Somaliland247's Blog

June 23, 2012

UK Foreign Secretary welcomes historic talks between Somaliland and Transitional Federal Government of Somalia

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 8:34 pm
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UK Foreign Secretary welcomes historic talks between Somaliland and Transitional Federal Government of Somalia

22 June 2012

Foreign Secretary William Hague: “I congratulate the Somali Transitional Federal Government and Somaliland representatives on agreeing the Chevening House Declaration yesterday.”

Representatives of Somaliland and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia met at Chevening House on 20-21 June. The purpose of the talks, the first of their kind, was to establish a framework for future substantive talks. At the request of both parties the meeting was facilitated by the UK government, along with the EU and Norway.

Following the meeting the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

“I congratulate the Somali Transitional Federal Government and Somaliland representatives on agreeing the Chevening House Declaration yesterday. We hope this will be a landmark in the process of clarifying their future relations and achieving peace, security and stability in the region. I congratulate both sides on their willingness to continue the talks and to cooperate on areas of common interest. I am pleased that the UK, along with Norway and the EU, was able to build on commitments at the London and Istanbul Conferences on Somalia to support dialogue by facilitating these talks. Britain will work with  international partners to support their efforts as they continue this important and historic dialogue.”

Foreign & Commonwealth Office: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=779032582

March 16, 2012

Somaliland Did Not Surrender Sovereignty By Attending the London Conference


Somaliland Did Not Surrender Sovereignty By Attending the London Conference

By Mohamed A. Omar, 16 March 2012

Mohamed A. Omar Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the Republic of Somaliland.

analysis

Somaliland is re-engaging with international diplomacy related to its neighbour, Somalia. Our country has received widespread praise for its contribution to the recent London Conference. This event represented an important milestone in Somaliland’s diplomacy.

We participated in the conference as an equal, and we laid out our views about how Somaliland can help build peace and stability in Somalia. We are very grateful to the British Government for convening the conference and for inviting us.

It was the first time that Somaliland had ever taken part in an international conference dealing with the future of Somalia. Prior to the conference, some of our people had expressed reservations about Somaliland’s participation, because they were afraid that our Government’s presence in London could be misinterpreted by our international partners as endorsing an eventual return to unity with Somalia.

I believe that our government decisively addressed this issue in our statement to the conference, in which we underlined our view that our declaration of independence in 1991 is definitive. Had we not attended, we would have missed an opportunity to share this view with 55 delegations, represented at very high level.

Given these sensitivities, President Silanyo consulted widely with Somaliland’s political and civil society leaders before deciding to accept the invitation to the Conference. It was important that there be a strong mandate from Somaliland’s two legislative bodies, the Council of Elders and the House of Representatives. In fact, these two bodies had to change our law in order for President Silanyo to attend. This process illustrates Somaliland’s democratic credentials and our culture of consultation. The overwhelming backing for participation in the conference is a mark of our people’s political maturity.

The conference also provided us an opportunity to lay out our ideas about how to bring peace and stability to Somalia. We believe that attempts to find a solution to the problem of Somalia based on the de jure boundaries of the state risk undermining the very stability which the international community is seeking. Furthermore, focusing energy on the re-creation of a centralized state through a top-down approach ignores the realities on the ground, and the decentralized nature of Somali politics.

Somaliland offers a useful example in this regard, as several countries noted at the Conference. Somaliland built peace and democracy through an indigenous bottom-up approach, drawing on traditional conflict resolution methods. We believe that a similar approach is needed in Somalia, and we have offered to share our experience with our brothers and sisters in that country. We would of course be in an even stronger position to contribute to a stable and peaceful Somalia if we were recognised internationally.

The Final Communiqué issued from the Conference also recognised the need for the international community “to support any dialogue that Somaliland and the TFG or its replacement may agree to establish in order to clarify their future relations.” We believe that this clearly supports our vision of a dialogue between two separate entities, which treat each other as equals. It will, I hope, mark a starting point for constructive discussions about our relationship with Somalia, including an acceptance by the authorities in Mogadishu that our voluntary union failed long ago, and that the future stability of the region is best served by accepting Somaliland’s independence.

A number of bilateral meetings between President Silanyo and Ministers from other countries took place in the margins of the conference, all of which were conducted in a spirit of mutual respect and equality. These bilateral talks provided us with the opportunity to discuss concrete ways in which Somaliland can cooperate with other governments to our mutual advantage.

While in London, President Silanyo also attended the launch of the Somaliland Development Corporation at the British Houses of Parliament. The Corporation will facilitate international investment in Somaliland for the benefit of the Somaliland people, circumventing the present problem of non-recognition by providing a transparent, accountable and enforceable means by which international investors can participate in Somaliland ventures. Somaliland was honoured that Minister Henry Bellingham attended the event. The launch was also well-attended by members of Parliament from all major political parties in the UK.

All of this demonstrates that we did not surrender our sovereignty by attending the London Conference. On the contrary, we asserted and reaffirmed our status as a sovereign and responsible regional partner, and in the process garnered significant diplomatic, economic and political support. We will build on this so as to promote further the interests of our people.

Mohamed A. Omar is Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the Republic of Somaliland.

Africanarguments.orghttp://africanarguments.org/2012/03/16/somaliland-did-not-surrender-sovereignty-by-attending-the-london-conference-%E2%80%93-by-mohamed-a-omar-foreign-minister-somaliland/

February 25, 2012

Breakaway Somaliland entity targets investors


Breakaway Somaliland entity targets investors

Feb 24 (Reuters) – The breakaway enclave of Somaliland, which boasts oil and gas potential, has set up a UK-linked corporation to act as an entry point for investors concerned the Somali territory’s lack of international recognition would stop contracts being enforced.

On a visit to London to attend a conference on Somalia, President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo told Reuters that the purpose of the Somaliland Development Corporation was to “to attract companies and institutions which want to invest in our country.”

“Since we are not a recognised country, insurance is always a difficult problem in Somaliland so if this can help with that, it would be useful.”

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has enjoyed relative stability compared to the rest of Somalia, including the holding of a series of peaceful general elections, but remains unrecognised internationally.

Silanyo did not indicate what economic sectors he wished investors to target. But energy and mining minister Hussein Abdi Dualeh said in November the northern enclave had hydrocarbon potential with a geology similar to basins containing 9 billion barrels across the Gulf of Aden.

A number of big oil companies with permits to operate there left what is now Somaliland in the late 1980s and declared force majeure during Somalia’s escalating civil conflict.

Several foreign banks have expressed interest in operating in Somaliland where they are keen to capitalise on its untapped market potential. Somaliland has no formal banking sector and its people rely heavily on remittances from diaspora communities in Europe, North America and the United Arab Emirates, as there are no ATMs or loan facilities.

A briefing paper distributed to journalists on the sidelines of the London conference said that despite Somaliland’s “achievements in stability and democracy, international donors cannot deal directly with its government, and foreign investors face uncertainty about whether contracts – the basis of secure business – can be enforced”.

The SDC circumvented the problem of non-recognition by providing “a transparent, accountable and enforceable means by which investors can participate in Somaliland ventures”.

A not-for-profit company had been set up in Britain to act as the founding vehicle, with Somaliland’s Minister of State Mohamed-Rashid Hassan and Britons Myles Wickstead, a former diplomat, and Jeremy Carver, a retired international lawyer, as founding directors.

The SDC is owned by an incorporated trust, the Somaliland Development Corporation Trust, the paper said.

Oil discoveries would be a cash boon to Somaliland though hydrocarbons have often proven to be a curse to African nations as the opaque nature of the industry can breed corruption.

Colonised by Britain while the rest of Somalia was under Italian administration, Somaliland declared independence in 1991 as the rest of the country disintegrated into anarchy.

(Reuters)

February 9, 2012

Call to recognise Somaliland


Call to recognise Somaliland

Godfrey Bloom MEP

UKIP MEP, Godfrey Bloom has called for Britain to recognise the state of Somaliland.

Speaking after the Africa Minister Henry Bellingham, dismissed the issue at the London Somalia Conference this afternoon at the Chatham House. Bloom said, “For 15 years the people of Somaliland have shown that a stable multi-party democracy can exist in the Horn of Africa. We owe them the decency of recognition for their toil.

“The country is characterised by regularly contested pluralist elections. It has a decent and trustworthy legal system. It is free trading and peaceful.

“For goodness sake,” he said, “it even locks up pirates when it gets hold of them. If we believe in self determination, which this government swears it does in the case of the Falklands and Gibraltar, then why on earth do we not accept the clear and present desire of the Somaliland people for self determination?

“The Commonwealth now accepts countries with no links to the UK, yet Somaliland was a British protectorate and isn’t allowed even to be an observer at the tables of the Commonwealth. It is a sick charade.

“If we are serious about helping the peoples of the Horn of Africa to develop, and live in peace with each other and the rest of the world, then maybe, just maybe our Government should have the courage an, honour and gumption to admit Somaliland into the ranks of the nations of the world.”

UKIP.org: http://www.ukip.org/content/latest-news/2607-call-to-recognise-somaliland

January 4, 2012

Video| Somaliland: Sheikh Technical Veterinary School – Terra Nuova


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Video| Somaliland: Sheikh Technical Veterinary School – Terra Nuova

Sheikh Technical Veterinary School and Reference Centre (STVS) is a regional institution located in Sheikh, in the highlands of the Sahil region (Somaliland). Its aim is to provide pastoralists in the Region of the Horn of Africa with better veterinary services. STVS began as a project in 2002 with international funding from (European Union, Danish Government, Italian Cooperation) implemented by Terra Nuova, under the auspices of African Union, Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources. Now, a well-established tertiary education Institution, it operates a fullyfledged regime with modern academic facilities within a state-of-the-art socially interactive environment. Affiliated to Makerere University (Uganda), STVS has built strong institutional and academic links with peer institutions of higher learning both within the region and at international level. The School is currently in the process of being adopted by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as one of its regional institutions.

November 7, 2011

Horn of Africa: A lesson in stability from Somaliland

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 11:59 pm
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A lesson in stability from Somaliland

Recognition of Somaliland will have positive consequences for the Horn of Africa.

LEWIS CENTER, Ohio — Last month Al Shabaab, the Somali fundamentalist Islamist group with ties to Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for a deadly truck bombing in Mogadishu in which more than 85 Somali students died as they waited in line to see if they had won scholarships to study in Turkey.

Somalia arguably is the world’s most ungovernable country, and a graveyard for many of the United Nations’ unsustainable policy initiatives.

But in reality Somalia is three different entities: Somaliland, Puntland and south central Somalia, where the current humanitarian disaster is unfolding.

Somaliland, the northern territory of Somalia, has shown itself to be a lawful and productive nation. Somaliland’s order contrasts dramatically with the rest of Somalia, which has collapsed into clan-driven violence, terrorism, piracy and lawlessness.

The chronic instability in Somalia highlights that America and the West must find a new pragmatic approach which reflects the new reality on the ground.

Luckily, an overlooked partner for peace and stability already exists — Somaliland, which re-declared its independence in 1991. It was briefly independent in 1960.

More: UN declares famine in Somalia

Right now the United States is expending vast resources supporting a fictional Somali government led by Sheik Sharif Ahmed. While for political reasons, the Obama administration has refused to support and recognize a source of strength in the area — the stable, functioning and democratic entity of Somaliland, which stands for freedom and democracy.

I believe recognizing democratic Somaliland would have positive consequences not just for Somalia, but for the whole Horn of Africa region. It offers a platform to stabilize southern Somalia, a bulwark against radical forces in the region and a reliable partner to combat the piracy that is the scourge of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian ocean.

Somaliland’s success shows the world that Somalis have the ability to manage their own affairs, reconcile various clans, compromise and govern themselves, with little or no outside help.

Somaliland as an example that could provide the rest of southern Somalia’s rival clans an incentive to stop fighting among themselves in the interest of their own citizens, to reach out adversaries for the sake of ending the civil strife, and to begin moving toward good governance.

More: Aid workers kidnapped by Al Shabaab

If southern Somali clans used the Somaliland model, they could develop a more stable society, which would start to alleviate the heavy burden the Somali refugees had on its neighbors, especially Kenya, which is hosting more than 600,000 people who have fled the current famine and the violence in southern Somalia.

