Providing clean energy to Somalis, including those uprooted from their homes in the conflict-torn country, could both improve lives there and provide new opportunities for entrepreneurs, the U.N. envoy to Somalia said.
Despite persistent violence, Somalia is “slowly sorting its problems out”, with efforts underway to rebuild the state, raise more tax revenue and improve security, said Michael Keating, the highest United Nations official in the Horn of Africa nation.
“That image of Somalia that is dominated by bombs and hunger is really out of date,” Keating said on the sidelines of a conference on energy access in Lisbon this week. “The issue is: How can energy contribute to moving the country forward?”
As the population grows, climate change and environmental degradation are contributing to the “many problems” faced by Somalis, who are competing for natural resources such as land, wood and water, Keating said. That, in turn, is fuelling tensions. “People are drifting into cities where they can’t sustain themselves,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview.
Source: The Star