- The Social Research and Development Institute (SORADI) organized its 3rd annual conference on “Somaliland Development” on the 28th and 29th October, 2012 at Hargeisa, Somaliland with the support of Heinrich Boll Foundation.
The conference brought together experts, development practitioners, government officers, researchers, university deans to discuss, debate and exchange ideas on the development of Somaliland & the intense internal dialogue on the issues of talks with Somalia, on the engagement of the international community in the discussion of Somaliland sovereignty and on the strategy of negotiations to be pursued.
This two-day Annual Conference which is titled as “"Somaliland Statehood and Recognition and the Ongoing Dialogue with Somalia" focused on two main topics:
· Talks: Somaliland & Somalia Talks— Somaliland Statehood & Recognition
· Somaliland Development and Democratization Panel
The issues and objectives of the 3rd Annual conference were fully discussed through several structures: Keynote Speeches, Presentations and Panels, Plenary sessions and Breakout sessions.
Each day was devoted to one main topic. Day one of the annual conference focused on the Somaliland & Somalia Talks—Somaliland statehood & Recognition. They day started with keynote speeches by the Minister of planning, Minister of Fisheries &Marine Resources and SORADI director to brief about the conference theme, and to define and frame the annual conference agenda and to pave the way for dialogue and discussions for the presentations. This was followed by four thematic papers presented, drawing different aspects of the talks and the recognition; Legal aspect of the talks between Somaliland and Somalia, Complexities surrounding Somaliland recognition and the talks with Somalia, Historical background and the union, and the realities on the ground for Somaliland as a de facto state for two decades. The conference participants discussed and questioned about the papers presented in the plenary Sessions which were the largest working sessions.
The day ended with breakout Sessions in which topics of the day were thoroughly examined. These sessions drilled down into issues presented in the corresponding plenary sessions. These simultaneous sessions focused on hot topics and assessed two main questions provided by the conference committee: Talks between Somaliland and Somalia in terms of Timeliness, Preparedness, Transparency, usefulness, the possible scenarios and what could have been done differently; and the Complexities Surrounding the Somaliland recognition and the way forward.
Day two of the conference was devoted to Somaliland development and its democratization. Day one groups reported back their discussions and solutions for day one group questions on the talks and the recognition. Presentations on different aspects on Somaliland development, such as the role of remittance in the economic development, the role of role of youth in the country’s development and elections and democratization were presented. Presentations were discussed in the plenary sessions.
This was followed by a session on the follow-up from last year’s annual conference. The book from last year’s conference “Reflections on Somaliland’s two decades of state Building and Democratization” was presented. The follow-up session also included the Guurti issue which was presented by SONSAF.
The rest of the day was dedicated to three important panels: Universities panel by three largest universities in the country (Hargeisa, Burao and Amoud) presented by their Chancellors and Vice chancellors) on their role in the development; Civil Society panel in which the non-state actors forum, youth umbrella, Women umbrella and the Minorities organization presented their role in the collective effort towards a democratic Somaliland; Government institutions panel in which two newly formed, but vital institutions presented their role in the development—the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Commission & the ICT commission.
Overall, all the participants actively contributed to the conference. The media played a vital role in covering of the conference and also participating the discussions. The two day annual conference was concluded with the key conference recommendations as read by the director of SORADI (see attached). As noted by the director of SORADI the papers presented in the conference will be compiled and published into a book later in the year. And finally on behalf of the SORADI team the director whole heartedly thanked all the participants.