Granting full diplomatic recognition for Somaliland would help it rebuild its shattered economy. With a stable economy, Somaliland would become stronger and be able to provide more resources for education, health, agriculture, water and economic development, which would improve the livelihood of its people, especially for young people.

This would be bad news for Al Shabaab, which controls much of central and southern Somalia, because its Al Qaeda-style extremist ideology would diminish.

More deadly drone attacks or proxy African troops alone will not dismantle or defeat Al Shabaab in Somalia.

Somalia’s chronic instability is causing piracy to thrive in many small ports in its coastline, and is costing the world economy billions every year.

Puntland, a semi-autonomous region in eastern corner of Somalia, is the hub of the pirates that now plague much of the Gulf of Aden and the north Indian Ocean.

But Somaliland, which has a nascent coast guard that has cracked down on piracy on its 585 miles of coastline, is willing to contribute significantly with the United States and the West efforts to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden — one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

If it were to become a member of the international community, Somaliland would be able to equip and modernize its counter-piracy operations and could become a reliable partner to the international community in eliminating piracy.

Recognizing Somaliland would not be the negative step some US State Department diplomats, particularly those who are experts on Africa, think it might be. I believe if America were to take the lead, many other countries would quickly follow.

It is time for President Barack Obama to lead the world and do the right thing by accepting the viable and sustainable solution — an independent and sovereign Somaliland.

Anything else would mean keeping the status-quo: more terrorism and chaos in Somalia, which could threaten the whole region. And for democratic Somaliland it would mean unjust delay for its diplomatic recognition and fewer resources to develop its economy. It would also leave the country to fend for itself from menacing piracy and extremism.

Ali Mohamed is co-founder of the Horn of Africa Freedom Foundation, a grass-roots level organization advocating for the advancement of freedom and democratic values for the indigenous people of the Horn of Africa.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/opinion/111107/opinion-lesson-stability-somaliland

October 23, 2011

Somaliland needs its independence


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Somaliland needs its independence

 

All three of the Somaliland’s parties adamantly support secession from Somalia, which has been confirmed by a referendum in 2001

By Ahmad Mohamoud Silyano,

October 23, 2011

Drought, famine, refugees, piracy and the violence and terrorism endemic to the shattered city of Mogadishu, a capital ruined by civil war: these are the images that flash through peoples’ minds nowadays when they think of the Horn of Africa. Such perceptions, however, are not only tragically one-sided; they are short-sighted and dangerous.

Behind the stock images of a region trapped in chaos and despair, economies are growing, reform is increasingly embraced, and governance is improving. Moreover, with Yemen’s government imploding across the Red Sea, the Horn of Africa’s strategic significance for maritime oil transport has become a primary global security concern. In short, the Horn of Africa is too important to ignore or to misunderstand.

Of course, no one should gainsay the importance of combating famine, piracy, and militant groups like the Al Shabab. But, at the same time, we have seen my homeland, Somaliland, witness its third consecutive free, fair, and contested presidential election.

In the wider region, too, things are looking up. South Sudan gained its independence this July at the ballot box. And Uganda has discovered large new deposits of oil and gas that will help to lift its economy. After decades of enmities, the peoples and nations of the Horn of Africa are learning how to cooperate and align their interests. For example, Somaliland and Ethiopia are collaborating on the construction of a gas-export pipeline from Ethiopia’s Ogaden region, promising new jobs and income for people in one of the poorest and least-developed parts of the world.

Tolerant society

Although there is much that we can and will do to help ourselves, the Horn of Africa can still benefit from international assistance. But the international community needs to do more than provide food and medicine to victims of famine and drought. We need pro-growth investments that will help provide jobs for our peoples and products and resources for the world. That means focusing on promoting market economies and stable government, rather than subsidising failure and failed states.

Unfortunately, at least with respect to Somaliland, this is not the case. For 20 years, ever since we re-established our independence — we had voluntarily joined with Italian Somaliland to form Somalia in 1960 — the international community has closed its eyes to the successful democracy that we have built. Even more perverse, it appears to be demanding that we abandon the peaceful, tolerant society that we have established and submit to the control of whatever government — if there even is one — rules (or misrules) the remainder of Somalia from the rubble of Mogadishu.

