Somalia and Qatar Tuesday inked a $200 million infrastructure and job creation agreeement that will see the Gulf country inject funds to among others build roads linking the capital Mogadishu and the Lower Shabelle regions.
The Qatari delegation led by the Qatar Investment Authority chief operating officer Khalif Jassim al-Kuwari signed the deal Tuesday in Mogadishu with Prime Minister Hassan Khaire.
Planning Minister Gamal Hassan said the funds will aid in revamping the country’s infrastructure and spur economic growth and job creation.
“These projects that we signed are meant for development like job creation and economic growth, infrastructure, building constructions and education. Some of these projects are already initiated while others will start in due time,” said Hassan.
Al-Kuwairi noted the agreement will boost the country’s economy and help to open up roads linking various parts of the country.
“I am thrilled to inform you that Qatari Investment Authority (QIA) is renewing its pledges to Somalia related to uplifting Somali commerce, part of its developmental programs and economic growth. Also other programs pertaining to education, job creation for the youth worth of US$ 200 million” said Al-Kuwair.
The projects include the reconstruction of the 90km road linking Mogadishu and Jowhar as well as Afgoye in the Lower Shabelle region.
The project is a major investment move in Somalia by Qatar following in the footsteps of Turkey which has invested in infrastructure projects such as the refurbishing of the Aden Adde Airport and roads in Mogadishu.
QIA is Qatar’s state-owned holding company that can be characterized as a National Wealth Fund specializing in domestic and foreign investment.
Today’s grant follows a $50 million donation to Somalia by Saudi Arabia in October a week after President Mohamed Farmaajo made his second visit to the Kingdom.
Somalia has maintained a neutral stance in the ongoing Gulf Crisis even as majority of the constituent federal member states chose to side with the Saudi-UAE faction.