One Earth Future Foundation Launches ‘Investing in Somalia’ Program
One Earth Future Foundation (OEF) has announced the launch of its Investing in Somalia program. This initiative will analyze economic development and investment in Somalia. The program supports and complements the work of another initiative of OEF - Oceans Beyond Piracy.
To ensure the viability of this new program, Philanthropist and Chairman of OEF, Mr. Marcel Arsenault, declared in June 2012 that he will initially commit a minimum of $1 million over the next two years in financial grants to encourage sustainable economic development in Somalia. The grants will focus on supporting job creation and alternative livelihood initiatives in Somalia, and will provide seed funding to projects which are scalable, replicable, and sustainable. The commitment builds on Mr. Arsenault’s previous grants to NGOs and international organizations working on the ground in Somalia, such as UNODC, Radio Daljir, and Somali Fair Fishing.
Mr. Arsenault stated, “Piracy has exacted a huge cost on Somali society, and sadly the desperate situation in Somalia continues to breed piracy. It is a phenomenon that will ultimately be solved only by global initiatives to create jobs and improve governance.”
The first phase of the program will deliver an in-depth mapping of economic development projects in Somalia. This research and analysis is intended to be used to identify and draw attention to effective projects for financial grants and investments. It should also encourage alignment and continuity of existing efforts in Somalia to promote job creation. Future phases will focus in on businesses and entrepreneurial initiatives. The information will be compiled on a publicly available website, to be launched in September 2012. The objectives of this research and mapping are to:
• Help international funders and investors identify projects in all three regions of Somalia for potential funding.
• Showcase best practices in economic development which optimize job creation in Somalia.
• Foster and facilitate international funding into Somalia, especially from non-traditional funders such as the private sector and diaspora.
• Promote collaboration and partnerships between public and private organizations to streamline investments into Somalia.