Our successful democratic experiment is being ignored in part because of a hoary ruling a half-century ago by the Organisation of African Unity, the precursor to today’s African Union. Back then, with the recent demise of the colonial empires stoking fears of tribal rivalries and countless civil wars, the OAU ruled that the frontiers drawn up by the imperial powers should be respected in perpetuity.

A 2005 report by Patrick Mazimhaka, a former AU deputy chairman, cast doubt on the application of this rule in Somaliland. As Mazimhaka pointed out, the union in 1960 between Somaliland and Somalia, following the withdrawal of the British and Italian colonial powers, was never formally ratified. But his report has been left in a drawer ever since.

So when should a people be able to declare their independence and gain international recognition? The Palestinians’ decision to take their case to the UN has put this issue on the front burner. International law is of no help here; indeed, the World Court has offered only scant guidance.

The basic principles that I believe should prevail, and which Somaliland meets, are the following:

  • Secession should not result from foreign intervention, and the barriers for recognising secession must be high;
  • Independence should be recognised only if a clear majority (well over 50 per cent-plus-one of the voters) have freely chosen it, ideally in an unbiased referendum;
  • All minorities must be guaranteed decent treatment.
  • All three of Somaliland’s parties adamantly support independence, confirmed overwhelmingly by a referendum in 2001. So there is no question of one clan or faction imposing independence on the others. Yet, although Somaliland is deepening its democracy each day, our people are paying a high price because of the lack of international recognition. World Bank and European Union development money, for example, pours into the black hole that is Somalia, simply because it is a recognised government. Somalilanders, who are almost as numerous as the people of Somalia, are short-changed, getting only a fraction of the money wasted by Somalia.
  • Justice demands that this change. The national interest of most of the world’s powers requires a Somaliland willing and able to provide security along its borders and in the seas off our coasts. Our people are willing. But, to paraphrase former British prime minister Winston Churchill, give us the tools, and the international recognition, so that we can finish the job.

— Project Syndicate, 2011

Ahmad M. Mohamoud Silyano is President of Somaliland.

July 8, 2011

Somaliland President Ahmed Siilaanyo today left for South Sudan to attend the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Sudan on the 9th of July, 2011


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Somaliland President Ahmed Siilaanyo today left for South Sudan to attend the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Sudan on the 9th of July, 2011

Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo leaving for South Sudan today at Berbera International Airport 7th July 2011

 

Berbera-Somaliland President Ahmed Siilaanyo received an official invitation from the president of South Sudan Salva Kiir to attend the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Sudan on the 9th of July, 2011. South Sudan is set to become the 54th nation in the African continent after long fought civil against Northern Sudan’s rule that saw thousands of lives lost and millions displaced.

The invitation of Somaliland’s president Ahmed Siilanyo to South Sudan’s historic day has been welcomed with delight in Somaliland by both the government of Somaliland and its citizens. Somaliland believes it could use the south’s independence as a precedent as it seeks more support for its case for international recognition and become the 55th nation in the continent after South Sudan. Some foreign observers and politicians believe the Juba government will recognize Somaliland which will pave the way for other regional powers to follow.

Somaliland became a British protectorate in 1888 after the Berlin Conference of 1884-85 during which the European Powers effectively carved up the African continent between themselves. It was in June 26th 1960 upon an agreement signed between Britain and Somaliland that it became an independent country. At that time Somaliland was formerly recognized as the Republic of Somaliland by the UN and 34 countries, including Britain, USA and Egypt. Somaliland willingly decided to unite with South Somalia formerly Italian Somalia on July 1st, 1960 when the South gained their sovereignty from Italia. Somaliland however reclaimed its Sovereignty in 1991 after the overthrow of former dictator Mohamed Siyad Bare and his henchmen after a long brutal civil war.

July 7, 2011

Andris Piebalgs European Commissioner for Development Address to House of Representatives of Somaliland


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Andris Piebalgs European Commissioner for Development Address to House of Representatives of Somaliland

Andris Piebalgs European Commissioner for Development and Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo

Andris Piebalgs European Commissioner for Development Address to House of Representatives of Somaliland Visit of Commissioner in Somaliland House of Representatives of Somaliland

Mr. Speaker,

Honourable Members of the House,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Introduction

It is both a pleasure and an honour for me to be addressing you today. The fact that I am standing in front of an elected assembly here in Somaliland is in itself testimony to the strides you have made towards stability and democracy.

