Sheikh Mountains of Somaliland
A successful 2009 for Somaliland Foreign Affairs and Economy
Despite the political crises which come to an end September 2009 . 2009 has been successful year for Somaliland Foreign policy and economy. During the year there has been discussions about the presidential election and the reliability of the Voter registration Data. Many people both in Somaliland and abroad were pessimistic about future of Somaliland and believed that there will be a new civil war. Once again Somaliland people, the government and the political parties proved that Somaliland people and their leaders are committed to have dialogue and solve political issues in a civilized way. During the year there have been a shuttle diplomatic activities around the globe, I will mention some of the highlights.
Somaliland President Dahir Rayale Kahin has paid an official visit to the United Kingdom in march 2009. The President met with Britain's Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Miliband and other foreign ministry officials. During the meeting, Somaliland President Kahin conveyed to the British foreign minister the long-standing relations between Britain and Somaliland and how those relations could be deepened and strengthened. Mr Kahin also emphasized the peace and security that prevails in Somaliland, and how that peace as well as Somaliland's democratic process were achieved without much assistance from the international community.
Abdirahman M Abdillahi, Speaker of the House of representative in Somaliland visited Sweden 17 -19 feb. 2009. The Speaker was accompanied by the Party Chairman of Welfare Party, UCID Mr Faisal Ali Waraabe. During the visit the delegation met MP Birgitta Ohlsson, Member Committee for Foreign Affairs and Spokesperson Foreign affairs, Liberal Party and Maria Leissner, Ambassador for democracy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs Sweden. The parties discussed the forthcoming presidential election, election observers from Sweden and the Swedish support for democracy and good governance in Somaliland.
The Somaliland Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Abdillahi Mohamed Duale, addressed an international gathering of government officials, diplomats, business people and academics taking part in the 'State of Sovereignty' conference held at the prestigious International Boundaries Research Unit (IBRU) of Durham University in the city of Durham, United Kingdom.
Somaliland Representative Sweden, Eidarus Sh Adan addressed April 30 a conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. The conference was organized by Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organizations ( UNPO) and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. The conference gave Somaliland a platform to promote our efforts to become a recognized country.
Somaliland people are well known as entrepreneurs and the economy is growing despite the lack of functioning commercial and investment banks. The Somaliland diaspora are playing important when it comes investment in business and real estate.
Somaliland launched its first licensing round in February 2009, offering nearly 36,000 sq miles (90,000 sq km) of onshore and offshore blocks. In cooperation with the Republic of Somaliland, TGS has acquired approximately 5,300 kilometers of 2D seismic, gravity, magnetic data and approximately 34,600 kilometers of Aeromagnetic data covering both onshore and offshore areas. Somaliland’s first petroleum licensing round was closed end of December 2009.
This is an historic moment for Somaliland and it is a good start for Somaliland to be able to explore the resources for the wellbeing of its people.
Livestock is the backbone of Somaliland economy at the present time. The Saudi government and the Gulf States banned import of livestock from the horn of Africa in year 2000 to prevent the spread of Rift Valley Fever. The effect of the ban was devastated for countries, such as Somaliland and Somalia, which are heavily dependent on livestock exports to the Gulf states.
In november 2009 The Saudi government removed the ban on livestock imports from Somaliland and Somalia. The decision was well received across Somaliland and Somalia as hundreds of thousands of farmers heavily rely on animal exports to Saudi Arabia and Gulf states. This creates job opportunities, income tax for the government and foreign currency coming to the country.
We, somalilanders should be proud of what we have achieved so far. Without much help from the International community, we built a democratic and peaceful nation. This shows that we are capable to do far more. The Somaliland diaspora plays a key role in nation building. The struggle for recognition will continue in year 2010 at full strength. Our tireless work is like a marathon ran. One have to plan the race well and show patience, endurance and focused to the ultimate target. There is no short cuts. We have to mobilize all of our efforts in order to reach our goal, which is an independent, democratic and peaceful Somaliland The destiny of Somaliland is in our hands. Therefore it is our responsibility to be united (one for all and all for one). United we succeed. We have to avoid to be a country divided against itself. We have to act as country and one people In 2010 there will be presidential election and the mandates for the House of representatives, the District councils and the Guurti will all end. There is a huge work ahead. The Diaspora should take responsibility as they did before. This means that they should not contribute to increase the tension, conspiracy and put fuel in a burning flame. As I mentioned above Somaliland is rich in minerals and I believe there is a place for every body, so it is important that we come together and work for a better Somaliland
Eidarus Sh Adan
Somaliland Representative Sweden