updated 7:33 AM MST, Nov 17, 2017

What Does the London Conference on Somalia Aims to Achieve, UK Govt Tells

  • Published in EUROPE

LONDON  — The Government of the United Kingdom is preparing to host a conference on Somalia, making the second such conference since 2012.
This year, the London Conference on Somalia will take place in London on May 11th, 2017. The conference which will be co-chaired by Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, elected in February 8th, and the UK Prime Minister Theresa May. It will convene Heads of State and Government from across East Africa and other key partners, along with senior figures from international organisations.
When the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Mogadishu and met Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo in mid-March he was not only delivering the message of the conference but also emphasizing the core agenda of the conference.  
UK's theme of the conference
The UK Government believes that Somalia deserves a surge in support to secure the progress the country made during the past five years.
The upcoming Somalia Conference will address key issues among them security, political reform and governance, economic development and new partnership agreement between Somalia’s government institutions and the international community.

UK currently supports and trains Somalia security forces and the African Union forces (AMISOM) fighting the Al-Shabab militant group. Dozens of UK's special trainers are also stationed in Mogadishu.
According to UK Government, there will also be side events during the conference whereby various groups such as the diaspora community and the civil society will be able to show how vital their contribution is to the recovery of the country’s economy. Supporting refugees and their host communities will be an important theme during the conference.
Somali Government on its part says there are numerous key priorities the government wishes to present to the conference and seeks to draw the attention of the donors.
Somalia's Priorities
Last week the Federal Government officials met with the regional states leaders to help in compiling and uniting the key priorities of the country’s needs. Re-establishing and strengthening the country’s apparatus and the future of the national army, building more inclusive federal and democratic administrations and creating strong economy for job creation are major points of the plan.
While the rise of piracy in the Somali coast, the ongoing drought risking lives of more than 6.2 million Somalis as well as the extreme level of terrorism acts are worrying, the international community in wider and the UK Government in particular see Somalia’s recovery gathered pace.
Meanwhile current Somali leaders acknowledge the importance and the timing of the London Conference as they are hoping that it’s their responsibility to utilize the attention of the world to gain the momentum and the spirit needed to enable a functioning and secure Somalia after more than two decades of chaos and lawlessness.