May 30, 2012 ·3 Comments
Tackling Development Issues in Somaliland by Ahmed Irrobeh is a fresh book about the work that needs to be done in order to achieve economic and social development in Somaliland. It consists of four chapters bearing the following titles: Economic Development Strategy, Social Development, the Development of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Development of Mineral and Hydrocarbon Resources.
Somalis were known to be an oral society throughout their relatively short history in this part of the African continent and, even after modern education was introduced into their country more than seventy years ago, they still seem to be pen-shy since few of them have contributed to the development of their country through writing and hence making use their education and professional skills. Hence, there is a dearth of books and other publications written by Somalis on the many economic and social development issues and challenges facing the country. Fortunately we see a break with this tradition for the first time with the recent publication of the first book on Somaliland’s development titled Tackling Development Issues in Somaliland by Ahmed Irrobeh ( Arima Publishing, ASK House, (2012) UK Price £15; USD 250). The book extensively deals with the issues hindering the economic progress of Somaliland and makes apt proposals as to how these could be addressed in the medium and long-term time horizon.
In chapter one the author discusses the economic development strategy that he regards as most appropriate for the development needs of Somaliland. This strategy consists of two main components the first of which is the development of the country’s mineral and hydrocarbon resources and using the financial resources derived from this endeavour for achieving the development of the other sectors of the economy while the second component is the adoption of the economic development model of the newly-industrialised East Asian countries, which has proved to be so successful.
Chapter two deals with the ways in which social development can be brought about in Somaliland, i.e. the development of education and health, the elimination of poverty and the attunement of the country’s political system to the culture of its society. The author discusses the education and health goals set up by the UN in the Millenium Development Goals and how these can be achieved in Somaliland in a decade or so. The author also explains the role of education, health and poverty elimination in creating human capital for development.
Chapter three is concerned with the development of agriculture (including livestock) and the natural resources of the country such as the forests and woodlands, rangelands, soil, water and fisheries. It discusses how Somaliland can become self-sufficient in its food requirements provided an arable land of about 100 000 hectares with adequate underground water, soils suitable for agriculture and flat or gently-sloping topography can be found. The chapter also discusses the improvement of the country’s livestock resources, the protection and development of its fisheries and the rehabilitation of its rangelands, forests and woodlands.
In chapter four the author discusses the country’s mineral and hydrocarbon resources. He lists the country’s mineral deposits that include nearly 10 valuable minerals including gold and the ores of other metals. He also indicates the existence of a wide variety of gemstones. As for the hydrocarbon resources, the literature cited by the author confirms the existence in Somaliland of the geological strata that form the basis for the accumulation of oil and gas and that, therefore, it is only a matter of time and proper exploration before these resources can be discovered in the country. The book is not meant to provide final answers to the issues raised therein or to tell the government of Somaliland how to deal with these issues. Rather, it is intended for stirring debate and discussion among Somalilanders about the possible ways in which these issues can be tackled.To order the book, please visit: http://www.amazon.com/Tackling-Development-Issues-Somaliland-Irrobeh/dp/1845495233 www.arimapublishing.co.uk ISBN: 978-1-84549-523-7
Review by: Cumar Sanyara Xaaji Cali.Follow @somalilandpress