By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- Somaliland which is endowed with an abundant of untapped natural resources is undergoing an accelerated exploitation in its extractive sector courtesy of a contractual partnership between the government and a number of international firms.
This is according to a report by the Somaliland Non State Actors Forum– SONSAF that was presented during its fourth national extractive Sector Forum held in Hargeisa on the 29th March 2017.
While being candid on the fact that the extractive sector faces many challenges especially climate change, drought, cooperation with communities inhabiting target exploration areas as well as prone to attracting conflict just like in other Sub-Saharan, among others, SONSAF states that recent strategies put in place by the Somaliland ministry of energy as well as ongoing seismic acquisition programs restarted in 2017 by Genel energy & co denotes confidence thus negating the challenges.
Read: Somaliland Citizens Support Oil Exploration and Extraction Activities-SONSAF Report
Commending the government for its present efforts towards establishing a legal framework for the national extractive sector through draft laws submitted to parliament as well as policy dialogue that intends to inform the state mandated institutions on the appropriate standards for proper exploitation, SONSAF is on the belief that this will lead to effective and efficient management of country’s natural resources on behalf of citizens.
Regarding conditions of the rural communities, particularly areas in which oil and gas survey activities are being undertaking, where there is likelihood of insecurity and disturbance more so as a result of poverty emanating from severity of prolonged drought, avoidable argues SONSAF if the Government of Somaliland can adopt a coherent strategy of restocking and recovery process.
The initiative of SONSAF on the national extractive sector commenced in 2013, since then, the Somaliland non state actors forum has successfully in close collaboration with the energy ministry hosted annual forums on the sector latest being the one held in March 29th 2017.
The Somaliland Non State Actors was established in 2008 to ensure that the voices of ordinary Somalilanders are heard by governments and other international institutions who are responsible for policy in Somaliland.
Apart from providing a focal point and representative forum for non-state actors , SONSAF aims to strengthen non-state actors in Somaliland to engage in domestic and international policy dialogue and decision making to bring about a secure and peaceful future for the people of Somaliland. We speak on behalf of a broader Somaliland constituency on issues such as poverty reduction, development, good governance, democracy, peace and security.Read More about SONSAF
While The ministry of energy and minerals representing the government of Somaliland has entered into Product Sharing Agreements-PSA and subsequent oil exploration and extraction contracts with numerous international firms the following are most active, Genel Energy, DNO Norway, Sterling Energy, ANSA WIKFs, RAK Gas and lately BGP China
While not explicitly touched upon the oil exploration activities hinge on the successful establishment of the envisaged Oil Protection Unit-OPU a 420 strong elite force under the overall command of the police commissioner., that has the mandate of protecting activities of the international firms with Somaliland oil exploration and exploration PSA’s that target the over 6 billion barrels of proven reserves in the country.
Contract for the creation of the OPU and its subsequent training worthy $6m was awarded British firm Saladin Security by the Somaliland tender board and with advise from Assaye Risk following a strenuous tendering exercise that attracted numerous Security firms of international repute.