The National Development Plan III (NDP III) is a government-owned and long-term development plan that aims to achieve the development aspirations of the Somaliland National Vision 2030. It is the third in a series of national development plans, following the NDP I and NDP II

The NDP III covers the period from 2023 to 2027 and is expected to incorporate global development frameworks. The plan was launched by the Ministry of Planning and National Development on February 28, 2023. The Ministry of Finance Development is responsible for ensuring that systems are in place for efficient monitoring and reporting of all government transactions.

The NDP III has six pillars, which are:

  1. Economic Development,

  2. Infrastructure Development,

  3. Good Governance,

  4. Social Development,

  5. Environmental Protection, and

  6. Judiciary Development

Each pillar has specific objectives, targets, and strategies that are aimed at achieving the overall goal of the NDP III. The NDP III is available for download on the Somaliland Government Portal.




Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027Ministry of Planning and National Development

This document is a supplement to the National Development Plan III of Somaliland and has been approved by the senior authorities in government. It sets technical guidelines, norms, and procedures for all processes that support evidence-based decision-making related to the implementation of the NDP III, thereby contributing to the national development goals set by the Somaliland people in the Vision 2030.

Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027FOREWORD

The Government of Somaliland has developed successive development plans to address its national development challenges. The National Development Plan (NDP III, 2023-2027) is a medium-term strategy designed to unlock the country’s potential in all sectors of the economy to achieve inclusive, sustainable development and poverty reduction. The NDP III builds on the achievements and lessons learned during the NDP II period (2017-2021), which concluded in December 2021 and aims to achieve the socio-economic transformation envisioned in the Somaliland National Vision 2030.


Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027During the NDP II period, the country grappled with external shocks and the persistent drought in the sub-region. The global shock of the COVID-19 pandemic taught Somaliland – and the entire world – the importance of building resilience in the economy, especially for the poor and vulnerable. As such, one of the notable updates to the NDP III is the addition of the Social Protection sector and climate change adaptation alternatives to strengthen the economy’s resilience to recurrent shocks.

The NDP III envisages a diversified and resilient economy anchored on the principles of sustainable development. The plan prioritizes physical and human capital development as conduits to economic development. The NDP III will include significant investments to uplift infrastructure, mining and extractives, water facilities, and food security, and build on achievements in the health and education sectors. As in the past, the government’s investments in the overall governance architecture remain high, as no meaningful development can occur without democracy and the rule of law.

The NDP III has many strategies to support economic development by improving the business environment for the active participation of domestic investors and attracting foreign direct investment. The plan will continue to emphasize easing the process for registering businesses through one-stop shops, enhancing financing conditions, improving energy access, and lowering costs to reduce the burden on businesses.

The NDP III outcomes and cost estimates are the aspirations of the various sectors and government institutions over the next five years. The plan is meant to clarify the direction and structure of Somaliland’s national development, providing common ground for dialogue, facilitating the participation of a wide range of stakeholders and development partners, and promoting synergies to achieve shared goals. In this context, an essential precondition of successful implementation is “mutual alignment”. As the government is committed to aligning resources from the national budget with the NDP III, development partners are encouraged to follow suit based on international principles of development cooperation, as enshrined in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

As part of the NDP III implementation strategy, the government has initiated a National Development Fund (NDF) that is based on transparent and accountable governance principles to facilitate joint financing of priority interventions. The government will engage with development partners to build the NDF into a central financing mechanism for Somaliland’s long-term development.

The implementation of the NDP III will also involve the government engaging with its development partners and inviting them to jointly formulate National Flagship Programs (NFPs) with clearly defined plans, budgets, implementation arrangements, and committed finances. These NFPs are designed to address the following priorities:

  • Boosting Somaliland’s economic and private sector development and exploring and maximizing opportunities and multiplier effects created by recent significant private sector investments.
  • Improving the resilience and livelihoods of agro-pastoral and pastoral communities in areas most vulnerable to climate change and recurring droughts.
  • Developing climate-smart infrastructure in partnership with local governments and the private sector to improve access to affordable services crucial for developing value chains and private sector initiatives, such as energy, water, roads, information and communications technology, and markets, among others.
  • Broadening and accelerating support to the decentralization process that was started with support from the UN Joint Program on Local Governance (JPLG).

The government will commit sufficient resources to monitor the NDP III during its implementation. All ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) are called upon to reinforce their internal capacity to continuously monitor progress through outcome targets and annual operational benchmarks.

