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Published On: Mon, Jun 6th, 2016

Somaliland:HLACF Donors Opening Statement 2016

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  1. HE. President Mohamoud Silanyo, Ministers, Development Partners, Distinguished Guests. It is a pleasure to be making the opening statement on behalf of the development partners at this year’s High Level Aid Coordination Forum.


  1. The UNFPA led Population Estimation Survey data shows some of the highest rates of literacy in the eastern regions of Somaliland, major shifts occurring in nomadic lifestyles, but fundamentally a recognisable level of stability and alternative economic opportunities. This shows that stability is paying off in Somaliland, and as the world is changing Somaliland needs to retain its comparative advantage especially in a future where concessional international financing becomes available.


  1. We understand the extreme challenges from drought. Many Somalilanders are coping with the effects of consecutive poor harvests and livestock losses. Donors reacted to the International appeal in March and supplied cash transfers to vulnerable communities and a range of drought relief actions. But there is a need for a stronger focus on preventative action and drought resilience. Displacement continues to be faced by many in this region, and the recurrent climatic challenges add to the numbers. Increasing global interest in identifying durable solutions, so evident at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, is a window of opportunity to be explored.


  1. Somaliland’s National Development Plan needs to capture future priorities for growth, revenue generation and jobs.
  • The recent review of the last National Development Plan provides recommendations for the next plan to be: “strategic, realistic, owned and funded”.
  • We commend the Government on working towards a consultative process and a National Development Plan roadmap that we will engage in further as it progresses. The private sector needs to be included to rally key actors in the economy towards agreed priorities.
  • Somaliland needs to secure a ‘no objection’ to the Somaliland Special Arrangement as the basis for future engagement with the International community.
  • The Somaliland Special Arrangement coordination structure will need attention and an agreement on the way forward.


  1. The Berbera Port and Corridor have enormous potential and are likely to be a vital part of Somaliland’s future. We look forward to hearing more about the Berbera Port deal with DP World, and how to ensure that it fully serves Somaliland’s interest.


  1. Somaliland has a proven record of delivering credible elections since 2001. Elections for both parliament and the presidency should be held in March 2017 in line with the Constitutional Court’s ruling. There should be no further delay. Elections respond to the legitimate aspirations of your people.
  • Donors finance around 75% of Somaliland’s elections costs – including salaries – but this will come to an end just after the voter registration in October. Therefore, it is important to think about alternative ways to finance the costs of the electoral cycle from Somaliland’s public expenditure, and to put in place the mechanisms to generate more domestic revenue generation.
  • The inclusion of women in politics. Somaliland has among the lowest women’s inclusion rates in the world – only 1.2% in its parliament. The global yardstick being a 30% quota. Somaliland has impressive women’s participation in its Cabinet, but this needs to be mirrored in the new Parliament.


  1. Parliament needs to play its part. It has now sat for almost 12 years stretching the limits of democratic norms and members of parliament needs to show their legitimacy by:


  • Passing a revised House of Representatives Law so that parliamentary elections can be held in March 2017.
  • Enacting all 5 Public Financial Laws which form the foundation for financial integrity and transparency.
  • Resolve issues with the Commercial Banking Law to support investment in Somaliland business and growth.
  • Enact Energy and Company Laws for local and foreign investment.


  1. It is essential for the Government to continue with its reform agenda and not to be blown off course by the elections. Between now and the elections the Government needs to deliver:


  • Revenue reform. Without access to more revenue Somaliland cannot provide services the people of Somaliland expect.
  • Public Financial Management reform. Credible accounting and transparent reporting are critical for the management of public resources.
  • Civil Service reform. We welcome the civil servant headcount exercise with the World Bank. This will inform the wage bill, support fiscal planning, and a future pension.
  • We encourage the government to accelerate other ‘doing business’ reforms. Enforce laws, streamline procedures, register businesses, and reduce the cost of doing business.


  1. We remain committed to continuing the dialogue on human rights. As you will be aware the International Community has concerns around:
  • The resumption of the death penalty.
  • The case against the Human Rights Defender, Guleid Jama.
  • The repression of journalists, political actors and institutions, especially in the run-up to the elections.


  1. We welcome the resumption of talks with Somalia. It is important that development continues to be the uncontentious element in this partnership. With elections coming up in Somaliland and to the south there are limits to what can be accomplished on some of the bigger issues. We therefore support an increase in overall dialogue, while recognising that the more practical issues are likely to be the priority.


  1. Our sincerest thanks to H.E. the President of Somaliland and the organisers of this year’s high level aid coordination forum. We look forward to a productive couple of days exploring the policy choices around the national development plan, the elections, and the challenges from drought and climatic change.
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  1. Osman Hassan says:

    The International community are aiding and abetting the killings, rape and displacement of the Dhulbahante community in the Sool, Sanaag and Ayn regions by the Isaaq led militias of Somaliland. They are aiding and abetting the continued marginalisation and impoverishment of these communities in the east . We as Khaatumo State of Somalia will hold them and the isaaq as accountable for all the atrocities committed in these regions.

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