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Infrastructure is a component that gives room for a country`s economic growth and enables it to do trade and other regional and international developments with other countries. Somalia`s growth is inhibited by continuous war and terrorism which has surged the country into absolute poverty. The wars have made it almost impossible to make long developments in infrastructure. The essay has looked into Somalia`s transport, mainly the ports and shipping sector and road transport where the latter is in bad condition and lacks proper maintenance. A well-developed infrastructure encourages investment and significantly decreases the cost of business operations and easing the process to access to products and other factors in the market. Transport is one of the key infrastructure elements that improve productivity, improves people`s living standards, the creation of employment and if well constructed and maintained, contributes to economic stabilization and improvement in security. The essay discusses road transport and indicates the major routes, length of main roads, paved and uneven surface. On the other hand ports and shipping sector has been discussed whereby, the three main ports operating in Somalia is Kismayo, Mogadishu, Berbera, and Bosaaso. The main challenge in the ports and shipping sector is the operating performance, low handling speeds and high handling cost which forces importers to pay high terminal charges. The ports are a major source of revenue for the government through collections from customs duty, taxes and other fees at the port. The government of Somalia needs to improve specialized cargo handling improve on hinterland connectivity, lower post cost to trade, improve facilities at the port, improve capacity for liquid cargo and provide more feeder roadstead ports. These solutions will improve not only the economy of the country but also their environmental developments. On the other hand, institutions in the transport industry in Somalia is encamped with weak implementation capacity and management of the roadwork. Somalia needs to implement a structure for road sector institutions as soon as possible. The structure would need to include contracts and procurement, maintenance and Directorate for secondary, feeder and coastal roads. The cost estimate of roads and solution is also included. The implementation approaches for both road, ports and shipping infrastructure aim at achieving pillars namely, the social protection, livelihood and the customer modernization for generation of country`s revenue.
INFRASTRUCTURE IN SOMALIA
Somalia`s infrastructure is poorly developed and often times, it is not well repaired. Somalia inherited only a few paved roads after independence, that is in the South and North West, which is more populated. Somalia also had four underdeveloped ports that are equipped with old facilities and a handful of airstrips. The past few decades have seen the country make some improvements with the help of foreign aid. By 1990 `s, some of the major roads were connected to major towns in the country and linked to the Northern and Southern parts of the country. Also, three ports have been developed and eight airports paving runways and regular domestic air service. However, due to the security issues and war that the country has faced, the country need further investments and maintenance. This essay will explore issues relating to two means of transport, how it works and economic and environmental requirements that the means of transport must fulfill in Somalia.
Infrastructure is a prerequisite for a country`s development in the economy, private sector, integration of regional relationships and development of human relations. A well-developed infrastructure encourages investment and significantly decreases the cost of business operations and easing the process to access to products and other factors in the market. Transport is one of the key infrastructure elements that improve productivity, improves people`s living standards, the creation of employment and if well constructed and maintained, contributes to economic stabilization and improvement in security (Abdi 2010, p. 121). Therefore, Somalia`s top priority is development assistance and targets of rehabilitation the and development of infrastructure in the country.
Somalia`s infrastructural development is heavily inhibited by environmental factors such as lack of environmental Stability. The country has surged into famine and poverty. These factors are mainly because the county heavily depends on donor help from the European Nations. People live in fear of starting off business because they fear it going to be burnt down or they will be attacked. Businesses and mushrooming of cities is key to developing infrastructure. Investors also are afraid to invest in the country. The fear is due to the country`s unending wars especially from insurgency groups like Al-Shabaab (Mubarak 2006, p. 88). Internal wars have caused stress to the livelihood of people living in Somalia by cutting off access to marketplace causing the country`s infrastructure to deteriorate and discourage development of roads and ports. Another factor essential to mention is climate change. Climate change has also contributed to famine in Somalia accelerated by lack of a viable government structure and poor land use practices. According to (Mubarak 2006, p. 26), to reduce famine, the county can adopt resistance crops, put in place the right institutions and a proper and effective governance structure that will protect its people from poverty and steer ahead of the development of infrastructure in the country.
