Last updated in November 2017

Political relations

Since September 2012, following the formation of the first Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic based on the Transitional Federal Charter, bilateral relations have gained positive momentum. In February 2013, Margit Hellwig-Bötte was accredited to Somalia, making her the first accredited German Ambassador to Somalia in 24 years. On 3 February 2016, the current German Ambassador, Jutta Frasch, presented her credentials to then Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. The Day of German Unity was first celebrated in Mogadishu in October 2014, while in 2017 festivities took place for the first time outside the secure airport compound.

Germany is a welcome partner in Somalia. Conversely, Germany is keen to see a secure, stable and democratic Somalia.

Given this situation, German engagement in Somalia takes the following form:

Humanitarian aid

The provision of support to the Somali population through emergency aid measures has continued uninterrupted and remains vital to many people in the country. The Federal Foreign Office pledged a total of 140 million euros in funding to help tackle the severe drought crisis of 2017. The implementing partners include the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as well as other German and international aid organisations. The German Government has also contributed to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). In addition, it is providing support to Somali refugees, especially those living in the large refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) funded a thematically related special initiative through a GIZ programme to reintegrate refugees and promote cooperation with the receiving communities in southern Somalia.

Development cooperation and transitional aid

In September 2013, the Somali Compact between the Somali Government and the international community was agreed on in Brussels as part of the New Deal for Somalia process. The Compact sets out a roadmap for the stabilisation and economic reconstruction of the country. The international community had up to 2016 pledged 1.6 billion euros in assistance, of which Germany’s contribution currently amounts to 167 million euros. At the bilateral intergovernmental negotiations held in Berlin on 4 October 2017, the German Government pledged an additional 103.44 million euros to help rebuild Somalia. In addition, the Somali and German Governments jointly decided that bilateral development cooperation should be oriented thematically on the new Somalia National Development Plan, which was adopted in early 2017. In the next two years, this work will focus on supporting infrastructure development and vocational training and on increasing resilience to extreme weather events. In line with the New Deal approach that Somalia and the international donor community agreed on in 2013, multilateral or multi-donor funding instruments are also to be used, with the Government in Mogadishu taking the lead role in negotiations. The projects are being implemented in close coordination with the respective authorities of the sub-regions. The adoption of the New Partnership for Somalia in mid-2017 brought about minor changes in the architecture for coordinating international support for Somalia. In the future, nine Pillar Working Groups will manage coordination between the Somali authorities, the United Nations and the donor community.

Cooperation on security, stabilisation and crisis management

Germany is making a significant contribution to the development of a federal state structure in Somalia. This support for the federalisation process takes the form of a network of advisers to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of the Interior as well as to all state governments. The German Government, in collaboration with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), is also implementing a project aimed at establishing a federal police structure. This work is complemented, at central reference points of the federal government, through development assistance for HirShabelle, Somalia’s youngest and weakest state. The German Government is also supporting local mediation processes to resolve a conflict between two regional states, Galmudug and Puntland, that is hampering the federalisation process.

In addition, Germany supported the nationwide electoral process in Somalia, which was concluded in February 2017, and provided democratisation assistance to the regional state of Somaliland in preparation for the presidential elections that were held there in November.

Through its payments to the United Nations budget, Germany is supporting the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and thus also the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which has been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. Germany’s share of the funding being provided to AMISOM through the European Union’s African Peace Facility (APF), currently approximately 250 million euros annually, amounts to about 20 percent (50 million euros).

Germany is involved in all three European Union operations in the Horn of Africa being conducted under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP): the European Union Training Mission for Somalia (EUTM SOM); the European Union Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia, formerly EUCAP NESTOR) to expand the Somali coast guards; and the European Union Naval Force ATALANTA (EU NAVFOR) to combat piracy.

To help Somalia fulfil its obligations under the sanctions regime of the United Nations Security Council, the German Government is also funding the construction of armouries that meet international standards and the training of personnel to ensure the safe storage and management of the Somali armed forces’ weapons and ammunition.

Finally, the German Government is helping to facilitate the civilian reintegration of former al-Shabaab fighters by providing financial assistance to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The IOM is working together with local authorities to run centres in Baidoa and Kismayo that enable the fighters to make the transition to normal life and that manage the process of reconciliation with the local Population.

Economic relations

Economic relations are practically non-existent owing to the lack of proper conditions for doing business.

This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents. 

Additional content

Pirates detained off the Somali coast
Pirates detained off the Somali coast © picture-alliance/dpa
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