Hayan Institute held March 7-10 the first community outreach activity “peace ambassador’s training” was officially started as per planned Hashi Hotel-Gardo, the first group of peace ambassador’s trainees consisting of 15 out of 60 youth have participated in the program. they have been capacitated with basic concept peace building and avoiding violence, such as those based on extremism. The training also focused on the role of youth in peace building and conflict resolutions. During the training, the facilitators conducted a short post training evaluation exercise determining their engagement period of the training.
With the exception of Hir-Shabelle State and South West State, relations between the FGS and FMS couldn’t be more strained and poses the risk of a broader conflict and regression. The skirmishes in Galmudug, the FGS’ insistence of annulling Jubbaland’s presidential election and lately the kerfuffle and unrest in Garowe’s parliamentary building which unfortunately led to casualties and the subsequent replacement of the parliamentary speaker of Puntland. All these incidents are allegedly attributed to President and/or the PM of the FGS by some of the leaders of the FMSs. This stalemate seems to have no end in sight. Its impact is profoundly affecting the essential tasks which is to lay the foundations for full recovery. Resources, energy and time meant for such crises seem to be diverted to squabbles, bickering and even sometimes to political subversion.
From the era of the Transitional Government of MR A Yusuf Ahmed in 2004 to the current one of MR M. Abdullahi Farmajo, all major crises seem to be still ever-present and unabated; constant violence and civil unrest in many parts of the country, Somaliland’s insistence on secession and lack of dialogue and commitment, grave interferences by external entities which is profoundly affecting socio-economic and political stability not only in Somalia but in the whole Horn of Africa region, multidimensional challeges of youth unemployment which is feeding into clan and subclan fighting, human trafficking, and radicalisation. This impasse has created a breakdown of social compact between the Somali people and their government both at federal level and at member state level. One can notice attitudes of Somali members of the public in most regions towards their governments’ success or failure; indifferent, apathetic and/or very pessimistic. With citizens of such psyche and low morale, only political leaders who can demonstrate discipline, imagination and genuine patriotism can uplift a nation from its fragility state.
Way out of this deadlock – steps in the right direction
The cost of prolonged and bitter dissension among FGS and FMS is immense. This worthless, often senseless and personal interest-driven rivalry is impacting any expected development and state-building international responses. It is imperative that political dialogue be rekindled in order to establish genuine communication, understanding and relationships between FGS and FMS. The roles of FGS and FMS stipulated in the federal constitution be ironed out and agreed upon in the presence of experts in constitutional law, Somali civil societies, women’s organisation, religious and clan leaders.
To reach a durable and lasting political agreement between FGS and FMSs the following decisive and salient points must be explored further:
- Political commitment to foster mutual trust and solid confidence among FGS and FSMs which facilitate and enhance durable political agreement, hence effective cooperation between all stakeholders.
- Set up a realistic time frame for establishing a durable political agreement between FGS and FMSs. Timing is fundamental to its success.
- Recognition that this crisis has external dimensions, and it is imperative that all relevant foreign entities ought to be involved in all negotiations. Also, a recognition that inclusion of all regional players is essential.
- Commitment to thoroughly revisiting and revising the provisional constitution.
- Showing a genuine concern by all parties that viable political agreement between FGS and FMSs is a lifeline for the socio-economic wellbeing of the Somali people.
- Resolution to establish sustainable political agreement and fully settle all differences legally in accordance with the constitution.
- Agreement must be based on the respective roles of FGS and FMSs as defined in the provisional constitution. It should be unequivocal and include action plan for 2020 and beyond.
Both FGS and FMSs ought to call on Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Arab League, IGAD, AU, EU and the UN to ensure that every single statement of the political agreement is implemented thoroughly in good faith and with integrity by all parties.
It is imperative that FGS and FMS leaders explore possible means to channel every political conflict into procedures of mutual trust for a durable political settlement. The sooner they start the better for the Somali nation.
As the economic and fiscal position of Somalia improves, its medium to long term effectiveness and sustainability will be determined by its tax regime, youth employment, and the size and form of the public sector.
Contentious policy issues in advanced countries are centred around the role of the state and the size of the public sector. The nature of the tax regime remains the defining political issue that separates the left and right, with the left traditionally supporting redistribution while the right favours a small state. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of such important policy debates in African politics, which is, instead, dominated by tribal and clan politics. For Somalia, the role of state and of economic policy is not a matter of ideology that alternates between advocates of big and small government, as observed in advanced democracies, but rather is an existential issue and amounts to the difference between an effective state and continued fragility, or worse, return to failure.
In 2017, Somalia has made significant and fundamental progress its macro-fiscal and state-building indicators. The aim of this paper is to present conceptual framework to analyse the most exigent economic issues that must be addressed in order for the government to address and prioritise state-building and economic growth.
