The Somali government must raise awareness of the links between the heartbreaking challenges the country is facing and its financial ability to overcome these excruciating problems. This is important because the public has to know that their country is struggling and no government can faction without the support of its people paying taxes.
According to the budget that was recently approved by the Somali parliament is worth only 246 million dollars, which mostly are pledges from the International community who have their own interest.
If Somalia is fortunate, out of this pledge it may only see half of that money. Somalia has no general tax system in place to offset the budget and help support government projects the country badly needs it.
For those of us who are in the Diaspora, even if the government receives the full budget of $246 million for 2017, it is not enough. This amount is equal to what small company in Minnesota makes a year, or the cost of a small project for one of the 87 counties would spend for ice removal during winter.
How do we expect for the Somali government to improve security, feed its people, guarantee health care, create jobs, institute the rule of law, and pay government salaries on $246 million? Undertaking a medium public works project to improve infrastructure would cost billions of dollars.
This is why it is important for the government to create an outlet for comprehensive public education on its national agenda. The public has a right to know the interworking of the government and the realities it is facing to govern the country.
Some developing nations like Somalia are also being left out of the global economy. It is hard to believe 67 of the world’s 100 largest economies are corporations.
According to Forbes magazine the 10 biggest corporations which include Walmart, Apple and Exon-Mobile make more money than most countries in the world. Many nations from Africa, Asia, and South America are being squeezed out, leaving 153 corporations wealthier than those three continents put together.
Therefore, it is important for the government to start a public discourse exposing the current realities of the country and what lies ahead. The public has to know the real condition of the country and how everyone can do their part.
Sheikhnor Abocar Qassim