However, Your Excellency, as you are well aware of, there are tremendous challenges still facing Somaliland, from which we would like to highlight some priority areas for we seek your continued support. For Somaliland People and state, the EU is a cherished friend and a trusted partner to realize their aspiration to build a just, democratic and economically developed Somaliland society.
i. Election Challenges
1. Our elections are all overdue and their timelines are still tangled.
2. Our voter registration system is aging and has significant flaws.
3. Our election laws are slow to form and are often deficient when passed.
4. And above all elections are expensive to conduct
However, despite these challenges and despite institutional limitations facing it, the Somaliland Government is trying its best to set things on track.
1. Transparent and Peaceful elections are the flagship of Somaliland democratization process; therefore, we would like to request your full funding support to hold all pending elections.
From our side we need to commit to fulfil following steps:
a. Parliament passes necessary laws –on agreed schedule
b. NEC produces a schedule of all pending elections, even if tentative
c. NEC comes up with a strategy to address the flaws of the registration system.
ii. Women and youth are marginalized in the democratization process.
Women: Resource advocacy and action:
a) For women quotas in the elected houses (ongoing process need immediate action from government).
b) Against harmful practices against women
c) For access to economic and social services: Education, health, investment credits
Youth: Resource advocacy and action
a) To remove age barriers in the constitution and in the laws to ensure youth democratic right to be elected. Support for public education to overcome entrenched cultural barriers and to harness youth energies for democracy and development.
b) Support Youth employment and improved technical education
iii. Support Against Corruption
The constitutional process can easily be undermined by unscrupulous business interests, because the democratic institutions are still fragile and cannot withstand well-funded interests.
a. Financial and technical support to strengthening both public and civil society anti-corruption institutions and initiatives to fight it not only at grassroots level but also at the political levels.
b. To engage the international watchdog mechanism to monitor Somaliland corruption especially at the legislature and political levels.
iv. Support for the Role of the Civil Society
A vibrant civil society is a necessary condition for successful democratic transformation.
The Somaliland civil society has always been a partner with international community to serve the Somaliland people achieve peace, uphold human right and the rule of law, hold government accountable, highlight environmental challenges and fight poverty. With different Somaliland government the civil society had varying relationships which at times was bumpy, but today we are happy to acknowledge significant improvements of the relationship in the effort common to serve the Somaliland people.
There is need for continued support:
1. To continue empowering the civil society to have its voice heard and to have space in the national development and political decision-making process and to the Government accountable.
2. To attains sustainable level of organization to play its watchdog role on upholding human rights and rule of law ideals and practices.
3. To foster access to services for the marginalized sectors of the society, including the nomads, the urban poor, the segregated communities, the IDPS and the displaced.
4. To be able to nurture peace and social harmony and to shine the torch on impending disasters including droughts, environmental degradation and climatic change and on emerging conflicts.
II. On the Development Side:
Democracy is expected to spawn development and improved standards of living for the people. This is not yet happening. Peace and democratic diffident need to materialise in Somaliland.
- Support for better regional economic integration to ensure: reduction of current restrictions on cross-border movement of goods and services between Ethiopia and Somaliland and also to expand economic corridors to the eastern border regions.
- Improve key Economic infrastructure to unlock blocked resources
- Address pressure on the natural environment to mitigate impact of climatic change, growing rural impoverishment and emerging conflicts.
- Development of local resources (Somaliland has untapped natural resources), for income, employment and state revenue generation. Priority sectors are: Livestock, fisheries, agriculture, gums, minerals including gems and coal mining and the development of renewable energy sources such wind and solar energy.
- Investment in the tourist industry which offers great employment potential in Somaliland.
- Development of adequate regime of business regulations to foster a conducive investment environment and sustainable business growth.
The Civil Society Organizations Team were:
1. Dr. Mohamed Fadal - SORADI
2. Bobe Yusuf Dualeh – APD
3. Shukri H Bandre – Candle Light
5. Saeed Ahmed –SONYO
6. Mohamed Ahmed (Barawani) - SONSAF
Written by ISG .