Somaliland:Improving the country’s infrastructure
“Through better access to basic physical, Social services, health care, and education are the pillars to meet basic needs”
by Omer Mohamed Jama
Somaliland is a young nation and the population growth is increasing day by day and needs massive improvements towards the country’s infrastructure.
The whole country is facing many challenges to improve infrastructure for economic development and municipal service delivery to ensure an increase of access to services across the country, more public infrastructure programmes must be implemented and put in place.
All infrastructure programmes are important, but some may be more urgent and important than others.
Improving living conditions through better access to basic physical, social services, health care, and education are the pillars to meet basic needs.
Infrastructure is basically the base in which economic growth is built upon. Roads, water system, mass transportations, airports, ports, bridges and utilities are all examples of infrastructure.
Good quality infrastructure is a key factor for sustainable development. It provides services that support economic growth and it enhances the trade.
Infrastructure investment and consumption of infrastructure services have significant implications for achievement of sustainable development objectives. It also encourages new investments across the economy, and also facilitates the flow of goods and services as well as regional economic growth.
On top of these above mentioned advantages, investing in infrastructure generates economic success, social benefits for individuals, communities and the whole country.
Infrastructure can be in many types, so let us take some of the important infrastructures which need to be improved and put into priority.
Transport infrastructures includes roads, highway networks, Bridges, Tunnels, electrical systems ( street lighting and Traffic lights )
Energy infrastructures include electrical power networks, local distribution.
Water management infrastructure includes (Drinking water supply throughout the country.
Communication infrastructure includes (Postal services, Telephone networks, mobile phones, Television and Radios.
Economic infrastructure (the financial system, including the banking system, financial institutions, exchange, financial regulations as well as accounting standards and regulations.
These are some types of infrastructures, so Somaliland needs to have infrastructure policies and project developments towards the country’s infrastructure specially the important and key areas that needs be improved and upgraded.
Though we are a very young nation which doesn’t have sufficient funds to finance these areas because of the very limited budget that we have, but we should make prioritisation of tasks.
Prioritisation of tasks: If there are not sufficient resources to meet all the identified needs, it may be necessary to rank them in some way to decide which needs will be met first and which will be met later.
The key question is, what are the people’s priority needs and what infrastructure projects will best address those needs and what is the environmental impact and how it will affect the community and are these services affordable?
If we have specific answers for these above questions, then we need its implementation plan if we can.
The municipalities will have significant discretion in selecting priority projects from a menu when there are available funds to invest those important areas which can support the economic growth of the country.
There are some needs which are more urgent and important and there are some needs which are postponable. The most important areas that need to be improved are as follows.
The country’s local roads, highways, sufficient water supply throughout the country, energy, health services, airports, ports, bridges schools and sanitation
These are more urgent and more important and are basic needs of the community.
Improving living conditions through better access to basic physical, social services, health care, and education are the key pillars to meet basic needs of the nation.
If there are any future infrastructure policies and project developments on infrastructure which has already been put in place, then what needs to be done is just its implementation plan.
Did the government allocate any budget programme to invest the country’s infrastructure so far?
Or is there any local government infrastructure development programme which has already been put in place?
If the government cannot contribute extra funds to local governments to invest those important areas which are more urgent and more important, then I would suggest that the government needs to form (A national Development Association) which can collect contributions from the nation’s business people as well as Somaliland Diaspora, and then government can add to some money. This will be helpful if it can be done.
If the country’s infrastructure is improved, then this will support the country’s economic growth and can attract international investments, and it will help the local governments to generate own source revenues, strengthen financial management, environmental, and social systems.
Somaliland’s current local government management system must be improved and should be provided with adequate funds to meet their strategic infrastructure investment needs. The government can also develop a new plan to support public infrastructure.
The government should set up a comprehensive national plan with a new strategy for meeting the infrastructure needs of the country and also put in place a budget proposal on infrastructure investments. Investment in Somaliland public infrastructure can create jobs, bring economic growth and provide a high quality of life for families in every city and community across the country.
All these can be achieved if the government develops a new plan to support public infrastructure.
Investing in infrastructure is the key of economic growth. Investment in Somaliland public infrastructure can create more jobs and provide a high quality of life for families in every city and community across the country. We must put in place future infrastructure development programmes.
Failing to have a bright future plans on infrastructure development programmes will keep us back forwards and will put obstructions on future International investments.
Together we can make a difference, if we unite for the common interest of our nation.
Anything is possible as long as we have bright ambitions and the courage that we can do anything. It is possible for us to do whatever we choose, if we believe that we have the power to do the impossible.
Long live Somaliland.
Omer Mohamed Jama