University of Hargeisa hosted a one-day conference organized by the department of macroeconomic and statistics of the Somaliland Ministry of finance development. The primary objective of the conference was to bring together economists in the country from the academic institutions, the public, and the private sectors to make macroeconomic analysis and address the domestic and international challenges of economic growth in Somaliland. Somaliland Minister of Finance development opened the conference and explicated a brief statistical data about the slowly growing economy of the country. The minister explained the key challenges of the Somaliland economy by stating the little budget of the government and explaining the high unemployment rate and the trade deficit which is 30 times lower than the average. The minister indicated that the government needs to increase the budget in order to fulfill its duties, he emphasized that taxes are not fully and properly collected and when taxes are fully collected, the government budget will increase enough to carry out its responsibilities and implement developmental projects that can create platforms and help for rapid economic growth.
Other speakers from the academic institutions, central bank and the ministry of finance development stated key factors negatively contributing to the slowly growing of the economy. The devaluation of the domestic currency, inflation, unemployment, balance of trade and lack of market for the main Somaliland livestock were among the key issues addressed. The Bank was appreciated for stabilizing the exchange rate which is now stable at 8,400slsh per Dollar. It was suggested that Somaliland needs to produce more in order to balance its trade or at least reduce the big gap of trade balance. It was agreed in the conference that the major cause of the currency devaluation is that the imports are much larger than the exports and too much Dollar goes to abroad. Somaliland needs to prepare for producing goods that can be exported and that need technical expertise. It was strongly suggested that academic institutions and the Ministry of Education should tend to generate graduates that are technically equipped and can adopt with industrialization process.
The minister concluded the conference and ensured that the suggestions and recommendations from the conference will be considered and that actions will be taken as the main aim of the conference was to benefit from the economists and academic institutions. The minister recommended to establish associations and create forums to discuss current economic and political issues.