The country of Somalia heavily depends on agriculture and livestock. It, therefore, means that improving roads and infrastructure will be one of the main factors that will generate investment in agriculture since good infrastructure will reduce transportation, lead to the market development and integration and in overall reduce the levels of poverty (Mubarak 2006, p. 25). Livestock makes up forty percent of the GDP of a country. Somalia`s total annual trade amount is estimated to be at $2458 million. Somalia`s close trade partners are with Oman, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia. Somali`s export is approximately $545 million and its import at $1913 million (Appleby 2008, p. 207). The population of the county is not only sparsely populated but concentrated in few major towns while the bigger portion is nomadic. Due to Somali`s geographic climate and soil, it makes the construction process and operations of transport infrastructure easy. In addition, availability of natural resources and materials used in the construction in abundance.
According to (United Nations 2005, p. 31), a review of the road network in Somalia indicates that there are a total of 11434km roads of all types and named as the major routes. The length of the main road or the primary road without adding Somaliland is 2977km of the nation`s total of 4124km of which there are 2860km that are paved while 1246 km are unpaved or are of gravel surface. The unpaved road can be categorized as the roads which are in poor condition since ninety percent of the roads are in bad shape beyond their initial designs. The total number of feeder roads is approximately 7310 km. These roads are mainly gravel or earthen surface but in deteriorating or bad condition.
Ports and Shipping Sector
According to (Nur 2017, p. 147), there are four major parts that are operating in Somalia that are; Kismayo, Mogadishu, Berbera, and Bosaaso. Three of those are deep-water ports. Despite the fact that the country has surged into vagaries of war, the condition at the port seems to be in a good condition. However, the main challenge is the operating performance and faced with low handling speeds. Handling cost at the port is also so high. There are a huge amount of additional terminal charges which are imposed on the imports by the shipping lines thus general high hidden costs. The ports are overstaffed, for instance, Mogadishu has five thousand employees, Berbera has around two thousand employees.
The ports are a major source of revenue for the government through collections from customs duty, taxes and other fees at the port. As a result, there is high and excessive port cost causing delays to the traders. In addition, it is difficult for the traders to distinguish between border and inland revenues, and real and pure port service related cost. It is important to note that the cost line is not leveraging for Somali`s development in its economy is mainly due to the inadequate connectivity of the hinterland. One of the major priorities of the government of Somalia is to improve specialized cargo handling, improve on hinterland connectivity, lower post cost to trade, improve facilities at the port, improve capacity for liquid cargo and provide more feeder roadstead ports (Afdb.org, 2018). Other targets include adding a new major port between Mogadishu port and northern part and create an information system at the port that is capable of tracking information and statistics.
Investment and Financing Options
According to (Mukhtar and Castagno 2003, p. 48), the road sector programme is estimated to cost $1.1 billion while the ports sector programme is proposed to cost $153 million covering a period of ten years. The funding for the road sector infrastructure is proposed to come from donor assistance while the road sector services are through the passenger and the goods segment. The main goal of public financing in the ports and shipping industry is encamped with the concept of improving or developing right institutions with the right policies and strategies governing them.
The country of Somalia lacks appropriate transport sector institutions. Therefore, the overall solution would be to start by institutionalizing and transport board and transport fund that will provide a startup for the transport projects and policies and achieve the set goals and objectives. Transport board and the transport fund will work together to ensure institutional reform and who will ensure preparing, delivering and sustainability of all the operations in the transport sector (Afdb.org, 2018). The implementation approaches should aim at achieving pillars namely, the social protection, livelihood and the customer modernization for generation of country`s revenue. This strategy will make it possible that the programme attracts high visibility development and donor financing.
Somalia`s engagement in trade not only contribute to regional integration but also economic integration, The current trade corridor that links Somalia to the rest of the world is through Berbera- Addis Ababa routes. Kismayo in the southern part provides a competitive route to both Nairobi in Kenya and Kampala in Uganda. Trade transport, routes existing between Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are important as they improve transport relations between the neighboring countries and Somali port which further, would lead to growth in regional trade (Nur 2017, p. 150). At the border, customs remains to be the premier agency which is responsible for security, revenue, and trade facilitation. Somali`s initiates to improve customs, transport and border management includes development and implementation of Somali customs transit authority, the establishment of the automated system for customs data transit module. Other measures include the development of an integrated border management system, restructuring Somali customs agency and promoting and developing trade corridors.
Poor transport infrastructure inhibits the success of the activities that generated income in the country. Somalia is heavily dependent on activities that are integrated into economic sectors of the country such as in agriculture and livestock. Poor infrastructure is a key factor impeding the competitiveness of pastoralism and contributes to directly lowering income in communities rather relies on directly on it for their livelihoods. A key problem that is facing the market is the support for loading and offloading of livestock, resting stations, ramps for loading livestock into the ships among others. On the other hand. Agrarian transport in Somalia is a constraint to the transportation of agricultural inputs and poor market access for the products. The main sustenance crops traded is sorghum and maize that are traded while sesame is an essential cash crop. Somali`s GDP has expanded by 3.7% I 2014 (Afdb.org, 2018). The growth was driven by investment in construction, increased demand for livestock export and government investment infrastructure such as roads and ports which causes the economic growth of a country.
Port tariff estimates indicate that traffic volumes are so low which is primarily reduced level of development. Traffic activities are handled at Mogadishu and Berbera with very little at Kismayo. Somali thus need to improve on its constructions and facility development through importing the construction materials and other industry related materials. These include steel, cement, among others. The imports will come through Somali ports. According to (Appleby 2008, p. 210,) for the construction of 100km road, the country would need approximately 492, 000 tones. Five million of fuel liters are needed for construction of 100km and 2500 tonnes of metals for the same distance.
Estimating Road Improvement Costs
Estimates(Us dollar per Kilometre)
Doing both Rehabilitation and overlay of existing road 3.65m wide
Rehabilitation with overlay paved road 7.3m wide
New paved road 3.65 wide(Construction)
Newly paved road, 7.3ma wide(construction) and overlay of existing 3.65m wide road to 7.3
A new compacted 3.65 wide gravel road(Construction)
Rehabilitating existing gravel
Table 1. Retrieved from https://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Publications/Somalia_Transport_Sector_Needs_Assessment_and_Investment_Programme.pdf
Somalia has surged into famine and poverty. People live in fear of starting a business because they fear attacks and loss of their property and businesses. Businesses and mushrooming of cities is key to developing infrastructure. The county can adopt resistance crops, put in place the right institutions and a proper and effective governance structure that will protect its people from poverty and steer ahead of the development of infrastructure in the country. On the other hand, since the institutions in the transport industry in Somalia is encamped with weak implementation capacity and management of the road work in Somalia, Somalia needs to implement a structure for road sector institutions as soon as possible. The structure would need to include contracts and procurement, maintenance and Directorate for secondary, feeder and coastal roads. On the other hand, in order to improve ports and shipping sector, improving on specialized cargo handling, low port cost trade, improve hinterland connectivity and provide more feeder road will thus lead of port improvements.
List of reference
ABDI, M. A. (2010). Conflict resolution and nation-building in Somalia.
Afdb.org. (2018). [online] Retrieved from https://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Publications/Somalia_Transport_Sector_Needs_Assessment_and_Investment_Programme.pdf
APPLEBY, M. C. (2008). Long distance transport and welfare of farm animals. Wallingford, CABI.
MUBARAK, J. A. (2006). An economic policy agenda for post-civil war Somalia: how to build a new economy, sustain growth, and reduce poverty. Lewiston, N.Y., Edwin Mellen Press.
MUKHTAR, M. H., & CASTAGNO, M. (2003). Historical dictionary of Somalia. Lanham, Md, Scarecrow Press.
Nur, Y.A., 2017. Business 7 and Government Relations in Somalia. Business and Government Relations in Africa, p.147.
UNITED NATIONS. (2005). The state of the environment in Somalia a desk study. Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP.
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