Somalilandsun – A 442 million dollar contract was approved recently to develop the Port of Berbera in Somaliland.
The contract between Somaliland and Dubai-backed DP World will develop a regional trade and logistics hub. Despite recently celebrating its 25th year of self-declared independence, Somaliland isn’t recognised internationally.
The former British protectorate is considered an autonomous region of Somalia. RFI’s Daniel Finnan spoke to Paul Whiteway from Independent Diplomat, an organisation that advises the Somaliland government on its efforts on achieving an international recognition from the international community.
Below are the verbatim excerpts of the interview between Paul Whiteway and Daniel Finnan from Radio France Internationale’s English service en.rfi.fr.
RFI: Does this deal is some kind of defacto recognition for Somaliland as a legitimate of a state, because DP World is managed by Dubai Government?
Paul Whiteway: The Government of Dubai claim it is not constitute recognition in any formal sense, because recognition is a matter for nation states to recognize another state as being a sovereign state, but you can’t argue that a long term impact of this deal is a helpful of Somaliland for recognition, so we can say that it is going to help Somaliland to integrate much better into the regional economy of the Horn of Africa. It is going to create some practices on the ground and it going to enable Somaliland to play a big part in real assisting Ethiopia to able a trade with outside world, so that will give Somaliland a bigger stake in the regional economy and also gives to the regional countries a bigger stake in Somaliland.
RFI: This deal and the Port is reportedly intended to service Ethiopian market, so does this simply some sort of recognition of Somaliland by Ethiopia as well?
Paul Whiteway: again, the Ethiopian government, I think, denies that was the case, they signed a varies of agreements with Somaliland, regarding bilateral trade and they do not regard that sort of recognition and also Ethiopia is not the only government who signs an agreements with Somaliland but European countries have agreements with Somaliland, so I thing that the bilateral agreements are not constitute some sort of recognition.
RFI: how do you think the Somali government feels about all of this?
Paul Whiteway: The Somalia government is real and has reservation about other countries signed deals direct with the Somaliland and may said so in the past and it is a difficult situation Somaliland met in the past 25 years and there is an affect government in Somaliland since that time and governs into their borders, so we can say, real Moqdisho Government does not like that.
RFI: It represents a lot of money, so what sort of long term affect on Somaliland campaign of statehood?
Paul Whiteway: the deal itself is going to involve increase of revenue for the government and the government in Somaliland has a particular problems, because its revenue is very small, so it can help Somaliland and built its capacity as state and contribute to their state building, so that money could be use for the purpose of increasingly effort for applying its request of the recognition, so the will be a helpful. In the other way, it will be a helpful of the wider economy of Somaliland, because same jobs are going to be created, so indirectly, in many aspects, this is a positive development for the request of the recognition of Somaliland.
Who is Paul Whiteway?
Paul Whiteway is Director of Independent Diplomat’s London office. In addition to managing ID’s London office, he is responsible for cultivating government and client relationships. Paul has over 30 years of experience as a career diplomat in the UK Foreign Office, with extensive experience in Africa and Latin America. Most recently, Paul served as an Associate Consultant of GDP Global, an economic promotion and business development consultancy.
Source: Radio France Internationale’s English service en.rfi.fr.