National employment policy for Somalia finalized

Somalia's national employment policy which lays out a strong foundation to provide sustainable employment opportunities for Somali population has been finalized.

Press release | Somalia | 27 February 2019
ILO News (Mogadishu): The Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs (MoLSA) has finalized the draft National Employment Policy for Somalia in an extended tripartite Steering Committee meeting held in Mogadishu today. The Policy is designed with technical support provided by the International Labour Organization (ILO) under a Joint UN Project on Youth Employment in Somalia (JP-YES).

The Employment Policy lays out a strong foundation to provide sustainable employment opportunities for the Somali population, said the Federal Minister for Labour & Social Affairs, Mr Salah Jama. He said that 70% Somali population is less than 35 years of age and they need active policies and programmes to engage them in nation building and productive activities – and save them from falling into anti-social activities. The Minister reaffirmed his commitment that the Policy will be implemented with aspirational objective of social dialogue and tripartite consultation. The Minister also reaffirmed that the Policy will be implemented through a National Employment Programme with the support of UN Agencies. He appreciated the inputs provided by Employers, workers and many experienced officials from his Ministry. He emphasized on the private sector that the Policy demands a major contribution from them to enhance employment opportunities. Finally, he emphasized on importance of data and labour market analysis for sound employment policies and affirmed that the Government will institutionalize regular Labour Force data collection.

ILO Employment Specialist Mr Luca Fedi elaborated the salient features of the National Employment Policy and identified ways for its implementation to enhance employment outcomes for the Somali population.

The Employment Policy focuses on three priority areas, i.e., strengthening private sector and promoting micro-, small-, and medium-enterprises; supporting productive economic sectors for job-creation; and strengthening labour market governance. The policy adequately covers all relevant areas including focus on vulnerable segments of society and inclusion of women, youth, IDPs and persons with disabilities.

Earlier, the Deputy Minister for Labour & Social Affairs, Mr Swaqar Ibrahim Abdullahi inaugurated the tripartite steering committee and welcomed all participants to the meeting. He highlighted the level of effort gone into the process for developing National Employment Policy – with a focus on inclusivity, participation and ownership by the relevant stakeholders of Somalia. This makes the policy Somali-owned and Somali-led. He appreciated the technical support provided by ILO and other stakeholders.

During the Steering Committee, tripartite stakeholders emphasized on developing friendly regulations for private sector development, favorable fiscal policy and access to finance for expanding business activities. For SME development, participants recommended to ensure ease of doing business, ensure protection of local products against foreign / imported products; adopting innovation in business processes; and enhancing capacity of young workers. For improving labour market governance, the meeting agreed to establish a National Employment Council and an inter-ministerial Employment Committee; establish sector-specific Associations; and institutionalize labour force survey and other surveys to understand labour market demands.

The National Employment Policy will open up opportunities for Somali population – particularly youth, women and vulnerable groups, to access decent employment opportunities.

For more information, please contact: Syed Saad Hussain Gilani, Head, ILO Somalia Office; Cell # 061-3694303: E-mail: