Young people under 30 years of age represent an essential part of the Somaliland Republic’s population (60%). For 4 million (approx.) citizens in Somaliland only two million futures. Children and young people have specific needs that need to be taken into account in the process of their preparation for a societal and working life. They belong to the most vulnerable groups in the society and they are also a precious source of its development.
We youth propose for strategy for the youth which will define strategic objectives of the policy towards youth, while it reflects youth’s needs particularly in the field of young people’s education, employment, creativity and entrepreneurship, their participation, health, wellbeing and relation to nature, social inclusion and volunteering. It tackles also global themes and defines strategic objectives within the youth work.
The Strategy to aim and contribute to increasing the quality of young people’s life, particularly through developing personalities of Somaliland Republic’s citizens as cultured personalities that are being prepared to work in a constantly changing democratic environment and use their creative potential in practice as well as in their active participation in the society.
Proposed Strategy pillars
Investing in youth
The unemployment is at its peak between 15/16 – 24 years of age. Out of the total number of unemployed young people in Somaliland the percentage of those long-term unemployed reaches approx. 60%. The unemployed young people’s educational level in comparison with other countries is higher, as most of them have completed full secondary-school or university studies. The number of young people, who want to start their own business, is increasing more among secondary-school students than among undergraduates. They perceive an actual beginning of their business as unrealistic due to shortage of financial and other sources. The migration of educated young people is growing. Almost more than 20% of young people population migrates to other countries.
Despite these facts a young person’s situation at the labour market is difficult. Many try to acquire the missing competences by means of migrating abroad, which enable them to finance themselves and family. The above-mentioned facts influence young people’s autonomy. Young men leave their parents at the age of 20 – 35 years and young women at the age of 25 – 30 years. The main reason of this tendency is fear that after they have left their parents, they will be exposed to social exclusion and poverty.
Aiming to use young people’s potential for the country’s economic and societal development,
it is necessary to expend more sources for development of those areas of the policies, which affect young people in their everyday life, enhance quality of their life, contribute to decreasing their social dependence and support their autonomy. This is how Somaliland can become a country, in which young people will want to stay and live. At present day more than 70% of young people in Somaliland would prefer to live in another country.
Empowering young people’s status
It is necessary to encourage and use young people’s potential in the renewal of the society and engage them actively in decision-making processes at all levels.
The Strategy is fully compatible with the European frame, in which based on contemporary knowledge on young people’s situation there are three general and interlinked objectives that are closely related to the objectives of the renewed social agenda, namely:
– to create more opportunities for youth within education and employment,
– to enhance young people’s access to decision-making processes and encourage young people’s full participation in the societal life,
– to encourage mutual solidarity between the society and young people.
Within Strategy’s each objective there are two or three „areas of activity“ with partial objectives. These encompass education, employment, creativity and entrepreneurship, participation, youth and the world, health and well-being, social inclusion, volunteerism and finally youth work as a specific supportive objective, whose role is to assist in achieving all other objectives.
The state policy towards youth includes areas of young people’s life, which are on agenda of several state administration bodies. Therefore creation and implementation of an effective policy towards young generation inevitably requires cooperation among affected ministries and other state administration bodies, whose line of business involves measures affecting youth.
Youth policy can be effectively ensured, if it is prepared in cooperation with affected ministries and if it is consulted with young people. Strategic objectives are to be developed through discussions with young people, young leaders, youth leaders and youth workers. Experts from individual ministries and from research contributed to the objectives’ formulation, in order that Strategy reflects the need of creation of an evidence-based policy.
The Strategy has to be built on the assumption is each young person has the right to be respected, to have the access to state-care measures and to equal treatment. The Strategy supports young people’s full engagement in the society, based on active citizenship and employment of youth of all social strata. The Strategy to be developed must be based on human rights’ respect and protection in a multicultural society and on prevention of all forms of discrimination.
Solidarity between generations
The Strategy has to be focused on young people, but it fully respects the need for solidarity and dialogue between generations for the sake of sustainable development and in order to meet the needs of various groups of population.
Considering the real needs
The Strategy’s to be developed by nine working groups’ members which involved state administration bodies’ representatives, representatives of self-governments, employers and non-governmental organizations being active in particular area as well as experts, researchers and young people.
The applied process has to be within the Strategy’s value orientation emphasizing the significance of young people’s engagement in creation of measures and in consultation processes. The Strategy is built on reflection of young people’s and experts’ actual needs and opinions in individual areas.
Mohamed Yusuf Roble (BS,MA)
Social development consultant
Tel: +252 63 4420683