June 6, 2012 ·67 Comments
When you look back what was happening in our region for the past 20 years and how our country performed we all talk about peace.
In Somaliland, The community had worked hard, whether it is building roads or setting up businesses. What you feel missing straight away is public infrastructure such as new hospitals, schools etc.
The government needs to create an environment where, the innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs are encouraged and rewarded. How do you do that by rewarding their efforts. I.e. facilitating them for buying land and subsidising them where they employ people. You can tax them less when they start new business and tax fairly when they are successful
Government should help farmers by providing free seeds, and help them dig wells in their farms where possible. They can do this through the help from UN Agencies such as FAO.
Government can seek help from UN to build hospitals and train doctors. International NGOs were running our hospitals for the last 30 years.
Some people say we need recognition so, we can beg other countries even more. . Recognition will not solve our problems if all the aid in the world is given to Somaliland that will not solve our problems. On the contrary, it will make us more corruptive and lazy. Therefore, it is about educating and empowering your people. There is a proverb which goes like this, “give me a fish I will eat it for a day but, teach me how to fish and I will fish for life”.
Three things that can change the lives of our poor people are:
1. Educating your people, so that they can compete with the world.
2. Strong leadership and good politics, which build strong government sectors. By learning from the developed countries and copying how they do things. Strong and fair judicial system. Local governments, which are run properly. Good government ministries, where each ministry understand their responsibility and work as a team and share responsibility.
3. Economy: encouraging business to thrive and helping visionary people to succeed in business innovation.
If we do all of the above and more, we can cure some of the ills of the nation. We have limited resources in Somaliland and some people say we achieved all we could. Where are we going from here? Somaliland is not self sufficient and is unlikely it will be in the near future. I remember talking to a great economist, when Somaliland government was first announced back 1993 and he said Somaliland can never be self-sufficient because, we don’t have the resources, skills and the money need to form a strong nation. He was right after 20 years we are still stuck in the dark ages of tribalism. All our politics are based on tribes pushing each other fighting over the little resources we have.
What happens next? Are we waiting a strong Somali government, which dictates our existence? I know some readers will go crazy when they read this article questioning existence of Somaliland. The question is what does the future have in store for Somaliland?
Have we achieved all we could after 20 years of peace?
The thing that is holding us back is tribalism and as long as we are using this tool, we cannot be successful. No free speech and government still behaving like Siad Barre. If you say anything against this government you are going to jail unless you are well connected opposition leader like Faisal Ali Warabe. We have not even achieved free speech, how can we call ourselves democracy.
I had a conversation with a friend of mine and put to him how come we African are lagging behind everyone? His answer was when you come to Europe you feel like you travelled 800 years ahead of Africa.
When you compare Africans with all the other races you find that the lighter a race is the better it is doing. Why is this? Are some people blessed I don’t know? Is it to do with harsh weather such extreme cold weather, which makes necessary for people to work harder? Europe’s and Asia’s soils are more fertile than Africa.
Former UN Secretary Kofi Anan said after visiting Asia, In Asia there more water irrigations and reservoirs. So, he suggested we have to build water reservoirs in Africa so the when the rain fails we can deploy this.
Whatever the case we have to work harder and educate our people to build a better and successful nation.
Omar F Abdilahi
By goth Mohamed