A separate NDP III Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) supplement provides technical guidance to MDA staff to harmonize monitoring and reporting efforts across government institutions. The learning from the mid- and end-term evaluations will offer vital recommendations for the formulation of Somaliland’s next Vision Paper. It is critical that monitoring and evaluation are conceived and implemented as joint exercises, leading to broad ownership of conclusions and recommendations.

Finally, I want to reiterate the importance of alignment by all stakeholders in terms of objectives, choice of interventions, financial commitments, institutional and implementation arrangements, and monitoring and reporting on progress. I am confident that with the spirit of alignment, the NDP III will successfully improve the lives of my fellow citizens.

H.E. Muse Bihi Abdi
President of the Republic of Somaliland


The preparation of the National Development Plan III (NDP III, 2023-2027) has been inclusive and participatory to include the needs and priorities of different districts and regions in Somaliland. The NDP III preparation benefited from the lessons learned from the NDP II, resulting in the formulation of a plan that will guide the achievement of national development priorities. The methodology involved consultation with a wide range of stakeholders to collect inputs into the formulation of the plan, while the ministries, departments, and agencies of the government, together with the Ministry of Planning and National Development’s (MoPND’s) technical team, have developed the sector chapters of the plan.

Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027To increase local ownership, diverse participants, including government representatives, the private sector, youth, women, people with disabilities, traditional leaders, religious leaders, and other groups were all involved in the NDP III preparation process. This process was only possible with the significant contributions of a wide variety of stakeholders who helped guide and validate the NDP III. The MoPND recognizes the commitment and continued support of the President of the Republic of Somaliland to the NDP III preparation process. The MoPND is also grateful to the National Planning Committee, who oversaw and advised the preparation process.

I would like to recognize my predecessors’ efforts who laid the groundwork for the NDP III preparation. I also express my sincere gratitude to the NDP III technical team for their incredible efforts and perseverance in delivering the project. I want to particularly thank the core team, including Technical Team Leader Khadar Ahmed Abdi Gadhere, M&E Expert Antony Christiaan van de Loo, Economic Development Expert Momodou K. Dibba, and Nimo Ahmed Ismail for their hard work and leadership in delivering the project.

In addition to their leadership roles, Mr. Van de Loo and Mr. Dibba also served as cross-cutting consultants for all NDP III chapters. I also want to thank the Director General of the Ministry, Mr. Ahmed Yasin Muhumed Hasan, and other technical team members, sector leads, and support staff mentioned in Annex 6 who also contributed to this project.

On behalf of the Government of Somaliland, I want to thank the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF), which made a significant technical and financial contribution to the NDP III preparation, and the United Nations agencies who provided financial and advisory support at different stages of the NDP III process. I also want to recognize Plan International Somaliland’s financial contribution to the quality assurance and graphic design of the NDP III document and all the organizations and people who readily gave their time, information, and perspectives to contribute to preparing the NDP III.

Finally, implementing the NDP III requires enormous financial and technical resources. The President of the Republic of Somaliland H.E. Muse Bihi Abdi and the MoPND fully understand this challenge and commit to successfully implementing this development strategy. The implementation arrangements are built on existing institutional structures, which increases the sustainability and impact of the development programs.

Hon. Dr. Ahmed Adan Ahmed Buhane
Minister of Planning and National Development

Chapter 1: Background & Context

Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-20271.1 Introduction

In 1991, Somaliland had the enormous task of building a functional state after the devastating effects of the civil war that caused tremendous damage to the country. With determination, successive governments laid the foundations upon which to build future developments.

Thus, the country’s development evolved out of a process of more than twenty years of grassroots peacebuilding and state-building. Over this time, the Somaliland government started engaging a range of international partners, including the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, the European Union, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and a range of United Nations agencies and national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs/INGOs).

The first joint effort to work towards a common understanding of the priorities of Somaliland was the 2006 Joint Needs Assessment (JNA), leading to the 2007-2010 Reconstruction and Development Plan (RDP), conducted together with the United Nations and the World Bank.

These processes informed the thinking behind Somaliland’s first National Development Plan (NDP I, 2012-2016). The then Ministry of National Planning and Development (MoPND) went on to develop the Somaliland Vision 2030. NDP I was written to operationalize the country’s vision and communicate with citizens and the diaspora.

