Professional members from the Somaliland Diaspora communities abroad in different countries as well as members already returned including entrepreneurs and consultants attended the workshop and it focused on key priority actions of the Diaspora Agency including preparations for a Broader Diaspora Consultative Conference to be held in July, 2016, setting up a national Diaspora Policy and Strategies aligned with the National Development Plan and initiating media awareness programs relating to the Diaspora issues. The discussed media programs are intended to exchange experiences and knowledge and integrate the Diaspora in the local environment.
At the opening, Chairman of Somaliland Diaspora Agency, Mr. Abdi Abdillahi Hersi (Dayaxweerar) addressed the participants firstly thanking them for their participation and accepting to voluntarily work with and advise the Diaspora Agency in implementation of important activities including the preparatory works of the upcoming Diaspora Conference and formulating the National Diaspora Policy & Strategy. The Chairman stated that Draft of the Establishment Act of Somaliland Diaspora Agency is also complete, signed by the MOFA Minister and will be submitted to the Cabinet and the Legislative Council a well.
Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Dr. Saad Ali Shire participated in the event at the closure and firstly thanked the participants and affirmed that Somaliland Diaspora Agency was established after the government considered the resourceful role of the Diaspora to be significant and the need to promote the sector. The Minister underlined the two issues for consideration being first how to successfully engage the Diaspora in the investment, institutional building and the national development, benefit from their knowledge, expertise as well as financial resources and secondly how to facilitate the Diaspora in access to the services and the right information they need. He pointed out that both issues are the responsibility of the Diaspora Agency and the Diaspora people as well. Dr. Saad Ali Shire appreciated the upcoming conference and stated SLDA sped up the work since after the president appointed the current chairman, Mr. Abdi Abdillahi Hersi (Dayaxweerar).
In the workshop, Director of the Planning Department of the Ministry of National Planning & Development of Somaliland, Mr. Mubarak Abdillahi presented full overview of the stages the National Development Plan is undergoing and where appropriately the Diaspora communities is supposed to participate as they are one of the Economic Pillars and a main stakeholder in the private sector.
A first draft of the Agency Policy/strategy was distributed to the participants and the participants provided recommendations to the discussed and presented topics both the conference and the policy. They also commented the SLDA Website www.sldiasporaagency.org and the type of information most needed by the Diaspora to publish. At the end, voluntary committees working with the Diaspora Agency on priority issues were appointed.
Source: Somaliland Diaspora Agency
HQ: Hargeisa, Republic of Somaliland
29th May, 2016