Economic Empowerment of Women and Youth: The Key to tackling Conflict
Published May 21, 2018 by Muna Ali
The authorities of the Jubaland state of Somalia in partnership with Adeso has launched a new project in the Lower Juba region. The initiative, which will run over a period of 12 months aims to enhance youth employment and economic development through engaging government and private sector to reduce vulnerability to conflict in Afmadow and Bardheera areas.
Somalia has been in precarious humanitarian conditions for over two decades. This was made worse by an unstable and unpredictable political environment and a weakened private sector. Almost all the major productive sectors such as agriculture, livestock and fisheries remain entirely stagnant and undeveloped as a result of years of political chaos and natural shocks. This has led to staggering levels of youth unemployment, limited economic opportunities, and chronic poverty which have further fuelled conflicts in Somalia.
This project will work with Jubbaland authorities, the private sector and youth and women groups to tackle the structural drivers of conflicts in the project target areas. The project activities will support youth and women through both short-term and long-term job creations, youth skills development and enhancing economic opportunities for women and youth through investment in productive sectors and business and financial support.
The launch of the project was spearheaded by the Jubbaland State authorities represented by the Governors of Gedo and Lower Juba districts and the Director Generals of numbers of State Ministries such as the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Youths and Sports, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, and the Ministry of Agriculture. Community elders, members of Civil Society Organizations, and women and youth groups were also in attendance.
"This is a much-needed project that will go a long way in improving youth employment and strengthening the local economy. It has the potential to help not only those who will directly benefit from it but also the entire community. It will increase economic growth and reduce social conflict." Said Farah Haji Dahir, the Director General of the land State Ministry of Trade and Commerce and Industry.
Dhuubo Abdillahi from the Kismayo Women's Association expressed her excitement for such initiative. "Women and youth are the backbone of our society. I am very excited that the project will empower them with skills and resources needed to engage in sustainable livelihood opportunities" she stated.
Women and youth are a potential economic engine that could take their communities a long way towards stability and economic prosperity. At Adeso we believe in the need to strengthen local economies, by providing socio-economic opportunities for vulnerable community members to engage in viable livelihoods to support themselves and their families.