By Goth Mohamed Goth

The Somaliland 8th Energy and Extractives Sector Coordination Forum was held this week (22nd and 23rd) at the Mansoor Hotel in Hargeisa.

The objectives of the 2 Day forum were to provide updates on the sector activities, development, and implementing partner’s sector support activities and to identify the sector’s key priorities for the next period.

Mr. Mohamed Said Osman’s opening remarks thanked the VP, Cabinet Ministers, Energy sector partners, local and international NGOs, and all the participants participating in the forum.

He added, “First and for most I would like to thank the distinguished guests and honorable participants of this well-attended Somaliland energy and extractive sector coordination forum, that promotes the development of the Somaliland energy sector. He further praised the Department of planning and the various arms of the ministry for the effective and participatory event. The Director General further urged the participants to exchange views and information and come up with recommendations to strengthen the energy extractives coordination forum.

Minister of National Planning in his speech at the 8th meeting of the Energy & Extractives Sector Coordination Forum said, “There is a great demand in Somaliland from all sectors and there is a great interest from development partners to invest in the energy and extractive sector of Somaliland. I would like to take this opportunity to touch on the challenges as well as the opportunities that Somaliland faces in having access to clean and affordable energy. “Somaliland’s businessmen are required to be part of the National Development Plan” Said the Minister of National Planning Toorno.

“This Council or Forum (ESWG) was established to bring together and bring together all stakeholders of Energy wherever they are” ESWG Coordinator Eng Ahmed Ubaxle.

The Director General of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Duale highlighted the need for extractive companies to observe the environmental guidelines established by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MoECC), particularly the Environmental Impact Assessment Guideline, safeguard the well-being of the environment.

“We have close cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and I thank the public for always providing information regarding the well-being of the environment.” the Director General of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Duale.

“Investing in energy, mining and oil sharing will enable a balance in import and export trade, large-scale job creation, foreign investment and economic growth for our country” Director General of the Ministry of Trade & Tourism JSL Abdirashid Ibrahim.

“Preparation of laws that guide the energy sector and adapt to the changes in the energy sector and enforce the laws” Mr. Hassan Sheik Mahmoud, Chairman of the Somaliland Energy Commission.

The Ministers Speech- stated as follows-

It is indeed an honor for my Ministry to host this important meeting as the Minister of Energy and Minerals and the eighth time since it has been initiated. Much credit and thanks go to my Ministry staff, the event organizers, who with the support of ESRES made this event, happen here in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

This is a very important forum which enables us to share our ideas, coordinate our efforts and synergize our important activities, both the ones that are currently going on in the energy and the extractive sector as well as those that are in the pipeline, through this forum we will be capable, in identifying who is doing what and we can come up with a clear division of labor among our reputable institutions, similarly we will promote and encourage meaningful energy and extractive development projects in Somaliland.

The government needs to focus and concentrate in creating opportunities, working in partnership with the development partners, to lead and guide the advancement of the energy and extractive sector in Somaliland based on our needs.

Electricity generation is mostly done through diesel generators the installed capacity is under 200mW, consequently the country has one of the highest electicity rates in the world $1.kwh with an average of $0.79/kwh, thanks to ESRES project which reduced the cost of electricity in some of Somaliland towns to $0.5/kwh.

Somaliland is currently an energy poor country; but, it is a renewable energy resource rich country.

The country is bestowed upon a year-round sun that provides an average of 12hrs sunshine per day.

Somaliland also posts one of the highest wind speeds in the continent. If these two renewable energy resources are tapped they can supply ample quantities of clean affordable energy to the nation that can mitigate the harmful environmental impact effects of biomass. It is also out priority to develop infrastructures which will enable us to promote the production as well as the usage of energy for sustainable economic, social development. This can only be achieved through tremendous support provided by our international and development partners.

Despite the above challenges, Somaliland has been doing all it can in developing the energy and extractive sector.


