The Somali Small and Medium Enterprise Facility, better known as SMEF has organized a series of workshops, titled: A Capacity-building workshop for Somali SME exporters. 3 workshops were conducted in Hargeisa, 18th – 23rd October, Mogadishu from 25th October to 30th October and Garowe from 1st to 6th November, 2017. These workshops were attended by 76 participants from the Somali existing exporters, potential exporters, as well as the trade support institutions both public and private. 26 out of these 76 participants attended Hargeisa workshop while 22 were present at Mogadishu one and 28 participants for Garowe workshop. The participants were drawn from various sectors of the economy including; fishery, livestock, manufacturing, minerals and agriculture.

The objectives of the training workshop was to provide SME exporters with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the international export markets, to create awareness among existing and potential SME exporters on the potential benefits and requirements of exporting, to provide insights to the SME exporting community of the dynamics of the global exporting environment and to provide a forum where the Exporting community can share ideas with the Trade support institutions within Somaliland, Somalia and South Central. Outstanding international expert, Isaac Njoroge delivered the training with lectures, discussions and group work for a variety of topics, were overwhelming, 94% of the participants felt that their objective of the attending the workshop was met to a great degree. The participants confirmed that the training will provide them a competitive advantage in the challenging world of export and international trade.

Both the local authorities representatives and the business communities of the 3 regions, Somaliland Puntland and South Central Somalia recognises the importance of exporting as an engine for economic growth and the importance of such training will lead the business people to get the required knowledge and skills in order to utilize the abundant local resources that could be easily exported to the foreign countries. In addition, they acknowledged that such training workshop would lead them to establish a forum to consistently share the challenges encountered and lessons learned from the export issues. They added that such forums will be based on sector specific with all concerned local authorities and experts will be a members as well.

The World Bank-funded ‘Somali Small and Medium Enterprise Facility’ (SMEF) is being implemented by BDO LLP across the Somali peninsula, with regional offices located in Puntland, Somaliland and the Federal Government of Somalia. The Facility is mandated to provide demand-driven, subsidized non-financial support to small businesses, ultimately seeking to help business owners grow their businesses and create jobs