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The Ethiopian Somali Region and its capital, Jigjiga City, have experienced significant economic growth thanks to the social and financial capital investments by the Somali diaspora and returnees. Somaliland and its capital, Hargeisa, have seen a diaspora-led economic boom as well.
Both areas are also experiencing significant migration influxes, often induced by climate change. These rural-to-urban labour migrants, internally displaced people (IDPs), and refugees suffer from poverty and exclusion, with women and girls disproportionately affected.
Thus, a key challenge for regional and local authorities is making economic growth more equitable, with more migrants and vulnerable host community members benefiting from increasing economic opportunities and services.
This project is an innovative cross-border partnership between academia, all levels of governance (local, regional, and central), and the private sector. It builds on the respective mandates and core competencies of relevant city stakeholders to propose a substantive set of activities with both short- and long-term potential for sustainable impact.
The activities cover job matching, skills development, business incubation, engagement of the diaspora for local investment, and engagement of the local government for job creation and public services such as environment and sanitation.
They include cooperation with a dedicated women’s empowerment organisation, which will drive gender-sensitive activities relevant to localities along the Berbera Corridor. Over half of the project's beneficiaries will be women.
The project is part of the Resilient Systems of Secondary Cities and Migration Dynamics Programme financed by the Swiss Agency for International Development and Cooperation (SDC).