At the start of NPD I, Somaliland was considered, by World Bank estimates, to be one of the poorest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$347. At the time, this was the fourth lowest in the world, ahead of Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Burundi.

With perseverance and much-needed reforms, including improved budgeting and planning of domestic resources, the National Development Plan II (2017-2021) achieved steady growth for the period, with GDP per capita increasing from US$557 to US$775. Compared to initial estimates in 2012, this is a jump from the fourth poorest country in the world to the eighteenth poorest in the world.

This steady growth has caused changes to the structure of the economy. Although still largely pastoralist and with livestock rearing a mainstay in the economy, other sectors have witnessed significant growth over the years. This is especially true of the service sectors, notably in retail trade, tourism (due to relative peace), and financial services, with remittances playing a catalytic role in the economy. Leveraging the significant diaspora population, remittances continue to be the main flow of finance into the country together with development assistance. These serve as both a social safety net and key contributors to the growth in various sectors, especially in construction.

The re-emergence of the Berbera Port, with investments of US$440 million from Dubai Ports World, and its complementary infrastructure, the Berbera Corridor, is a testimony to the growing strategic role Somaliland could play in the Horn of Africa, reaping a peace and stability dividend. This is indicative of the improved investment climate in the country, with increased opportunities for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into other underdeveloped sectors such as fisheries and commercial agriculture. The oil exploration deal with Taiwan is another example of the improvements to and confidence in the business environment in Somaliland.

1.2 Demographics of Somaliland

The population of Somaliland was estimated to be 3.6 million in 2014 (47.9 percent male and 52.1 percent female) and projected to increase to 4.2 million in 2020, using a growth rate of 2.93 percent, with the bulk of the population living in urban centers.

The population of Somaliland has an average household size of six with 48 percent of the population being under the age of 15 and roughly 72 percent of the population being under 30 years. Similarly, 48 percent of the population is within the working age group (15-64).

Somaliland’s population is young and has become more urbanized over time due to several factors, including repeated droughts. However, there is still a significant proportion of Somaliland’s population living outside of urban areas, whether living in rural settlements or as nomadic pastoralists. Urban, rural, and nomadic households differ significantly in terms of economic activities, sources of income, and consumption patterns, but also in terms of public service delivery challenges, such as the basic services of education, health, water, and sanitation. Although poverty is present across the country, those in non-urban areas are more deprived.

The different population groups stand at 53 percent urban dwellers, 11 percent residents in rural settlements, and 34 percent nomadic and agro-pastoral communities. Meanwhile, two percent of the population lives in settlements for Internally Displaced People (based on government and UN estimates). Having one of the highest fertility rates in the world, Somaliland has a broad-based age pyramid. The population is demographically very young, with nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of Somaliland’s population aged less than 25 years and around three-quarters (74 percent) aged below 30 years.

Youth between 15-29 years of age constitute 26 percent of the population, while older persons (65 years and above) comprise only 6 percent of the total population. Nearly half (48 percent) of the population is within the working age (15-64 years), highlighting the need to create jobs and ensure that training or education address the needs of the labor market. The sex and age distribution of the population is presented by the population pyramid in Figure 1.

The growing urban population is already reshaping the socio-economic dynamics in Somaliland. More individuals in cities mean an increased demand for services and jobs. Also, this new trend is putting pressure on prices, particularly for food and housing.

Somaliland’s economy is based on a dichotomous employment situation. Unemployment levels in urban Somaliland are exceptionally high – as much as 70 percent nationally.

On the one hand, there is an emerging service sector, which is generating increasing levels of quality jobs, but which are not adequately catered for by the local educational and training institutions.

On the other hand, the bulk of the population is engaged in the traditional sectors of pastoralism, agro-pastoralism, artisan fisheries, and trade, which require minimum levels of education and are not expected in their present situation to lead to improved livelihoods. To the contrary, these sectors are coming under increased threats due to the consequences of climate change.

Diversifying the income sources of the population is a challenge that Somaliland must face. The creation of meaningful and adequate employment sources is a challenge every government must tackle.

Figure 1: Population Pyramid of Somaliland

Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027
Source: MoPND estimates for 2016, based on UNFPA

Chapter 2: Achievements Towards Vision 2030 Goals

Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-20272.1 Somaliland Vision 2030 and NDP III Structure

Pillars and Sectors

In 2011, after 20 years of remarkable progress as an independent country, Somaliland decided to embark on the formulation of a vision that could encapsulate its long-term aspirations. The Somaliland National Vision 2030: A Stable, Democratic, and Prosperous Country Where People Enjoy a High Quality of Life was developed, considering Somaliland’s past, present, and envisioned future.