Learning from the past to shape the future
Notwithstanding the cause-and-effect relationships, to reduce Somalia’s problems to mere political, cultural and anthropological issues, as many political scientists are predisposed, would be a gross misreading of the facts. In fact, economics, particularly fiscal and public sector finance, was and continues to be the heart of the matter . To illustrate, a brief historical lesson in economics is necessary. The main precipitant of state collapse in 1991 was economic and fiscal mismanagement – far more so than other key contributors including political crisis, repression, corruption, nepotism, land disputes, and clan polarisation and conflict. Between 1985 and 1989, government revenue fell to a meagre 6% of GDP (at the time the average for sub-Saharan Africa was 18%) while government expenditure was 32% of GDP . The resulting deficit was almost entirely financed by foreign loans with the share of international aid accounting for 40% of GDP (the highest ratio for any developing country and matched only by Haiti at the time). Despite the decline in revenues, the civil service grew from 20,000 in 1974 to 45,000 in 1989. State owned enterprises and financial institutions, which made up a large proportion of the economy, become insolvent and ceased to operate because of government mismanagement. Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Somalia’s anti-Soviet strategic importance to the Western-Atlantic alliance declined. Hence, bilateral aid which was already declining because of the regime’s poor human rights records, decreased substantially . Moreover, U.S. security assistance to Somalia—previously the largest recipient of military aid in sub-Saharan Africa—suddenly disappeared, and the government struggled to pay the salaries of its soldiers, which were in real terms only 6% of what they were in 1974 [1,2,3]. The Somali state, stripped of its principal source of revenue by late 1990, shrank while its military services disbanded and eventually collapsed .
On 20 August 2015, the President of Puntland, H.E. Dr. Abdilweli Mohamed Ali, members of his cabinet and members of the parliament were present at the first every major Forum on Accountability and Transparency in Galkayo, Puntland. The Executive Director of Hayaan Institute for Research and Policy, Sharmarke Farah, moderated the Forum with President of Puntland.
The Accountability and Transparency Forum was hosted by Hayaan Institute, which is presently engaged in research and activities aimed at strengthening transparency and accountability in Somalia. The main objective is to increase the demand and expectation of greater participation, accountability and transparency from government, particularly with respect to the delivery of government services.
Apart from the senior government officials, the Forum brought together civil society organisations, academia, sheikhs, businesses, and media from all around Puntland, to provide an important and unique space to reflect on the extent of corruption within the government, transparency and accountability theory and practice, and define the next steps in the agenda for Puntland in the areas of accountability and transparency.
The forum provided space to debate the guiding question: what is the government doing or prepared to do to strengthen accountability and transparency? The questions from the forum participants and addressed to President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali included: against the backdrop of Transparency International ranking of Somalia, what is the extent of corruption according the government? What is the government planning to address corruption, accountability and transparency?
Hayaan Institute was encouraged to hold the Forum by the President’s recent announcement, at the 17th inauguration of Puntland on 1st August 2015, that 2015/6 would be the years for combating corruption and strengthening accountability in Puntland. During the Forum, the President reiterated his key message of public financial management and accountability reform: restructuring the revenue collection and payment rules and systems, to increase transparency and at, the same time, reduce corruption, malfeasance and waste. He added “we cannot afford to lose resources to corruption when the government revenue is meagre and our people are suffering from high levels of poverty”.
About Hayaan Institute
Established in 2013, with headquarters in Garowe, Puntland, Hayaan Institute for Research and Policy is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organisation that conducts behavioral, economic and social science research and delivers technical assistance in the areas of economics, education, health, energy, the environment, and governance. The institute’s purpose is to serve leaders and the public through research and education on the most important issues of the day.
June 8, 2015
Garowe, Somalia. – To help inform public understanding and policymaking at a time when Somalia is increasingly at the crossroads in many important policy areas, Hayaan Institute for Research and Policy (Hayaan Institute) was launched in Garowe, Somalia. The Institute will provide rigorous impartial research and evidence-based perspectives on both pressing and perennial public issues including governance, economics, health, education, energy and the environment.
Hayaan Institute will produce policy relevant reports, briefs and legislative guides written by associate experts, including researchers and policy analysts with extensive experience in Somalia. The Institute’s primary focus area is in the socio-economic and governance sector, an area almost entirely neglected by both local and international research organisations. All the institute’s materials will be free.
“Hayaan Institute will focus on providing high quality, independent and groundbreaking analysis and will endeavour to make research relevant” said Sharmarke Farah, Executive Director. “In general, we believe providing the public and policymakers with evidence-based research propels discussions on how to improve our society at all levels.” Mr. Farah added, “with our combined expertise in issues like economic and social development, as well as governance and the environment, Hayaan Institute can address the country’s challenges in the context of Somalia’s fast moving political environment and other real-world perspectives.”
The Vice President of Puntland H.E. Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar, said “I urge Hayaan to make their priority and researches relevant to the context. It should be readily available in Somali and easily understood by educators, policymakers and practitioners.” “I am confident Hayaan work will in the literal sense of the Somali word be able to transition Somalia and Puntland to a better place” Said the Minister of Justice, Ismail Mohamed Warsame. “We believe the Hayaan Institute will fill some important gaps in information and analysis,” said Dr. Mohamed Ali Farah, Deputy Ministry of Education.
The Institutes materials are available at www.hayaaninstitute.org.
About Hayaan Institute
Established in 2013, with headquarters in Garowe, Puntland, Hayaan Institute for Research and Policy is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organisation that conducts behavioral, economic and social science research and delivers technical assistance in the areas of economics, education, health, energy, the environment, and governance. The institute’s purpose is to serve leaders and the public through research and education on the most important issues of the day. For more information, visit www.hayaaninstitute.org.