National and regional issues

For two decades now Somaliland has maintained its stability, despite considerable threats in the form of jihadist terrorism, piracy and the continuing civil war in neighbouring South-Central Somalia. Last June’s presidential elections saw the then opposition leader, President Silanyo – whom I have just had the pleasure of meeting – win by a wide margin. His predecessor, President Rayale, conceded defeat and handed over power in an orderly and peaceful manner. I applaud you for securing such a smooth transition after democratic elections. However, it is something of a first for this troubled region. As such, it must not be taken for granted.

That is why the international community – and in particular the European Union – welcomes the contribution that Somaliland is making to peace and good governance in the IGAD region. And that is why it is so important that Somaliland pursues this course as a standard-bearer for the IGAD region. To that end, we call on you to build on these successes by holding the long overdue elections to local councils and to both Houses of Parliament as soon as possible. You will further enhance Somaliland’s democratic credentials if you manage to make electoral delays and extended mandates a thing of the past. Last not least, also allow me to ask: After all that you have accomplished already, is it not the appropriate time for you to consider how to involve fundamental constituents of society, like women and young people, more closely in politics? Many of you have also advocated for this during the election campaign last year. We sincerely hope that you will pay great attention to this important question when reviewing the electoral laws.

Governance issues

As the largest contributor of development assistance, the European Union has been a steadfast partner in Somaliland’s reconstruction and development process. Since 1995 we have been the only international donor organisation with a permanent presence here. The combined volume of our ongoing assistance to Somaliland currently amounts to approximately 62 million euro.

Up to now our development assistance for Somaliland has centred on support for the public sector, police, courts, democratic institutions, electoral processes and civil society. I was pleased to learn about the recent reform conventions for the civil service, the judiciary and the police force. As the main donor in the major UN programmes assisting you in the area of governance, we strongly appreciate the clear political commitment that Somaliland has displayed here. The government’s efforts to increase domestic revenue collection and initial steps taken by the Civil Service Commission to re-assess government staff have clearly demonstrated that words can be followed by deeds.

We warmly welcome the establishment of the Anti-Corruption and Good Governance Commission and the legislation for the National Human Rights Commission. These are encouraging developments which confirm that our support to Somaliland yields the fruits we had hoped for! The abolition of the “security committees”, a stronger role for the office of the Attorney General and the commitment to increase the number of qualified professionals in the legal sector are further encouraging signs. In particular, I commend your commitment to public finance management reforms. The EU and other international donors stand ready to support you in this difficult and long-term process.

This Parliament has a crucial role to play in good governance, not only by legislating on reforms. As the elected representatives of the people, you are called on to act as pioneers and champions of good governance, integrity and democratic practice, accountable only to your conscience and to your electorate. This is particularly important in a context where under-funded public institutions are struggling to assert their authority vis-à-vis vested business interests and other powerful influences.

The prime importance of governance to any country’s development efforts is clear. For instance, to reduce poverty for good, a country needs robust and honest state institutions that are both able and willing to help poor people improve their standards of living and to provide them with public services, rights and security. Likewise, democratic processes make the state accountable to its people, encourage transparency and guard against corruption. In short, they allow for constructive relations between government and the people.

It is heartening to see that Somaliland is on the right track towards instituting a culture of good governance. However, tough economic and social challenges remain, especially the alarmingly high unemployment rate. We want to see Somaliland’s economic and social development proceed apace. Let me illustrate my point with just a few examples of areas in which the EU is assisting Somaliland on its development path.

Economic and social development examples

EU investment in your education systems forms a second major area of our support. As a result of our combined efforts, school gross enrolment has grown from 38.6 percent in 2006 to an estimated 60 percent in 2010. For girls – to whose education we attach particular importance – enrolment rates have increased from 31 to about 44 percent over the same period. In this context, your government’s decision to introduce free primary education is laudable. Although Somaliland has more than doubled its education budget, we know that free primary education remains a tough challenge from both a financial and an institutional perspective. I am glad to see that your education ministry, also supported by technical experts provided by the EU, is working hard to develop a sustainable solution for this.