Since its inception, the Somaliland National Vision 2030 has provided common goals concerning Somaliland’s future, enabling the country to take ownership of its development agenda. It also inspires the nation and its leadership to mobilize resources and overcome development challenges to attain higher standards of living. Moreover, the vision guides development partners to align their assistance with national priorities and aspirations. Importantly, it provides a framework upon which national strategies and implementation plans can be anchored.

The pillars upon which the Somaliland National Vision 2030 rests are i) Economic Development, ii) Infrastructure Development, iii) Good Governance, iv) Social Development, and v) Environmental Protection.

Expanding upon the five pillars of the National Vision 2030 and the NDP II, and based on requests from the affected government institutions, the National Planning Commission (NPC) decided to introduce changes in the planning structure of NDP III.

Please note:

  • The Judiciary Pillar was added to accommodate the courts. The Ministry of Justice remains in the Governance sector.
  • The Social Protection sector was added to the Social Development pillar.

Underpinning and Cross-cutting Themes

As in the NDP II, the underpinning themes of Resilience and Human Rights are key and critical conceptual areas that provide the foundational basis for development that each sector rests upon.

Cutting across each of the ten sectors are the following thematic areas:

  • Displacement affected communities • Gender
  • Children’s rights
  • People with disabilities
  • Youth

2.2 Poverty and Inequality

Data on poverty and inequality dates back to the poverty report in 2013, done in collaboration with the World Bank. The findings suggest that poverty is more prevalent in rural communities, where the poverty headcount stood at 37 percent. The urban areas were slightly better, with 29 percent of the urban population considered living in poverty.

It is important to mention that significant changes occurred between 2013 and the present, with the economy moving away from livestock dependency to be more service-oriented. The GDP per capita increased from an initial US$347 in 2013 to US$681 in 2022. This is likely to impact the population in different ways, ranging from economic activities to employment rates and household sources of income.

Based on the last labor force survey (2015), 50 percent of the population is in the labor force, but the poverty head-count ratio remains high among the economically active.

2.3 Social Development


As in many other countries, education is highly correlated with poverty in Somaliland, and it can be a route out of poverty. Household heads with higher education levels are less likely to be in poverty. Although adult literacy is close to the Sub-Saharan Africa average, Somaliland children are much less likely to attend primary school than children in other countries in the region.

Children who do not attend primary education are likely to grow up lacking basic cognitive skills. The lack of basic cognitive skills will reduce their productivity and wages as adults as well as reduce their ability to adapt to changes and shocks in their environment. Children in rural areas of Somaliland are much less likely to attend secondary school compared to those in urban areas, raising concerns about the disparities in education access between rural and urban Somaliland.

Cognizant of its obligation under Article 6 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that every child has a right to education, the government of Somaliland has initiated various programs over the period of NDP II. Despite the challenges, the Gross Enrolment Rate in primary education has improved only marginally from 29 percent in the 2018/19 academic year to 32 percent in 2020/21. However, the Gross Enrolment Rate in secondary education remained the same at 18 percent.

The Gender Parity Index at both primary and secondary levels decreased from 0.84 to 0.81 and 0.78 to 0.75, respectively. These are areas NDP III will strive to improve upon over the next five years.

Figure 3 compares educational attainment by sex. Educational attainment is higher for men than it is for women. Overall, 21 percent of women have no education, compared to 17 percent of men. Approximately 50.9 percent of women and 42.9 percent of men in the households surveyed have not completed primary education. Ten percent of men attended secondary or higher schooling, compared to 9 percent of women.

Figure 2: Changes to pillars and sectors in the NDP III planning structure

Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027Health

Although there are still considerable challenges in the health sector, noticeable progress has been registered in many health outcomes, as per the Health and Demographic Survey from 2020.

Maternal mortality was reduced from 732 per 100,000 live births to 394 per 100,000 live births during the NDP II period. It is important to note in this context that the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel increased from 33 percent to 40 percent in the same period.

