Under the leadership of His Excellency President Bihi, Somaliland is on the right track despite the grumbling rhetoric of the opposition

Wednesday 10th October 2018 14:07:10 in Aragtida Dadweynaha by Tafatiraha Guud
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    Under the leadership of His Excellency President Bihi, Somaliland is on the right track despite the grumbling rhetoric of the opposition

    For the first time in 42 years, I had the opportunity to spend 3 consecutive months in Somaliland thissummer.

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For the first time in 42 years, I had the opportunity to spend 3 consecutive months in Somaliland thissummer.
During this period,I was heavily involved in the construction of hotel in Hargeisa and was bestowed with the opportunity of having close contact and full exposure to a to the daily life of wide range our people. I was also impressed by the large number of foreigners that are investing and participating in the development of the country. I have come across large number of foreign traders in building materials, construction contractors in the fields of buildings &solar energy, restaurant owners,technicians in the all areas of construction like plumbers, electricians etc and even Fashion and hairstyling. These people have come from several countries like Egypt, Yemen, Ethipia, Syria, India,Pakistan,Bangladesh etc.The convergence of all these foreign people to this unrecognized and presumably poor nation is an undisputed manifesto that our system is working. This phenomenon is also one of the hallmarks of the country where economic growth is high, business opportunities are attractive and investment outlook is bullish.

The executive wing of government has just completed writeups of implementing the parameters of the socioeconomic development policies they have promised during the election campaign. Under the new President, every ministrywas given a set of clear-cut targets and each minister is expected to developand deliver the policies and procedure to attain these goals. Key performance benchmarks are also put in place and Government officers will be appraised and rewarded based on what theycontributetowards achievement of these pre-agreed goals and objectives.

For instance, the ministry of agricultureis leadingthe way in terms of the actual works already implemented. They have revitalised the decades old government plantation farms in Wajaale , Haahi and Beer. In addition, they also enhanced the assistance given to the local farmers by way of distribution of seedsandfreely ploughing hours for hundreds of the farmers across the nation. This is indeed the fist step towards the achievement of National Food SecurityPolicy and should be applauded. The MOA is also facilitating centres that are keen to assistthe farmers in every fields. These centres are giving valuableadvice in new ways of cultivation, including water drippling systems, and green houses for growing various type of vegetables etc.
Foreign fishing in Somaliland waters was banned,resultingin higher catch for the local fishermen. DP World has significantly upgraded the volumes, the speed and the quality of services offered by Port of Berbera on the Red Sea. On top of that, first 400 meters expansion of the Port is scheduledto be launched on 11 October 2018. Once completed, this project is expected to create thousands of jobs and will also positively contribute to the Somaliland maritime business andwill upgrade our capacity tore-trade with Ethiopia and other land-locked countries in East of Africa.
The Somaliland shilling has been successfully stabilized, thanks to the efforts made by the Center Bank’snew team – the Governor and the CEO. In this front, Somalilandhas outperformed the neighbouring countries, with the exception of Djibouti from who we need to learn a lot regarding monitory policies and management. The new leadership of the Somaliland Central Bankhas honoured the role of free market in respect of monitory policy and management of foreign currency rates. The new team has also refrained from outdated exchange control systems that plagued most of the African countries. These obsolete Forex controls are inherited from the communist era and has proved to be recipe for failure. In Somaliland the adoption of soft but effective regulative measures imposed on usage of MobileMoney has also positively contributed to the stabilization of the SL Shilling exchange rate vs the USD.
The Ministry of Labour has built a comprehensive database of the government civil employees and is current engaged in developing stateof the Art HR Development & Management program. Similarly, the Ministry of Public Works and also embarked on nationwide scheme aiming at updating and modernizing the records of all governmentproperty. The aim is to recover all government properties even if they are currently occupied by private citizens. The scheme also aims to recover all government properties that have illegally passed to privately hands since the collapse of the Dictatorship in 1991 - no matter who is the culprit.

The only outstanding and obviously overdue government business was the resolution of the dispute regarding the neutrality of SL Electoral Commission. The position of Waddani Party demanding the dismissal of the current 7-member commission is unconstitutional and cannot be entertained. UCID Party came up with aproposal to increase the commission by 2 members but this again requiresamendment of the related laws and could be time-comsuming. In addition, UCID party did not demonstrate the benefits that the Nation will reap if the number of the Electoral Commission is increased to 9. I strongly believe ourpoliticians will find way out of this mess but time is not in our favour, and the impact of further delay will be catastrophic vs the democratization of RSL .In this connection it is worth emphasising that bulkoftheresponsibility of resolving the election disputes rests on the shoulders of the President, even though this problem is not of his creation but of the opposition- Geel Duqbaa Loo Tubaa.

The most recent positive development in the RSL was signified by President signing the law establishing the Commission of National Serviceswhich was one of the corner stones of his election promises. This scheme has far-reaching objectives like the enhancement of good citizenship among the youth, the integration of youth from various regions and districts, creating the channels for just and properly organized government employment and the eradication of tribalism and nepotism.
As I as writing this article, the local TV has announced that President Bihi has received a delegation led by Her Excellency Ms Harriett Baldwin, UK Deputy Minister of Foreign affairs for Africa who expressed her appreciation of the progress made by Somaliland. She also stressed that Somaliland has made good use of the assistance it has previously received from UK in lifesaving schemes. She further advised that the United Kingdom has recently decided to commit fresh 25m Pounds Sterling in support of SomalilandDevelopment Funds (Phase 2). She closed her statement with the following note: "UK remains to be strong and longstanding friend of the people of Somaliland”
To sum it up, it is evident that under President Bihi, Somaliland is on the right track despite the grumbling of the opposition.

Hassan Abdi Yousuf
Hargeisa, Somaliland


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