Rural development and social services have formed the economic pillar of our assistance in Somaliland for almost five years. At the beginning of last year we promised to return to the infrastructure sector if Somaliland managed to hold peaceful elections. We are living up to this promise. We have recently allocated 19 million euro to rehabilitate and expand urban water infrastructure in several cities across Somaliland. I would simply add here that efficient public-private partnerships will be essential to make these investments sustainable.

While infrastructure support in the water sector is already underway, we plan to do more. The European Union is looking into supporting the feasibility and design study for the rehabilitation of the so-called “Corridor” between the port of Berbera and the Ethiopian border. This study –to be implemented by IGAD and worth 3.8 million euro – should provide us with a final blueprint for strengthening the connection between Ethiopia’s growing markets and Berbera. This important part of the regional infrastructure is further proof that Somaliland has a role to play in facilitating economic integration and development in the Horn of Africa.

And that’s not all: we are about to conclude a review of our five-year cooperation programme for Somalia, including our cooperation with Somaliland. I anticipate that the EU will soon take a decision on a substantial increase of the ongoing support package. This would add 175 million euro to the ongoing programme of 212 million euro. We expect that up to 70 percent of this additional sum will be committed in Somaliland and Puntland, allowing us to continue and step up our efforts here.

With this in mind, I would like to emphasise today that progress towards political stability and security are crucial to obtaining further development assistance from the EU. It follows, then, that these additional development funds will be invested in regions committed to peace, democracy and stability where security and socio-political conditions are favourable.

In this regard, let me say that we were relieved to learn that the acute tensions that existed between Somaliland and Puntland a few months ago have been overcome. We are counting on your commitment to dialogue and the peaceful resolution of differences, with the well-being of your people always foremost in your minds. Cooperative relations between neighbours will benefit all. We therefore appreciate the repeated calls for dialogue and cooperation issued by members of both administrations and reiterate our hope of seeing constructive relations between you flourish.

Conclusion

Mr Speaker, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Despite the problems with which you still have to contend, I believe that the prospects for Somaliland are very good. As the people’s elected representatives, you have a key role to play in securing a bright future for all of your fellow countrymen and women. I believe in your commitment to fulfil that role. So it is pleasing to see that our funding for the recent construction of this beautiful assembly hall – along with training and other capacity-building support – has been money well spent. I trust you will consider our contribution as an encouragement to carry out the duties entrusted to you by the electorate, namely: to represent your constituents; to thoroughly and responsibly debate key issues; to legislate; and to hold the executive accountable.

I thank you for your warm reception and I look forward to pursuing our joint efforts with you to further Somaliland’s economic, social, political and democratic development.

Examples of EU Projects in Somaliland

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 3:35 pm
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Examples of EU Projects in Somaliland

Development aid from the European Commission

On-going, mostly multi-year EU-funded programmes in Somaliland currently amount to approximately €62 million. There are 63 projects ongoing: 27 projects in the governance sector amounting to €21.9 million; 13 projects in the education sector, amounting to €11.2 million; 13 projects in support to economic growth amounting to €15.1 million; and 9 projects worth €8.5 million in other sectors (health, water and sanitation) and EU Flight Operations worth €5.3 million.

EU support to governance and security

The Interpeace-implemented Democratisation programme (different components worth a total a total €3.4 million) supported the delivery of a free and fair presidential election which was held in Somaliland in June 2010. The EU contributed to half of the costs of the elections. Currently, the project enhances and further consolidates the institutional and professional capacities of the National Electoral Commission and provides substantial technical assistance to support parliamentary and local elections to be held in Somaliland.

Support to the legislative Sector in Somaliland: through the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA) the EU offers training, workshops, seminars and study visits for parliamentarians and parliamentary staff with the objective to create an environment that fosters knowledge sharing of the democratic process. The programme (worth €1.26 million) has been actively supporting legislative institutions since 2004. It has also provided equipment and built a new plenary hall for Somaliland’s parliament in Hargeisa that was inaugurated in 2011.

EU support to education

The EU ‘Education Programme’ aims at contributing to the development of a sustainable, cohesive education system through the provision of relevant services to the entire population. The Somaliland Ministry of Education is supported with training and technical assistance. Access to primary and secondary education is improved through the construction and rehabilitation of schools and the training of new teachers; and Somaliland youth have a better chance of finding jobs through vocational education and training.