Between 2016 and 2021, the under-five mortality rate went down from 137 per 1,000 live births to 91, and the infant mortality dropped from 85 to 72 per 1000 live births. However, neonatal mortality went up slightly, from 40 to 42 per 1,000 live births. Breastfeeding is almost universal in Somaliland, with 94 percent of children born over the last two years being breastfed and the prevalence of early initiation of breastfeeding in the first hour of birth is 69 percent. Malnutrition improved marginally from 14 percent in 2016 to 13 percent in 2021.

Also, in the context of communicable diseases, the incidence of new HIV infections per 1,000 uninfected people dropped from 6.8 to 0.03, while the incidence of tuberculosis dropped from 285 to 200 per 100,000 people and the incidence of hepatitis B dropped from 150 to 51 per 100,000 people.

Figure 3: Education levels by sex

Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027Related to out-of-pocket expenditures, the Somaliland Health Demographic Survey (SLHDS) reports on households’ expenditures on health services based on the last month prior to the survey, showing that 27 percent of households spend less than $US50, whereas 28 percent spend US$50-99, 18 percent spend US$100-199, 7 percent spend US$200-299, and 20 percent spend US$300 or more on healthcare.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

According to the recent SLHDS, 41 percent of households get their drinking water from improved water sources. However, there is a slight discrepancy between the urban and rural populations, as shown in Figure 4.

This data shows that less than half of the population has access to improved drinking water sources, defined as piped water on premises and other drinking water sources, like public taps or standpipes, tube wells or boreholes, protected dug wells, protected springs, and rainwater collection. Table 1 shows the number of additional functioning improved drinking water sources constructed or rehabilitated during the NDP II period.

The main interventions by the Ministry of Water Resources Development (MoWRD) are the construction (drilling) or rehabilitation of boreholes, together accounting for 50 percent of the 639 additional water supply systems, and the establishment or rehabilitation of mini-water systems (27.5 percent).

2.4 Economic Development

The Impact of Drought

In recent times, particularly beginning in 2010, there have been repeated droughts in Somaliland due to low and erratic rainfall. Currently, Somaliland is experiencing a drought. The drought has led to a severe reduction in the quantity and quality of grazing pastures and the water available for livestock. The effect on livestock herds has been devastating. Some regions have seen herd sizes fall by over half due to death, distress selling, and low birth rates. As a result, some families have lost their entire herd.

Figure 4: Access to improved drinking water sources

Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027Around half of the population are pastoralists and livestock play a crucial role in supporting their livelihoods. They are a source of income and calories as well as a major capital asset. For many pastoralists, livestock are the only asset they own. Their living standards are intimately connected with the health of their livestock.

Besides a damaging impact on the health of livestock herds, the drought has had a significant direct impact on those who are engaged in agricultural production. It has also had an indirect impact on those working in the non-agricultural sector through reduced economic growth and inflation.

Crop Production

Somaliland’s agriculture is dominated by subsistence farming, mainly dependent on traditional small-scale sorghum-based dryland agriculture (mono-cropping), although maize is also grown, especially in years with better rainfall. Mono-cropping has made soil less productive and is one of the attributed factors to land degradation in traditional farmlands. Most agriculture-related programs focus on emergency response and resilience enhancement, with very few working on agricultural development.


Livestock exports represent about 80-90 percent of the total value of all exported goods and services of Somaliland, indicating their importance. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Yemen, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are the main destinations for Somaliland livestock exports.

The bulk of the live animals being exported are small ruminants (sheep and goats). Saudi Arabia is the main destination for these animals, with 70 percent of the exports taking place during the Hajj season. Based on health grounds, Saudi Arabia imposed a ban on imports between November 2016 and May 2020, based on claims that it found Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in Somali livestock. A second import ban was instituted in March 2020 following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and was ended in December 2022.

Figure 5 shows the export figures for sheep and goats between 2016 and 2020. The clear drop after the 2016 peak year is explained by the combined effect of the drought and the Saudi Arabia import ban.

Over the same period, stable numbers of live animals were slaughtered annually for domestic consumption in the seven urban slaughterhouses (approximately 530,000 goats and sheep, 23,000 camels, and 18,000 cattle per year). In the domestic market, the negative impact of the drought was compensated by the fact that more animals were available for the domestic market due to the Saudi Arabia import ban.


More than 95 percent of fish currently caught in Somaliland are estimated to be from registered national fishing boats, with an estimated 80 percent of this coming through the Berbera Port. Data from other locations (Maydh, Las Khorey) is currently not reliably collected.

