Somaliland:Better Institutions: Better Development


Over the past two decades, the Republic of Somaliland was struggling to maintain peace and stability. The reconstruction and implementation of a functioning government was one of the major concerns of the country. Although this remarkable progress was laid down through a cooperative action by the different levels of the society, but still the country is suffering from weak or perverse Institutions.

Institutions are the ones, who structure the transaction among the society- opportunity via constrain. People have different preferences, but still they have interdependencies, with regard to this, the institutions that coordinate and control these different preferences and interdependencies should be in place and perform better. Institutions identify the opportunity sets of interdependent transacting parties. Accordingly, in order to realize better economic performance the country needs strong institutions who can achieve the desired goals. In Somaliland most of our government institutions are not structured in a way that reflects people’s needs and priorities. The mode of the formal economic institutions like laws, administrative regulations and court systems are the ones who shape the kind of transformation you are willing to achieve. So the question is, does Somaliland institutions who can transform us into prosperous country where the people of all kinds enjoy high quality of life is in place? The answer is clear, it is no. If that so, are we in a position to equip ourselves to establish effective institutions? Not yet! So, what and who are we waiting for? No body. “Cidna uma Maqna Ceelna uma Qodna”, we have to stop waiting and waiting, we have to realize, it is the time for reshaping our country, it is a journey, it is not a one day task, but we need to establish the initiatives. It is the role of the government to take the lead of these initiatives, but the role of educated people is also the one who can push these initiatives into place, the voice of the educated people is the wakeup call for every nation, it is the time to put the knowledge into practice, to put the ideas into actions, no matter how it will take, Rome was not built in a day, what we need is to contribute the journey and do our best.

In this day and age, we have many challenges as a result of these weak institutions whether they are political institutions or economic institutions. Our market economy is not performing well; we see the higher inflation rates that affect our people, why all these issues are coming repeatedly, what is the root cause of such higher inflation rates and other economic problems that challenged us? These challenges are attributable to absence of institutional frameworks that foster the market economy, the proper regulation that was intended to control the transecting parties are not in place. We see so many times a postponed elections, the same applies, if our political institutions are not strong enough to perform their duties, if our constitutional bodies are incapable of managing such issues, it is fair to see these challenges and obstacles again and again.

Without a doubt, it is my feeling, that still we have opportunities; there is a way forward that we can manage our institutional problems. To my suggestion these are one of the way forwards:

  • To take collective actions for both the organized (e.g government institutions) and unorganized sectors (e.g individuals or groups among the society). These collective actions my influence the way institutions may respond to population demands.
  • Establishment of process of unionization and pressure groups. People that have same interests or same knowledge (Associations, labor unions, e.t.c) may form unions to push and wake up their concerned institutions.
  • Selective participation of the country’s political system. We have to decide selectively and strategically for whom we are putting into the power by electing the right officials. Because political institutions are those who shape other institutions.
  • Enhancing our sense of citizenship, working honestly to develop our country, contributing to the solutions to deal with and solve our problems.

In conclusion, these suggestions are not the only one, there are thousands of others, and together we can tackle our problems.

I hope the best to come!


Abdifatah Sultan Adem

M.Sc in Development Economics (Candidate)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



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