Somalia-At least twenty-three (23) officials from Somalia’s South West State’s Finance ministry are undergoing skills enhancement training in public procurement, taxation and strategic fiscal management, at the Kenya School Revenue Administration, under a capacity building program facilitated by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), in partnership with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
The training which kicked off on Tuesday in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, aims to skill the ministry staff with appropriate public procurement processes and revenue collection mechanisms.
“As AMISOM, we believe this training will build and organize (your) systems, bolster your knowledge and aspects that supports your mandate,” Dr. Ododa Opiyo, the Mission’s Head of Stabilization and Early Recovery Programme said in his opening remarks.
He hoped that the training would enhance the state’s “financial independence”, in revenue collection and procurement.
The South West State is one of Somalia’s five Federal Member States. Mr. Ali Abdi Adan, the State’s Director-General in the Ministry of Finance, said the training would hugely impact on the state’s revenue sourcing, procurement and fiscal governance.
“We consider this training very important and we will make sure we utilize the skills and knowledge acquired here, to build our capacity,” he pledged.
The acting Commissioner of Kenya School of Revenue Administration, Dr. Fred Mugambi, emphasized the vital role taxes play in nation-building. He asked the Somali officials to strive to be “public servants of integrity and loyal to the government”.
To underpin the training’s importance in revenue collection, the KRA official cited a World Bank report that indicated that while Somalia’s public expenditure expanded five times between 2012 and last year, the domestic revenue as a share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was a mere 2.8 per cent.
The workshop he added, was therefore to enhance their “knowledge and skills to increase revenue”, and resource mobilization.
The capacity enhancement training is part of AMISOM’s mandate to strengthen Somalia’s governance institutions, during the transition period. AMISOM has also supported the rebuilding of legislative and oversight skills of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Federal Member States, through various trainings in Kenya and elsewhere.