Table 1: Number of water supply systems constructed or rehabilitated during the NDP III period
Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027Table 2: Cereal production between 2015 and 2019 (cultivated land, production, and yield)

Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027International vessels can operate through a locally established partner company and are currently (as of 2021) limited to a maximum of four licensed vessels after a complete ban was imposed by the Ministry of Livestock and Fishery Development (MoLFD) in 2018 and 2019. The growth of the annual catch from international vessels is therefore limited. The official annual catch from international vessels dropped from 830 tons in 2017, to zero during the period of the imposed ban, and back to 219 tons in 2020 and 162 tons in 2021.

Figure 5: Number of live goats and sheep exported during the NDP II period

Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027The limitations have been imposed for environmental reasons, as MoLFD does not have the capacity to regularly conduct stock assessments and establish sustainable fishing quotas or ensure sufficient oversight to limit the damage to coral reefs.

Figure 6 shows a steady increase of the annual catch from registered national fishing vessels over the NDP II period, with a total increase of 74 percent between 2016 and 2021.

The fleet of national fishing vessels that were registered with the Fishery Department consisted in 2021 of 245 smaller vessels with an engine capacity of less than 25 hp, 123 vessels with an engine capacity between 25 hp and 100 hp, and only seven bigger vessels with an engine capacity of more than 100 hp


The recently updated National Energy Policy estimates that 80.7 percent of Somaliland urban households have access to electricity, whereas 20.3 percent of rural and nomadic households have access to electricity. These figures are slightly below the target outcome indicators of the NDP II.

Energy is relatively expensive, which has a negative impact on household income and business development. Efforts by the Ministry of Energy and Mining (MoEM) to reduce the average tariff charged by energy service providers have been a priority and during the NDP II period, there has been a reduction of 35 percent, according to a survey in the 9 major towns, which slightly surpassed the 30 percent target.

It is estimated that 16.2 percent of the total installed 150 MW capacity comes from renewable energy sources, considerably above the NDP II target of 10 percent. The main renewable energy projects implemented during the NDP II period include:

  • Energy Security and Resource Efficiency Somaliland (ESRES) was a US$34 million clean energy investment and technical assistance program in Somaliland.
  • The Somali Electricity Access Project (SEAP) is a US$2.6 million clean energy investment and technical assistance program in Somaliland.
  • Somaliland Energy Transformation was a US$4 million renewable investment that targeted maternal and child health facilities, schools, and water points in the rural areas of Somaliland.
  • A US$2.6 million investment in solar streetlights and renewable energy installations for Las Anod and Erigavo hospitals.
  • The Berbera Solar Project that installed 7 MW of solar capacity in Berbera.

In terms of improving the policy and legal framework, the Somaliland Electrical Act was passed by the parliament in 2018 and signed off by the president. However, there are important sections, such as tariff regulation, that were removed by the parliament during the review.

Figure 6: Annual catch from registered national fishing vessels over the NDP II period (in tons)

Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027Upon the approval of the Act, the Somaliland Electricity Commission was appointed, and they are currently regulating the sector. The Commission is currently working to establish the certification and licensing system of the electrical workers and contractors. The MoEM also developed and endorsed the temporary distribution guidelines.

In early March 2017, consultancy services were contracted for the development of a Power Master Plan. This Power Master Plan captures the current situation within the Somaliland power sector as well as suggests ways to improve efficiency. The Power Master Plan of Somaliland was launched in 2020.


The MoEM formulated and facilitated a multi-client 2D seismic project, which it presented to all international oil companies that have production-sharing agreements with the government. The first project of the multi-client arrangement was concluded in January 2018, with the acquirement of 3500 km of 2D seismic surveys for Genel Energy on blocks SL6, SL7, SL10, and SL13.

The second project was concluded six months later in July 2018, with the acquirement of 800 km of 2D seismic surveys for RAK GAS on block SL9. In mid-2019, both RAK Gas and Genel carried out seepage analysis surveys. These oil and gas exploration surveys covered 17 percent of Somaliland’s land mass, exceeding the NPD II target of 10 percent.

The extractives sector has also implemented numerous mineral exploration undertakings, including the following:

  • Small-scale jade mining
  • Abdulqadir Mining exploration survey
  • Dhagax Guure mining exploration survey
  • Sheiklh (Sule Malable) mining exploration survey
  • Laaso Surad mining exploration survey
  • Exploration and small-scale mining of gold in Sanaag • Siimoodi gemstone project.

