Somaliland Diaspora Agency (SDA) in cooperation with Somaliland Society in Europe (SSE) conducted a one day consultative and policy dialogue workshop today at Crown Hotel in Hargeisa. Nearly forty professional Diaspora members in representation of Somaliland communities in Europe especially UK, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Norway, Finland as well as Canada and USA of North America, certain Arab States particularly S/Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and UAE , Turkey and other countries abroad.Different distinguished officials including Minister of Councils, Mr. Ali Hamud Jibril, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Mr. Ahmed Aden Ismail (Ahmed-Kaise), Chairman of Somaliland Diaspora Agency, Mr. Abdi Abdillahi Hersi, Chairman of Hargeisa University, Mr. Mahdi Osman Buri, Dr. Ahmed Hussein Bulhan and other honourable guests attended in the opening of the meeting and had welcome and enthusiastic speeches regarding the Diaspora sector and the Diaspora Agency Institutional Development.
The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Hon. Ahmed Aden Ismail (Ahmed-kaise) opened the workshop and pointing out the immense significance and importance of the Diaspora contribution to the nation building and development of Somaliland and strongly supported that they deserved welcome and appreciation to encourage their further contribution to the national development. The Vice Minister suggested participants to brainstorm and consult SDA in formulating the Agency Establishment Act, the necessary policies and strategies to improve its functions as well as the better coordination and engagement of Somaliland Diaspora relations. Hon Ahmed Kaise highlighted that the Diaspora communities can assist the Foreign Ministry in the diplomacy, the international cooperation and the struggle for international recognition the Ministry performs. In addition, the Vice Minister called for all Somaliland communities abroad to generously support the drought-affected people in the regions of Somaliland.
A number of experienced activists of the different communities’ representatives similarly spoke on behalf of their communities and stated the crucial contribution they provide in support of the social welfare, infrastructural building and promoting the recognition case of Somaliland.
The key outcome of the workshop included that the first draft of Establishment Act presented the Diaspora Agency has been discussed and reviewed and the participants provided comments for improvement. Useful recommendations for SDA institutional development and creating mutual collaboration between the Agency and the Diaspora have been provided. At the same time, better approaches of promoting the Diaspora engagement has been discussed – strategies to address existing challenges have been recommended. SDA asked for the active Diaspora groups to report the Agency about their frequent contributions (Donations both in cash and in kind) in order to account for it in terms of the National Development Plan (NDP) and also enable SDA to evaluate the level of their achievements. Further consultations and information sharing of the Agency and the professional Diaspora groups has been agreed as well.
At the end of the workshop, a communiqué of four points has been announced as following:-
- Participants recommended approval of the Diaspora Agency Establishment Act;
- Participants agreed strengthening communication, collaboration and cooperation of the Diaspora Agency and the Diaspora Communities/Committees;
- It has been agreed that the Diaspora Agency should work to facilitate the interested investors of the Diaspora in the required information and the processes of involvement;
- The participants called all Somaliland communities abroad to generously contribute to supporting the drought—affected people in the regions of Somaliland