Statement by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim, on “A New Deal For Somalia”, Brussels Conference, 16 September 2013, Brussels.

Honourable Chairpersons,
High Representative Vice President Baroness Catherine Ashton,
His Excellency, President Hassan Mohamud,
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Honourable Ministers,
Representatives of International Organisations
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen

Allow me to express South Africa’s appreciation to the European Commission, together with the Government of Somalia, for convening “The New Deal for Somalia Conference.” South Africa joins other friends of Somalia to endorse the “New Deal Compact” for the reconstruction of Somalia over the next three years.

Your Excellencies, 

South Africa continues to envision a stable State of Somalia, thriving politically, economically and socially, and contributing meaningfully to the African continent.

South Africa has allocated R100 million Rand to assist Somalia with capacity building and socio-economic support. This will include capacity building initiatives in the financial sectors, including the training of officials of the Somali Central Bank and Somali Bank for Reconstruction and Development; various skills transfer programmes, including a skills assessment of the Diaspora; we will also render assistance in efforts to raise Somalia s revenue as part of a strategy aimed at reducing the government’s reliance on donor funding; capacity-building with regard to port management; and assistance with the recovery of Somali assets that are in other countries.

Your Excellencies, 

The South Africa-Somalia Assistance Project is currently in progress. The project aims at assisting Somalia with reconciliation and governance. We are well placed to share our own experiences of establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The need for on-going reconciliation work on regional federal governments forms the basis of our interventions through this project.  As South Africa we also understand the importance of capacity and institution building for governance, another pillar of the Project. South Africa calls on the Federal Government of Somalia and the Regional Administrations to focus on national unity and to work together for the development and security of the united Federal State of Somalia.

South Africa will also continue to support Somalia’s security initiatives, with a specific focus on maritime security. South Africa aims to better understand the maritime security needs of Somalia through conducting a maritime feasibility study, with a view to assisting the Somali government in the development of a coast guard, identifying the potential to rehabilitate and develop ports, and highlighting the developmental potential of coastal communities, thereby supporting the fight against piracy. I am glad to inform you that this project is near completion.

South Africa has also launched a programme to train 200 Somali diplomats. I am pleased to report that the first group of 25 ambassadorial level officials graduated in March.

In conclusion, Your Excellencies, the New Deal provides a great foundation for Somalia and the international community to establish the partnerships to deliver on their vision for a stable, prosperous country. South Africa recognises the important role played by the world community, including the United Nations, African Union and, of course the EU, in reinforcing the political process as well as socio-economic reconstruction of Somalia. Once again, South Africa reiterates its commitment to play its part in supporting all efforts that can help bring lasting peace, security and stability to Somalia. 

I thank you

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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