Somali diaspora conference kicks off in Mogadishu

The second annual diaspora conference got underway in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, on Monday, as the government looked to its citizens living abroad for investment opportunities.

The conference, which is being attended by ministers, lawmakers, and members of civil society, including those from the Somali diaspora, aims to persuade Somali nationals living abroad to make investments in the nation and contribute significantly to its reconstruction. 

“Somali diaspora communities play a crucial role in Somali livelihoods through remittances, humanitarian assistance, and participation in reconstruction efforts,” said Abshir Omar Jama, minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, in his opening remarks.

The conference will also shed light on  ways to anchor the engagement and contribution of the Somali diaspora in the development of the nation, which has been bedeviled  by drought, floods, and COVID-19 effects that have slowed economic growth

Omar claimed that despite many difficulties they face abroad, such as obtaining the right paperwork to legalize their stay, the diaspora community has significantly contributed to the development of Somalia.

“These individuals face various challenges, including healthcare and financial issues, as well as the inability to return to their home country due to prevailing circumstances,” Omar said.

According to the minister, thousands of families affected by humanitarian crises like droughts and floods that have uprooted thousands of people nationwide have received financial assistance from the Somali diaspora.

The meeting will cover the crucial contributions the diaspora can make to the development of Somalia as well as the best ways for the government to deal with their plight abroad.



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