Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-Somalia’s Minister of Finance, Bihi Iman Egeh, held a press conference on Saturday to discuss the government’s efforts to achieve debt relief and financial reforms.

The Minister stated that Somalia has intensified its internal and external efforts to implement financial institution reforms, which increased the chances of a comprehensive debt relief program.

“We have redoubled our efforts to achieve full debt relief in recent years. These efforts include both internal aspects, such as politics, institutional reforms, democracy, and the necessary legal framework, and external efforts involving our international partners that require close collaboration,” said Bihi Iman Egeh, Somalia’s Minister of Finance.

The Minister also shared insights from his recent participation in the annual summit held in Marrakesh, which gathered global finance ministers, representatives from financial institutions, investment firms, and heads of international banks.

He affirmed that Somalia’s full debt relief program would be finalized by December this year.

“I am pleased to inform the Somali people that the debt relief program will be completed by December this year, as we have successfully met all the required conditions. We are now awaiting the reports from the Directors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” Minister Bihi added.

Minister Bihi went on to highlight that Somalia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has witnessed substantial growth in recent months. He mentioned that the government’s income can now cover employee salaries, fund various projects, and support the functioning of government institutions.

“The ministry is developing a plan to further boost the government’s income because, after achieving debt relief, we must focus on self-reliance and sustainability. The government, along with the ministry, is working on strategies to increase our financial revenues,” Minister Bihi stated.

He continued, “I previously reported that our income increased by 25% in the first two months of my term, and I am delighted to share that, in the third month, income has also grown by 25%. We are continually working on additional plans to enhance our income.”

The Minister reiterated Somalia’s commitment to strengthening working relationships with international donors, financial partners, and international debt holders throughout its journey to secure debt relief and implement institutional reforms.

Last month, a meeting was held in Nairobi to discuss Somalia’s debt relief process, reaching a staff-level agreement on the sixth review of Somalia’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement.

The review meeting addressed crucial aspects, including the Somali government’s progress in financial reforms, upcoming economic opportunities, existing challenges, and the status of Somalia’s debt relief efforts, which are close to completion.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) emphasized that Somalia’s institutional reforms shows the government’s commitment to achieving the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Completion Point by December 2023.

In August, Somalia received a significant boost in its debt relief efforts with a $75 million grant from the World Bank, aimed at strengthening its progress in building robust institutions. These grants are pivotal to helping the country achieve full and irreversible debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.

The government of Russia also agreed to exempt $640 million in debt relief to the Federal Government of Somalia through an agreement signed in Saint Petersburg between Mr. Bihi Iman Egeh, Somali Minister of Finance, and Timur Igorevich Maksimov, Deputy Minister of Finance of Russia.

The debt reliefs are huge achievement towards implementing ambitious reforms to build functional institutions, attract investments and achieve economic growth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *