A proposal to invite Chinese investment in the Somali infrastructure sector

By Priya Chetty on July 19, 2022
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric from pexels.com

Somalia is the easternmost country in the African continent. For the last few decades, it has faced economic, political and environmental challenges which have hampered its economic growth. However, because of its advantageous geopolitical position, China has taken a keen interest in developing its infrastructure. In December 2019, a representative (name withheld) of the office of the Embassy of Somalia for China approached us to prepare a proposal that would invite more investment from Chinese businesses in the Somali construction and infrastructure sector.

A strategy to boost bilateral ties with China

It took us one interaction to realise that this vision would need more than one type of content.  We decided on approaching the goal in different phases. Each phase was assigned a unique goal.


  • Survey secondary research for China-Africa relations.
  • Explain China’s key political challenges.
  • Trade and development analysis of China.
  • Review China’s economic performance and forecast for 2025.
  • Identify opportunities and possible threats of Chinese investment in Somalia.


  • Explore quantitative data analysis reports.
  • Outline China’s role in Somalia’s trade and overall economic growth.
  • Predict GDP growth, poverty reduction and international trade volumes due to more Chinese investment in Somali infrastructure.
  • Growth opportunities that will promote economic stability in Somalia.


  • Analyse case studies, policies and memos.
  • Prepare Somali government officials for more Chinese investment.
  • Educate Somali government officials about leadership, hierarchy and political reforms.


  • Create a strategic proposal on the geopolitical importance of investing in Somalia.
  • Invite China to invest more in Somali infrastructure.
  • Show China how it will benefit from investing in Somalia, particularly along the coast.

How did it finally turn out?

We worked on several reports for the Embassy of Somalia in China to draft formal investment proposals for investors and infrastructure businesses. China is set to overtake the USA as the leading investor in Somalia by 2022. What’s more, through 2020 and 2021 the memos we developed were instrumental in bringing about systemic change in not just the embassy but also the Government by making their leadership more efficient and impactful.

Priya is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Project Guru, a research and analytics firm based in Gurgaon. She is responsible for the human resource planning and operations functions. Her expertise in analytics has been used in a number of service-based industries like education and financial services.

Her foundational educational is from St. Xaviers High School (Mumbai). She also holds MBA degree in Marketing and Finance from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, Delhi (2008).

Some of the notable projects she has worked on include:

  • Using systems thinking to improve sustainability in operations: A study carried out in Malaysia in partnership with Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
  • Assessing customer satisfaction with in-house doctors of Jiva Ayurveda (a project executed for the company)
  • Predicting the potential impact of green hydrogen microgirds (A project executed for the Government of South Africa)

She is a key contributor to the in-house research platform Knowledge Tank.

She currently holds over 300 citations from her contributions to the platform.

She has also been a guest speaker at various institutes such as JIMS (Delhi), BPIT (Delhi), and SVU (Tirupati).



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