Somaliland is one of the most potential countries when it comes to hydrocarbons and it has all the indications to be an oil producing country. Somaliland hopes to be part of this growing East African oil patch. For the past years, the Ministry invested a great deal of effort and time in marketing Somaliland’s petroleum potential and attracted international oil companies. There are now a number of international oil companies that are operating in Somaliland and have a production sharing agreement with the government of Somaliland.


Somaliland is part of the highly productive Mozambique belt and has even greater potentiality in minerals. The known minerals in Somaliland include base metals, precious metals, coal, rear earth and gemstones, as well as industrial minerals such as cement material, gypsum, feldspar, quartz, mica and many others.


The energy policy was approved in 2010 and it is currently being reviewed and updated by the Ministry, the Somaliland Energy Policy promotes in fostering international partnership in trade and investment in the Energy Sector, while the Somaliland Electrical Energy Bill was developed by the Ministry and has been passed by the Legislature, but dug to missing important chapters, the President suggested for an amendment and currently the amended version of the act has been sent back to the parliament for final approval. The Ministry developed interim sets of regulations such as licensing, minimum technical health and safety standards and electrical power distribution network expansion guidelines.

As a result of many workshops conducted by the Ministry and consultative meetings held for the private electricity service providers (ESPs), their level of education and awareness has increased and that resulted in the ESPs to merge to get economics of scale in order to provide better service to customers.

The Ministry has also established a well-organized coordination mechanism among the Energy Sector stake holders to develop the institutional, regulatory as well as infrastructural requirements of the energy sector.

Under the Ministry’s direction and oversight, multiple energy programs are ongoing in the country that include a major program called Energy Security and Resource efficiency program (ESRES) funded by DFID. The main purpose of the ESRES project is to improve the access of affordable electricity for vulnerable communities through the promotion and usage of renewable energy technologies.

Targeted rural communities were supported with the installation of solar-powered pumping systems for shallow wells and boreholes, many schools and healthcare centers (MCH) were also powered with Solar PC system to provide electricity.

The Ministry is implementing a Power Master Plan for the entire country and in particular the capital city, Hargeisa. The objective of the Project which is funded by the World Bank is to produce credible power master plan for Somaliland to guide the introduction and establishment of modern cost-effective reliable electricity supply systems for the country over a 20 year planning period.

In conclusion, it is the aspiration of Somaliland as a nation and the priority of the current government to enhance our meager economy and increase production by exploiting our natural resources for the benefit of our people. This will largely require investment of foreign companies and the support of international development partners. Hence, Somaliland has established transparent and conducive arrangements to attract investors and development partners. We must appreciate the importance of this journey and understand the transformative effect in that harnessing renewable energy resources, developing an outstanding electrical power infrastructure (transmission and distribution), and finding oil or a vast deposit of minerals can have on our economy. It is, therefore, vital for us to get the support of international development partners in the development of the electrical power sectors, harnessing renewable energy resources, and the exploration efforts for oil and minerals to unearth the natural wealth buried beneath our soil.

HE Abdurrahman Abdullah Ismail, “Saylic” the Vice President of the Republic of Somaliland speaking during the launch of the 8th energy and extractives coordination forum urged fellow citizens to start engaging with and accelerating the adoption and utilization of renewable energy resources, such as Geothermal, Solar, and Wind power in the country.

The VP added, “The diversification of Somaliland’s energy mix, and the strengthening of energy security will help address the high costs of electricity which is a significant barrier to growth.

Eng. Liban Mohamed, the director of the energy department presented the ongoing activities of Somaliland’s energy sector, starting with the current review process of the national energy policy, giving an overview of the policy, the energy policy goal, and its objectives. After the director of energy department briefed the participants of the key achievements since the launch of ESCF 3 that included the update of the electrical energy act emphasizing the new structure of the proposed act development of the best practice guidelines for electrical distribution system, ERC establishment, coordination activities (working groups. The director also presented other achievements of the sector which includes the energy sector strategy for NDP IIl    2021-2025, enhancing the level of awareness and education for ESPs and government coordination to development partners funded programmes and project.

The director of planning department at MoEM presented the prioritized outcomes of the energy and extractives sector of the national development plan II, the draft of the prioritized outcome, which are broken down into outputs.