2.5 Environmental Management

The following developments are noteworthy achievements during the NDP II period:

Biodiversity Protection

A total of 5,000 km² of land has been gazetted as protected areas and four biodiversity hotspot sites have been identified and evaluated.

In terms of wildlife protection, 90 cheetahs, approximately 40 antelopes, and numerous birds of prey, wild cats, caracals, and about 400 lizards and tortoises were saved. Three wildlife orphanage centers have been established in Dabis, Masalaaha, and Geeddeeble. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change signed an agreement with Sweden for a project to assist in the establishment of Somaliland’s first marine conservation area, to be established during the NDP III period.

Soil and Water Conservation

Various soil and water conservation programs have been implemented, including the construction and rehabilitation of 30 berkhads in Togdheer and 11 berkhads in Sanaag, as well as soil bunds, stone terraces, check dams, and gabions. Four sand dams and two earth dams were constructed at Arabsiyo, Dabis, Aw Barkhadle, Diinqal, El Ayfwein, and Balli Gubbedle.

Communal Grazing Reserves

Five communal grazing sites were brought under the management of the local communities of Bancawl, Casuura, Bookh, Aroori, and Tuuyo. An additional 20 potential communal rangeland sites have been assessed, while dozens of illegal private enclosures were eliminated, mainly in the Maroodi Jeex and Togdheer regions. A rangeland demonstration site was established at Illinta Bari.

Forestry and Tree Planting

Approximately 820,000 seedlings were distributed to major urban centers and at least 70 percent of trees were successfully planted. Five new tree nurseries were established in Debis, Geeddeeble, El Afweyn, Ainaba, and Shurko and an additional five nurseries were rehabilitated in Borama, Berbera, Erigavo, Burao, and Hargeisa.

Reduction of the Use of Charcoal

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, with support from its development partners, distributed 15,000 energy-saving cooking stoves, 4,000 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders, and 3,000 kerosene stoves covering all regions of Somaliland.

The policy and legal instruments were put in place to introduce a tax exemption for LPG and a tax reduction for equipment related to alternative energy. The ministry has also provided a subsidy for private investors interested in producing charcoal from mesquites (Prosopis juliflora), an invasive tree species in farmlands, especially in the west of the country.

Key Policies and Legal Instruments

Table 3 shows the policy formulation processes in each sector that were completed and led to approved policies during the NDP II period.

Table 4 shows several other policy formulation processes that led to draft versions that are available but have not yet been submitted to or approved by the cabinet.

2.6 The Somaliland Development Fund

The Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) is highlighted here as an excellent example of a jointly-managed development fund under the chairmanship of the Government of Somaliland, leading to the successful implementation of projects in several sectors at the value of almost US$60 million. It has been often recognized as the government’s preferred financing mechanism.

Phase one of the SDF was successfully concluded at the end of 2018 and phase two has been initiated. As Table 5 shows, phase one had a total of just over US$59 million in donor contributions, used to finance 12 major projects.

In total, just under 500 procurement contracts were handled for the supply of goods and services for the design, preparation, implementation, and conclusion of these projects. The vast majority (approximately 90 percent) of these contracts were awarded to local contractors, providing a boost to the Somaliland economy as well as reinforcing entrepreneurial skills and routines in operating under professionally executed contracts.

One important reason for the operational success of the SDF projects is the Project Preparation Facility (PPF) at the SDF Secretariat. Once an initial Project Concept Note is approved, this will unlock financial resources for technical assistance to support the requesting ministry in developing a professionally designed Final Project Proposal with a detailed budget.

Table 5 shows that just over US$50,000 was spent for the PPF assisting the line ministries in preparing 12 projects, with a total value of US$58.5 million, or less than 0.1 percent of the overall investments. The establishment of a Project Preparation Facility could greatly enhance the capacity of ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to operationalize the NDP III and formulate properly designed interventions with sound budgets. Lessons could be learned from global funds that work with such a facility, such as the Green Climate Fund.

Table 3: Approved policies per sector during the NDP II period
Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027Table 4: Draft policies that have been formulated during the NDP II period
Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027Table 5: SDF-funded projects during Phase 1 (August 2013-December 2018)

Somaliland National Development Plan III 2023-2027

Download here for the full NDP III  

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