His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFA), Professor Yassin Haji Mohamoud Hiir ‘Faratoon’, Saturday, launched a four-month exercise which aims to unify basic country data indicators.

“It is definitely embarrassing for any country if any of its basic but fundamental identity indicators vary from source to source,” Minister Hiir Said.

“It was difficult to base decisions on data that were either scantily available, contradicting or hardly reliable,” he said.

MoFA Minister, Prof Yassin M Hiir (l), Vice Minister, A/Kadir O Jama (top), D-G Abdinassir A Hersi

Professor Faratoon added that, more importantly, the profile will present a more positive image of the Republic which the world can deal with instead of the fragmented bits and pieces that presently populate the Internet.

“There are maps of the Republic of Somaliland, for instance, that non-Somalilanders have doctored every which way they wished to fit an intended purpose or to colour the true identity of the country and its boundaries with neighbours. There are archived treaties which define coordinates of where every line of these borders. And, yet,” he said. “more than a dozen versions of these maps inundate the Internet”.

The minister asked government branches, international and national organizations to avail all significant information, statistics, maps and relevant to the team compiling the data.

At the one-day consultation meeting, more than 90% of Somaliland’s Council of Ministers, Director Generals, CEOs of autonomous agencies, academics and select intellectuals participated.

It was decided that, once the first draft takes shape, it will be presented to core resource persons, historians and focus groups.

Mohamed Barawani (l) and Mohamed Hagi (r)

Mohamed Ahmed Barawani and Mohamed Hagi, advisors at the Ministry, who presented the planned outline of the profile, established that the initial write-up will aim to provide visitors, international agencies, researchers and all interested parties a bird’s eye view of the Republic of Somaliland.

From thereon, they stated, sector profiles will be developed and links provided within the Profile uploaded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website leading to the more detailed sources at either ministries’ portals or external sources such as international organizations, data portals, archives, and/or research papers and statistics.

“It is hoped that the profile will inspire health, education, gender, trade, tourism, extractive sector, security, commodities and other similar sector-based, full profiles on the part of ministries and other relevant authorities,” the introductory presentations the Mr Barawani and Mohamed Hagi presented indicated.

Leading the meeting, besides the Minister, Professor Faratoon, were the Vice Minister, Abdulkadir Omar Jama the Director-General, Abdinassir Ahmed Hersi.