“The Somali Government and Parliament are entering a decisive phase for the development of democracy and stable governance. This is why Norway is stepping up its engagement in the country,” said Minister of International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås.
This week, Mr Holmås is the host for a high-level delegation from the Somali Parliament, which includes the Speaker, Mohamed Osman Jawari, and a number of committee chairs. Mr Holmås invited the delegation to Norway to study Norway’s experience of democratic governance.
“The Parliament has a key role to play in democracy-building. The fact that the Somali parliamentary leaders have chosen Norway for their first visit abroad reflects Norway’s significant engagement in Somalia’s development,” said Mr Holmås.
Somalia has made important progress over the last year considering the more than 20 years of war and conflict it has been through. Nevertheless, major political, security and humanitarian challenges remain. It is vital to start building up social institutions, as there are almost none, particularly in the central and southern parts of the country. Functions that in most countries are undertaken by the authorities, such as education, health and infrastructure, are currently being provided by international organisations.
“The Somali authorities must take responsibility for the Somali people, but they need international support to set the wheels in motion. They have neither the resources nor the expertise to administer the country. The President has therefore asked Norway to help to establish a temporary financial mechanism, and we will raise this question with the international community,” said Mr Holmås.
Norway provided NOK 352 million to support Somalia and Somali refugees in the Horn of Africa last year. Around one million Somalis have fled to neighbouring countries, and 1.3 million are internally displaced.
Press contact: Communications Adviser Astrid Sehl, mobile phone: +47 922 84 752.