Eighth Workshop for Members of the Somali Boundaries and Federation Commission

Max Planck Foundation organises workshop on natural resources in federal systems

On 12 May 2016, the Max Planck Foundation organised a workshop for the Somali Boundaries and Federation Commission on natural resources in federal systems. The workshop is part of a series of knowledge building trainings and was attended by all nine members of the Boundaries and Federation Commission.

The sharing of natural resources wealth between the Federal Member States and Federal Government in Somalia in a fair and balanced manner remains one of the most critical points of resolution in the country’s state-building process. At present, natural resources are not equally distributed throughout Somalia, and the relevant laws to ensure wealth distribution across the country have not been enacted through Parliament. In this legal hiatus the horizontal imbalance across the different Federal Member State revenues causes great contention in the political process and stalls the ability for a long-term resolution on the issue of fiscal federalism under the Provisional Constitution. This workshop was therefore delivered at a critical time so that Commissioners were better equipped with comparative knowledge and country experiences in dealing with natural resources in a federal system.

The Max Planck Foundation’s Technical Advisor led the workshop presentation and ensuing discussion, which focused on pertinent issues of ownership, management and sharing of natural resources. Noting the necessity of wealth sharing combined with Somalia’s pressing needs to prevent environmental degradation, the Commissioners deliberated on practical solutions that could be adopted under a federal framework. The Max Planck Foundation’s comparative materials delivered in the workshop enabled Commissioners to undertake detailed comparative analysis to determine which level of government would best be able to serve overarching goals in Somalia’s state-building and development process.

The workshop forms the eighth workshop delivered under the Foundation’s project “Support to the Federalisation Process”, with support from the German Federal Foreign Office. The project supports key institutions in the Somali federalisation process through the provision of continuous legal assistance and capacity building.