Somaliland Embassy

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Highlights of 2011 Somaliland and the challenges ahead

In this article I will mention some of the major events that took place in Somaliland 2011 and thereafter I will raise some of the challenges facing Somaliland In the light of globalization

One of the most important event in Somaliland for the year 2011 was the opening for a multi-party system. A fundamental right in a democracy is the right to form an association or party. Somaliland Parliament passed a law in August 2011 which allows anybody to form a political party. The decision of the parliament is an historical moment for Somaliland democracy and an important step taken towards full functioning democracy,and is in accordance with Somaliland people's desire.

Another event that needs to be addressed is the slowly dissolution of the existing political parties. A setback for democracy was the way UCID party internal conflict solved(the third largest party). A democratic society requires political parties who have active members and political vision about a nation building. It is clear that the political parties in Somaliland are in a transformation period. Somaliland needs strong political parties that can contribute to a better society and nationhood.

Somaliland is seen in many ways as an good example for many African countries. Professor Iqbal D Jhazbhay wrote in his book "Somaliland An African struggle for nationhood and international recognition" as follows;"The Republic of Somaliland has been described as an "inspiring story of resilience and reconstruction, and a truly African Renaissance, that has many lessons to teach the rest of Africa and the international community". The approval of the multiparty system is a welcome initiatives of Somaliland President and the parliament and is in a line with Somaliland democratic tradition which has been recognized internationally.

An important news in 2011 that delighted many was the opening for international companies to submit their interest regarding oil exploration in Somaliland. TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company (TGS) completed 2007 processing and interpretation of two new multi-client programs in Somaliland. Acquired in partnership with the Somaliland Ministry of Water and Mineral Resources (Ministry), the programs include 5,300 kilometers of marine 2D seismic, gravity, and magnetic data, plus approximately 34,000 kilometers of high resolution aeromagnetic data covering onshore areas. The survey show that Somaliland has a large potential for oil and gas both on shore and off-shore. I am exciting about the hydrocarbon exploration in Somaliland.

The challenges ahead in a globalized world

What are the Challenges facing Somaliland

A major problem globally is unemployment and poverty. To reduce unemployment and poverty we need to investment in production and service. Business community should work hand in hand with the government in this regard. Foreign investment is important for Somaliland's economic development. One obstacle to foreign investment is the lack of recognition which makes difficult to be part of the international banking system. But Somaliland people are entrepreneurs and found other payment systems that is faster and reliable. My vision for Somaliland is a land for knowledge and innovation. Therefore we need to start a process of engaging the whole nation in building a modern Somaliland which can compete with other nations. Somaliland have to think globally but act locally

I believe we need to discuss following issues which are vital for reduction of unemployment and poverty. In November 21, 2011, i participated as speaker a conference about "win or lose, the global struggle for competence". arranged by Global Forum Sweden in cooperation with Swedish International Development Agency. The topic of my speech was innovative solution for reduction of poverty. One of the issues I raised at the conference was, so called "brain gain". The diasporas knowledge, know-how and entrepreneurship should be used in the development of Africa. The Swedish International Development Agency is planning 2012 to start a project designed for the Somali organization so that they can participate rebuilding and development. This is a good step towards accelerating the transfer of knowledge back to Africa.

Following issues are vital for Somaliland inorder to become a modern nation and attract capital from investors.

  • New laws and rules regarding registration of different types of business (corporate laws),establishment of Company Registration Office), new accounting laws incorporated according to Somaliland laws, tax system for the corporations.
  • Furthermore, it is important to build up Financial Institutions Authority that can control and follow up the banks and other financial institutions so they follow banking laws and other laws regarding protection of the customers savings.
  • It is important that the education system must be improved so that the focus should be on technical subjects, vocational training, science, entrepreneurship and research . Today, the education is mainly focused on social sciences.
  • Somaliland is a small country that needs contact with the outside world. Therefore it is important to make it e asier for visiting foreigners to come Somaliland. The interest to visit Somaliland is increasing therefore I suggest that visa should be granted when the visitor has arrived at the border. This procedure is common in countries surrounding Somaliland. Somaliland alone can't implement all the above mentioned suggestions. We need therefore to engage the diaspora, business c ommunity, Somaliland Chamber of Commerce& Trade, EU, Donors, World Bank and the United nations.
I therefore take the initiative to arrange 2012 workshops about development of entrepreneurship, business laws and education (especially engineering) in Sweden, UK and Somaliland together with Organizations, Somaliland Chamber of Commerce and others.

We need a flying start to make Somaliland a country considered as one of the best countries in Africa in 2020.

Eidarus Sh Adan