Improving the road network in Somalia promotes further development

20.07.2015 – On behalf of the EU and BMZ, GIZ is helping repair main roads in Somalia and is supporting the transport authorities with planning and maintenance.

On behalf of the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is supporting the development of public transport infrastructure in Somalia. This infrastructure has been largely destroyed but is vital for sustainable development. Roads linking inland areas to the seaports provide opportunities to better supply people with food and imported goods. And the export sector also has the chance to sell goats and camels, for example, to foreign buyers. The main roads are to become the driving force for development in the impoverished country.

In a first step, 400 kilometres of roads will be repaired. Another key aim of the programme is to strengthen the capacities of road-building authorities, enabling them to repair and restore road networks themselves, as well as successfully plan and organise their maintenance in future.

Sonja Blum, who is coordinating GIZ’s work in Somalia, explains: ‘Our understanding of sustainability goes beyond diggers and bulldozers. We want to enable the responsible authorities in Somalia to set their own infrastructural priorities and successfully realise them.’ This applies to technical and institutional aspects, as well as the regulatory framework, meaning providing policy advice is a key component of the work. The programme thus extends far beyond the humanitarian aid that Somalia received in its recent past.

The programme, which is financed by BMZ and the EU, aims to boost the country's economic development and also make it easier for Somalian refugees and internally displaced persons to return home.