More than an estimated 80 percent of Somalilanders are currently illiterate. With EU support, around 180,000 adults and children in Somaliland have been trained since 2008 and have been given the opportunity of an education. EU support to this sector amounts to €36 million (Somaliland component) over a 6-year period.

The Accelerated Primary Education Support Programme: implemented by a consortium of NGOs, the programme (worth €2.1 million) increases access to quality primary education for school age children (including girls) from poor and marginalised communities. Key results of this programme so far include the construction and refurbishment of 90 new permanent classrooms in formal schools and training centres, the renovation of 40 classrooms already existing and the review and update of text books and curricula in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and training for 70 head teachers on inclusive and gender sensitive planning and management of schools.

EU support to health

Safe Motherhood in Hargeisa: 972 mothers delivered their babies safely in health facilities supported through the EU-funded Health Poverty Action (HPA) project. This is an extraordinary accomplishment in a context where more than half of pregnant women deliver without the presence of a trained health worker and face the risk of death or disability due to pregnancy-related complications. Up until 2009, there was no functional hospital referral system for obstetric emergencies in Somaliland. With EU funding (€2,1 million) HPA successfully established a maternity referral system including free transportation and free obstetric health services for indigent mothers in Hargeisa and has helped more than 2,800 mothers since its inception. In 2010, HPA developed and aired 13 radio programmes on positive health seeking behaviour. The uptake of modern family planning devices is also on the increase. This is a result of sustained efforts to promote health education through radio programmes, outreach theatre as well as counselling by trained nursing staff.

Training Human Resources for Health: implemented by the Tropical Health and Education Trust in partnership with Kings College Hospital in London, this project (worth €585,000) provides training to health professionals addressing the human resource development needs of the health sector and effectively contributing to saving lives. 31 medical students have been assisted with skills-based, interactive and participative teaching tools. It is also expected that almost 500 students enrolled in the academic year 2010-11 will benefit from effective training methodologies and clinical development in areas of need.

The EU and the Millennium Development Goals

Adopted by world leaders in the year 2000 and set to be achieved by 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide a framework, both global and local, for the entire international community to work together towards a common end: making sure that human development reaches everyone, everywhere. Despite the inherent difficulties, Somaliland can already report considerable achievements which are the result of EU-funded initiatives in the period 2004-2010:

MDG 1 Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

almost 10,000 Somalilanders benefitted from technical and vocational education and training

35,580 Somalilanders targeted with unconditional cash transfers

MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

13,000 primary school teachers were trained and of these 4,000 were fully certified

100 schools were built or rehabilitated

75,000 pupils were enrolled in primary education (with a ratio of 6:4 of boys and girls)

MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality & Empower Women

7,800 new female students were enrolled in secondary education

60 scholarships were awarded in Somaliland for female trainees

MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality & MDG 5: Improve Maternal Health

3,700 births were attended by skilled health personnel

101,000 consultations took place on reproductive health

MDG 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability

600,000 Somalilanders benefited from improved drinking water

300,000 Somalilanders benefited from training and various activities of awareness raising for improved hygiene and sanitation

EU support to economic development

The EU supports agriculture and livestock production and marketing. It also promotes initiatives aimed at reducing unemployment and underemployment in urban areas through labour-intensive infrastructure projects and job creation. Interventions mobilize local expertise and labour potential by contracting small and medium-sized enterprises and, with that, promote private sector development in various fields including energy, electricity and water services. EU-funded projects also support Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as supplementary and innovative means in the provision of public services.

An Irrigation project (worth €2.5 million) in the Awdal Region (Somaliland) will start in July 2011, implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The project aims to raise agricultural productivity and net incomes of poor rural households in Somaliland by providing an integrated package of support covering irrigation, agricultural advisory services, marketing and post-harvest support and technical assistance in the framework of private-led economic development.

The Somali Animal Health Services project (worth €1.5 million) provides training and technical assistance to various institutions in Somaliland which provide animal disease surveillance. The project helped developing the Somaliland Veterinary Code and trained staff in the use of commercially produced rapid diagnostic test kits for key trade limiting animal diseases.

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