It is now a year since President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo was elected as the President of the Federal government of Somalia with a hefty majority and his ascendency to power was received by all walks of life and communities in diverse regions of Somalia, including in seemingly break-away Somaliland. As with all new projects in any where, the public is inclined to appraise any given project, and a project of a presidential/governmental magnitude as this one is of course magnified exponentially in its appraisal, for good or bad. But are the negative appraisals, fake news outputs and deliberate attacks on the Farmaajo/Kheyre government by various interest parties warranted. Not quite so.
The government headed by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre is actually not even a year old as his Cabinet legally began functioning in April 2017. Yet within this time line, the PM and his Cabinet and other contingent agencies made some remarkable achievements be they legislative or otherwise.
1. The government tabled and endorsed some 16 legislative Bills including the Telecommunications Bill, which is an integral pillar to economic recovery and hence nation building and also legislation establishing an Anti-corruption Commission. In addition, the government has completed the process of nominating an Independent Human Rights Commission as directed by the Provisional Constitution adopted on August 1, 2012.
2. The government also endorsed some other key National Policy documents touching on specific sectors such as National Youth Policy, and a National Reconciliation Framework.
3. The government has updated and energised a National Security Architecture with an integration of forces mechanism and clear adherence to UN Security Council flagging posts.
4. The government has mobilised both local and diaspora communities to successfully respond to the recurrent famine in Somalia and its response of last year was laudable.
5. The government provided funding to the National Independent Electoral Commission so that it can capacitate itself early on, so Somalia can conduct elections based on universal suffrage in 2020. That shows a clear commitment that was hitherto lacking.
6. The government is further providing funding to the constitutional review process. It is another indication of the government’s commitment which was completely lacking before.
7. The government has performed very well in the Staff Monitoring Programe (SMP) regime imposed by the Bretton woods institutions as a prerequisite for a debt relief program for Somalia. This was done through tough austerity measures and also sound and credible public finance management structures.
8. The government has produced a Federal Justice Model which was achieved through a sustained dialogue with the Regional states which culminated in an agreement by the Federal government and FMS’S.
MILESTONES OF THE YEAR:
Any government or project that is intensely engaged would make achievements but would also stumble from time time. It is the nature of life. However, this government and its leadership have actually made major strides and have reached significant milestones, despite tremendous odds:
1. Peace within the Federation. Despite ” fake” news to the contrary, there has never been a time when the central government and the regional states (FMS’s) were at peace with each other and with a clear meeting of the mind. Despite the public bluster visible out there, there is a genuine understanding below the radar on the way forward.
2.Political stability. There is a genuine bond between the President and the Prime Minister and this augurs well for a stable government. This has not been the case for the last 18 years and that is why important national projects got derailed. During HSM presidency, the President and his successive PM’s were at loggerheads the first 3 months. It also helps that we have an upbeat and smart Prime minister at the helm.
3. The President’s recent Peace March.This was incredible as it was the first time that a Somali President travelled by land through the depth and breadth of this country during the last three decades and it galvanised the public and especially young people who have grown up not knowing a national president ever.
To all Naysers, I say Happy Anniversary and get over It. “Next year in Jerusalem”.
By: Avv Abdi Hosh, Minister of Constitutional Affairs.