Iddin, and the Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) Somalia Country Programme, Mr. Ishaku Maitumbi.
The project will support inclusive and sustainable development of the coastal city through strengthening the capacity of the municipality in urban planning, improving the waste management system and stimulating employment and entrepreneurship for urban communities.
During the signing ceremony, the European Union’s Ambassador underscored the significance of this project in terms of improved decent work and business activity for the residents of Berbera with a particular focus on women, young people and those people living in the most vulnerable situations.
“This project will propel the city of Berbera to achieve the sustainable development goals of building resilient infrastructure, promotion of industrialisation and innovation. The project will hopefully address the challenge to improve waste management not only in economic or operational terms but also considering the environmental and social impacts,” the EU Ambassador said.
During the event, the Vice President of Somaliland highlighted that this project will contribute towards the first goal of Somaliland’s National Development Plan II – which is to reduce poverty through increased economic opportunities and coordinated investment in youth, services, production and infrastructure. The Vice President signaled that the government is giving top priority to the coastal development programmes to create economic opportunities for the youth and women.
The Minister of Planning and National Development outlined that Somaliland’s continued development trajectory requires resources beyond its own revenues. The Minister passed special thanks to the European Union for financing Somaliland’s development priorities.
The Officer in Charge of the UN-Habitat Somalia Programme indicated that their support to the Berbera Urban Development project reaffirms UN-Habitat’s commitment in promoting sustainable urbanization.
“It provides linkages between good urbanization, livelihood opportunities, and improved quality of life, as underlined in the New Urban Agenda. This project will play a part in positioning Berbera city as a strategic and vibrant economic zone not only in Somaliland but the larger Horn of Africa region,” said Mr Maitumbi.
The EUR 7.5 Million Berbera Urban Development Project is funded from European Development Fund (EDF) under the Regional Indicative Programme (RIP) 2014-2020 for Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. The Project objective is to contribute to inclusive and sustainable urban development and economic growth in Berbera through improved waste management infrastructure and services.
The intervention aims at bridging the gap between the urban poor and the local government, by strengthening inclusive governance, enabling the provision of improved services and creating related employment in Berbera.