Press Release on Behalf of SOPRI
Washington D.C. – The Somaliland Policy and Reconstruction Institute (SOPRI) has officially re-launched on Friday May 18th at the 2012 Somaliland Conference in Washington DC hosted by the US-Somaliland Ambassador, Rashid Garuf. The organization went inactive after the death of founder and former chairman, Sa’eed Maygag, in 2008. Now over 4 years later SOPRI’s new executive committee is proud to announce its re-launch. SOPRI is an independent professional organization founded in Los Angeles, California in 1992 by a group of concerned Somalilanders who were deeply committed to help Somaliland. SOPRI is one of Somaliland’s most renowned organizations internationally. Up until SOPRI initially formed there was no organized or institutionalized political action or lobbying efforts conducted in favor of Somaliland’s interests and its desire to be recognized as a sovereign and independent state. With this re-launch SOPRI hopes to again be the leader and the voice for Somaliland’s goals and aspirations in the diaspora. At the 2012 Somaliland Conference where SOPRI announced its re-launch, the new committee set up a table signing up over a 100+ new members and selling SOPRI t-shirts. They also sponsored the Youth Panel at the conference.
1. To advocate, promote and support the desires of the people of Somaliland to have full rights to political and economic self-determination and to articulate their aspirations to gain independent statehood and recognition by the international community as a sovereign and independent state.
2. Promote and cultivate the building of democratic institutions and representative government and respect for human rights in Somaliland.
3. Solicit technical, material, manpower and minority reconstruction aid from the international donor community for rehabilitating and rebuilding Somaliland’s devastated physical infrastructure.
4. Foster long term economic development of Somaliland through the development and utilization of its indigenous natural and human resources by attracting foreign capital and international trade.
SPORI has sponsored a number of high profile events and initiatives to address humanitarian issues and highlight democratic progress in Somaliland. Here are list of past events sponsored or co-sponsored by SOPRI.
Post War Aid
In March 1993 SOPRI collaborated with Direct Relief International (DRI) and delivered $133,000 worth of medicine, medical supplies and equipment to Somaliland. Having just suffered one of the worst humanitarian crises in the late 20th Century the people of Somaliland were in dire need of relief.
SOPRI was the first major organization to lobby for Somaliland in the United States. Through several fronts including press releases, petition writing, direct mail, and personal contacts with key policy making bodies and figures SOPRI was fundamental in helping to begin some dialogue between Somaliland and the local, state, and federal governmental institutions in the United States.
In October 2003 SOPRI sponsored a trip by Somaliland’s Foreign Minister Edna Aden Ismail and Commerce Minister Mohamed Hashi Elmi to the United States and South Korea. The tripped focused on helping to; initiate and encourage the establishment of a formal relationship between the Somaliland government and the US government, to introduce and market the various investment opportunities in Somaliland to the US and South Korea business community, and to cultivate a bilateral relationship with US non-governmental institutions and organizations. on their trip the Minister’s met with government officials and top business leaders in the and Seoul.
Somaliland Convention-Los Angeles
In June 2005 SOPRI held the first ever Somaliland Convention. The Convention held in Los Angeles brought together extraordinary people from all over the world from members of the Somaliland Government, Opposition Party Leaders, Non Governmental Organization, Business Executives, Academicians, Journalist and members of the Somaliland Diaspora at large. It was a never before seen two day gathering to discuss, debate and deliberate the crucial social, political, and economic issues in Somaliland. The Convention was an unprecedented milestone in Somaliland’s history, never before had there been a gathering of such institutions for the specific purpose of discussing Somaliland.
Somaliland Convention-Washington D.C.
In September 2006 SOPRI held the second Somaliland Convention which built on the year before success, the convention aimed to focus on the twin objectives of governance and development. The focus was on capacity building of nascent democratic institutions and economic development to improve the lives of the people of Somaliland. The convention engaged the international community, and highlighted the need for the Diaspora community to organize and pool their economic and intellectual resources globally to give back to their people.
Adan H. Iman (Former SOPRI Committee Member), who attended Somaliland Conference in DC said that, “SOPRI laid out an ambitious agenda, which was to promote international recognition for Somaliland, help build democratic institutions as well as capacity building for the public sector and to seek financial assistance for the country.”
The new executive committee wants to get as many people as possible involved in joining us to help grow this organization. Together we can make a difference. Make sure to sign up on our website to become an official SOPRI member. We are also kindly accepting donations. For any questions or concerns feel free to contact us.