Somalia has made important milestones in rebuilding its economy and normalising relations with the rest of the world and, more importantly, with international financial institutions.
The country has, however, not done well in improving security and thawing political tensions to improve political stability, which are both crucial if it is to attain real progress.
The following is a breakdown of the major gains and disappointments in 2018. It is unfortunate that the disappointments outweigh the gains.
This should serve as a wake-up call for the government to change its leadership style in 2019 for real progress economically, security-wise and in terms of overall political stability.
Top in the list of positives is the lack of squabbling between the President and Prime Minister, which has been a norm in Somalia’s recent political landscape and a source of government shutdown in past administrations.
True to his words, President Farmaajo is yet to replace his Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre, unlike previous Presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamed, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and the late Abdullah Yusuf Ahmed who all finished their terms having replaced their premiers twice.
During his inauguration in February 2017, Farmaajo promised he would appoint a premier who will work with him and with whom he will finish his four-year term. So far he has delivered on this promise.
The only setback is that Farmaajo sided with his Chief Minister Kheyre when the latter fell out with Parliament Speaker Mohamed Osman Jaawari, forcing the latter to resign in April.
The Somalia government was praised for increasing revenue collection from the Mogadishu seaport and Aden International Airport, which are the two main sources of revenue for a country still reeling from more than two decades of civil strife following the collapse of the state in 1991.
The revenue collection of $189.9 million (Sh19.3 billion) resulted in an increased government budget of $340 million (Sh34.6 billion) in 2018 from last year’s $274.6 million (Sh27.9 billion).
The government could have done better if revenue collection was updated to automation from the old manual way, which encourages corruption.
Source: The Star