The German government has defended its decision to terminate funding for Garowe-Galkaayo corridor lack of transparency and accountability.
The move to cancel funding of the project which was being implemented by the German development agency GIZ follows several months of disputes over the project which ran into trouble from the tendering process in 2016.
“Despite significant and promising results in the beginning of the project in 2016, the contributors of the project subsequently realized that the cooperation between the implementing partners in Puntland was gradually deteriorating,” a statement from the German embassy in Nairobi read in part.
According to the embassy, the project was set for completion in May 2018 having started in April 2017. However, the embassy says only 14% of the project had been completed by end of the project timeframe.
The statement added that despite attempts by the German Embassy and GIZ to restore an enabling environment for external support, there was no change.
“Consequently, the cooperation between GIZ and PHA had to be terminated,” the statement read. “The federal Government as well as the Government of Puntland State of Somalia have been informed accordingly.”
Puntland Highway Authority, an organ of the Puntland government was also an implementing partner.
The project which is funded by the European Union and implemented by Germany’s GIZ is estimated to cost €20.7 million with the construction of the 80Km corridor being a component of the project. Other aspects of the project include building legislative, administrative and technical capacity development for stakeholders in the road transport sectors.
Puntland authorities maintained they cancelled the project citing failure by GIZ to release funds to the project, a claim dismissed by the German government.
“We reject all claims that earmarked funds have not been made available or have not been released according to the existing contractual framework,” the embassy noted. “All payments were subject to performance during the works and have been released accordingly.”
The cancellation of the project on transparency and accountability grounds casts doubts on other donor funded projects in the country including the EUR 23.4 million for urban infrastructure projects in Somalia announced by the German government in January 2018.
The cancellation also coincides with a World Bank injection of $9 million for construction and rehabilitate about 12 kilometres of roads in Mogadishu and Garowe.