May 9, 2022

Tadamon in Somalia: Healthcare workers, women and MSMEs 

In partnership with local partners and generous support from Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), SPARK carries the Tadamon programme to Somalia/Somaliland with plans to help youth and women to recover from the COVID-19 implications.

From climate shocks to disease outbreaks and frequent conflict, Somalis have experienced many years of struggle. COVID-19 has worsened the situation with up to 20% of Somalia’s population expected to suffer from direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic. According to officials, widespread unemployment pervades Somalia, with approximately 49% of the population between the 15 and 64 years old being unemployed.

Exposure to conflict has immediate effects on food and water security. Inequality and discrimination have exacerbated this, causing and perpetuating fragility as marginalised groups, such as women, youth, refugees and migrants, suffer the most. Women and youth are disproportionately affected in emergencies due to the lack of access to effective surveillance and early-warning systems and health services.

To ameliorate the challenges they face, SPARK launches the Tadamon programme in Somalia/Somaliland.

“This is a strong opportunity for SPARK to relaunch its activities in Somalia/Somaliland and respond to the growing urgent needs of youth and women to access jobs and sustainable economic opportunities,” said Mourad Hentati, Regional Programme Director for North Africa at SPARK. 

A roadmap to strengthening businesses 

The programme, designed with local partners and generous support from Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), has two complementing activities: one is supporting emergency needs to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and the second is building resilience through skill-building and job creation activities. As such, health and education sectors are prioritised, providing 90 healthcare workers with short vocational courses to gain skills surrounding emergencies and COVID-19.

Women and other vulnerable groups will have access to higher vocational education degrees or skills development in sectors relevant to the labour market. SPARK expects 500 youth (50% women) will gain sustainable employment and 90 entrepreneurs will start up their micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) or home-based businesses.

SPARK in Somalia/Somaliland

SPARK has previously supported youth in Somalia/Somaliland through the Local Employment in Africa for Development (LEAD) programme, which centred on helping MSMEs to grow by giving them the opportunity to obtain technical skills and have access to markets, and more.

Shaam Factory, which joined the LEAD programme, has been producing floor tiles since 2009. The sales and marketing team received training on customer service and gained the public’s attention on their locally-made tiles, helping them to reach more customers. This helped Shaam Factory take a step closer to its goal of expanding its reach and opening branches in Somaliland.

Shaam Tile Factory, Somaliland - SPARK 2019

The new, one year programme will be implemented in partnership with local partners and non-profit organisations such as Zamzam and Binaa Incubator, the private sector and multinational stakeholders to work towards the global UN SustainableDevelopment Goal (SDG) 8, which focuses on decent jobs and economic growth.