Somaliland: NED Support Strengthens Media Development

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NED supported 2012 Press Freedom DayWith NED funding SOLJA is able to function nationally” Mohamed Rashid

By: Latifa Yusuf

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Somaliland Journalists association-SOLJA has established fully functional regional offices.

SOLJA has thanked the USA based National Endowment for Development for its financial support that has enabled the reporter’s welfare association to establish sustainable operations nationwide.

In an interview with Somalilandsun the SOLJA Secretary General Mr. Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah revealed that NED is providing operational costs for his organization as pertains to office rent, stationery, Utilities etc.

“Due to the NED funds we have managed to establish fully functional regional offices as well as enhancement of other internal activities” Said Mohamed-Rashid

SOLJA which hopes that NED which started subsiding its operational costs earlier this year shall extend the contract thus facilitate the associations continued activities geared towards sustainability, an occurrence that has been a thorn in the flesh of SOLJA since it used to rely on members contribution that were mostly not timely.

The Secretary General further revealed that this years National Press Freedom day that were commemorated nationwide on the 10th of this month were made possible by financial contribution of NED.

The nationalMo Rashid says journalists need a resource centre association that has a total membership of 288 journalists says that NED sponsorship has enable it to concentrate on other objectives of its strategic plan of import being training on media ethics, establishment of Media centre and recruitment of full time legal services.

According to Mohamed-Rashid the media centre proposed for establishment in the middle of each city in the country is geared towards ensuring that local journalists are availed necessary equipment thus conduct their duties effectively.

Said he, “we are determined to ensure that our members who are mostly constrained by lack of working tools are availed them on as ‘when needed basis’ as well as a conducive environment for working with internet connection “

Though most journalists in the country work for some media house, lack of suitable equipments like cameras, recorders etc is a factor that impinges on proper performance of duties as the few available tools end being shared by the lowly paid members of the fourth estate.

As for the need of legal services Mohamed-Rashid claims that SOLJA is deep in debt that emanate from legal services it has contracted this year following the 79 arrests affected on members.

NED is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, with funding from the US Congress, NED supports more than 1,000 projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.

On the other hand SOLJA which has in the recent past engaged in castigating the government for the numerous arrests of its members says it wants to conduct media ethics trainings as soon as funds are availed.

The body’s chairperson Mr. Hasan Mohamed Yusuf who acknowledge on the imperative need for dialogue with the administration said that he is intent on ensuring that all members of SOLJA and relevant government authorities are endowed with media Ethics skills.

Said he, “Once all our members and government obtain this skills it is possible that most arrests shall diminish”

He asked all Somalilanders both in-country and the Diaspora to avail SOLJA material and financial support thus enable fulfillment of strategic plans.

Said he, “We shall be happy to receive a donation of cameras, voice recorders, laptops or any other relevant media tools from all well-wishers in addition to finances of any amount”

SOLJA can be contacted through

Email address: soljajour@gmail.com

Tel: 002522 442 9514 & 002522 4000 277

Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah

Gen. Secretary of SOLJA

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