Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-In a significant step forward in its development agenda, Somalia is prioritizing investment in human capital. At the Biannual Human Capital Development Forum in Mogadishu, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre called on the global community to help expand investment in building human capital in Somalia.

“Human capital development is the fourth pillar of our National Transformation Plan, integral to the Dan Qaran government. Our society cannot progress without advancing human capital. With 80% of our population struggling to meet daily needs and 75% of our youth unemployed, the only way forward is by enhancing the skills, capabilities, and knowledge of our people,” said Prime Minister Barre. He highlighted that investment in education and skills can significantly contribute to Somalia’s growth and development.

George Conway, Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary-General and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia, emphasized the importance of investing in the country’s youth. “In a country where young people constitute over 70% of the population, significant investments in their education, health, and social protection are crucial to building a resilient and skilled population capable of propelling Somalia along its forward path,” he stated.

Sophie Kemkhadze, UNDP Somalia’s Deputy Resident Representative, congratulated the Somali government on its commitment to human development. “Boosting human capital as a structural policy priority is crucial for Somalia’s human development, peace, and stability,” she noted, underscoring the need for increased global investment in public goods.

The UNDP is partnering with Somali federal institutions to produce the country’s first National Human Development Report and Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). This initiative, led by the Somalia National Bureau of Statistics (SNBS) in collaboration with the UNDP and other partners, represents a significant step in Somalia’s human development efforts.

The forum included a high-level panel moderated by Dr. Hodan Osman Abdi, Senior Human Capital Development Advisor at the Office of the Prime Minister, featuring esteemed figures such as Abdullahi Godah Barre, Former Minister of Education, Dr. Saif Rahman, Economic Advisor of UNDP, and representatives from various ministries, WFP, and UNICEF. Discussions focused on assessing human capital needs, barriers to development, global best practices, financing strategies, and the importance of data in policy formulation.

More than 250 participants from federal and state institutions, donors, civil society, youth, and international organizations attended the event. Dedicated sessions covered topics such as education, professional training, early childhood development, health, nutrition, and social protection. Ismail Santur, an expert in audit and financial governance, conducted a workshop on promoting the human capital development agenda.

Concluding the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Salah Ahmed Jama announced the impending completion of Somalia’s National Transformation Plan. “Economic progress is rooted in a developed society, enabling us to elevate our economy and gain visibility on the global stage. It is essential that we prioritize five key areas: social capital, financial capital, physical capital, natural capital, and human capital,” he said.

Somalia’s recent ranking in the Human Development Index 2024, after 30 years, marks its re-entry into the global conversation on human development. The country’s index is expected to rise in the coming years with the robust data system being established under the leadership of the Somalia National Bureau of Statistics.

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