Somalia- Still on the threshold of survival
If we assess the present Somali Government whose term of office is about to end, it is apparent that the road map set for the Government is not fully accomplished. Constitution which is the basic laws and principles is unfinished. While most of the Regional States were established with the exception of Lower Shebelle and Hiiran, most of the districts are not functioning to cater essential services to the people. Members of the Gov. spent excessive foreign travels which didn’t bring positive results. Unnecessary political entanglement within the Government paralyzed the smooth running of day to day services. Unemployment is rampant especially young men who graduated from Universities. Gov. failed to mandate rules forcing foreign NGOs to stop hiring counterparts from Kenya and instead employ graduates.
In the last four years, there are no projects that were initiated in the economic sectors, namely agriculture, animal husbandry, fishery, water supply and roads which serves the felt needs of the rural people. It is true there are certain impediments that were imposed by International Community.
The Government has no control over foreign aid money. Instead foreign NGOs was designated to use the money on services they choose fit. I can’t ascertain whether Government has final approval for the the NGOs plan of work. The report issued by the Monetary Group from time to time is bias and highly exaggerated to defame the Government leaders as corrupted and inaptitude. Such unfortunate characterization affects even foreign investment and put Somalia in limbo.
I recently visited Mogadishu after 24 years. It was shocking to see damages that happened to old part of the city. The rest of the city is under construction. In some quarters, like Hodan District, sparkling high rises were built. When you look at Bakaarah , it reminds you American down town.
It is apparent that huge sum of money were invested in land and building. As a result, real state value is at its lowest ebb at the present.
My friend and I visited a newly built city named Dare Salam, west of Mogadishu and joined with 9 km. tarmac road. We were told group of Somali entrepreneurs pilled their resources and decided to build sub- rub city self –contained. Modern apartments were under construction. Potential buyers are middle classes in Mogadishu and Diaspora people.
In any upheaval that happens in the world, majority people suffer and few prosper. The middle class that emerged after the civil war in every major cities in Somalia as well as Somaliland amassed wealth from monopoly agencies which fixes their prices in absence of Government regulation.
They function under the belief “the end justifies the means.” They forget to know success come and go, but integrity remains forever.The people of Mogadishu including internally displaced population is roughly estimated 3 million.
Despite that number, there no sign of starvation among the ordinary people. There abundant of meat, fish, vegetable and fruits. Of course there are inflated prices that limit the purchasing power of the people. People yearn for peace, tranquility and fully functioning Government. Amazingly, despite all those hurdles, people follow their routine daily lives.
Mogadishu used to be cosmopolitan and cleanest city in Africa. The question is when the city will regain its past glory as a city which every Somali cherish. There is consensus that those who belief once the security situation stabilizes those who fled the city will come back. Others argue unless comprehensive reconciliation takes place there is no come back. The President reiterated that Mogadishu belongs to all Somalis, while traditional elders said Mogadishu belongs to one clan.
One thing that embolden the elders to make such statement is the fact that the country has been divided in to clan enclaves of federal status each clan struggling to grip lion’s share of political power.
One critical issue facing the present lame-duke Government is how to handle the negotiation between Somali and Somali land. So far, the case of the Somaliland was not genuinely handled. One thing we should bear in mind even though Somaliland is recognizes by International Community, yet it is a viable State that fulfilled all components of good governance. It is wrong to treat Somaliland the same as Regional State which have not solid foundation of Governance.
The negotiation of that scope needs shrewd leader who masters art of negotiation and can create confidence in the opposite part. In Somaliland young men who were born after civil war have no perception of united Somalia. This critical issue should be openly debated with no apprehension among the people of Somali land whether union with Somalia bring better off economically, socially and politically.
The saying goes like this: “Leadership is the art giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” Seth Godin