“From Economic Earthquake to Economic Growth”
Somalilandsun – History shows again and again that behind every successful nation, there is a great man. Understanding, that much of the world relationships and supports of the 1960s, 70s and 80s were based more on ideology mainly capitalism, socialism and Communism but today relations are based on interests—businesses, investments and other economic factors. In 2010 Somaliland elected an economics literate president who has a master’s degree in economics from Manchester University—in UK. Following his victory, Silanyo has succeeded in steering the country in a wise direction which helps Somaliland to take on a new encouraging trajectory which of course guides to a promising future. Having in mind that President Silanyo, the mid-wife of far-reaching positive reforms—in education, Health, infrastructure, economy, security, social, governance and others in a long list, has shifted Somaliland from economic earthquake into a new healthy economic order, structuring amicable relations with the world. Despite the current government as per usual faces a myriad of challenges including lack of Diplomatic Recognition and a society of tribal characteristics, if reality on the ground is not twisted, the country is heading to an imperative economic milestone and better living standard. In any political campaign, politicians make campaign promises which they don’t usually put into action later after they win the election; however, unlike that, Silanyo has subsequently fulfilled most of his campaign promises in accordance with all indications at hand e.g. free education, payment increases for all army and civil servants, offering ranks for the national army, infrastructure and the like.
Let’s closely look at each; one of the campaign promises has been an introduction of free primary and intermediate education and the government successfully introduced free primary/intermediate education and 21, 639 students benefit (Ministry of Education, 2012). Having free education means sending thousands of both rich and underprivileged children to school which will help. Despite some critics criticizing the free primary education basing their argument on the quality; per with my analysis quality of the education is a question which needs to be addresses independently. According to the World Bank, public education in third world countries lacks accountability and it is a universal phenomenon thus Somaliland is not exceptional. Per with many people there was no assessment for the free education. Luckily Somaliland has now free primary/intermediate education and every child from both rich and underprivileged can go to school. Mohamed Ali—a student in Sh. Muhammad Warsame told me this on 18 May 2014: “teachers used to chase on 28th of every month for the fee of the school but now I am happy and do not worry about missing my education”
Health: healthy society generates dynamic and energetic generations which are the cornerstone of human development and thus taking into consideration that, the incumbent government of H.E president Silanyo focused increasing the accessibilities and provisions of health care facilities. For example many hospitals have been constructed in diverse cities right across the Somaliland regions. During Silanyo’s term in office, the Ministry of Health received more projects than in the past.
Infrastructure: historically, no country ever moved to what economists termed “take-off stage” without outstanding and ample infrastructure e.g. roads, bridges, airports and ports. And if facts are not twisted, loads of long tarmac roads have been constructed in a very few years to connect rural and village communities to urban cities these including the road between Dilla and Borama, the road between Kalabaydh and Wajale, the road between Hargeisa and Berbera and the road between Buroa and Ergavo has just been commenced. And of course tens of tarmac roads have been constructed inside the regional capitals like Borama, Hargeisa, Gabiley, Buroa, Lasanod, Erigavo, Bebera and the like. Also a number of airports and bridges have been constructed and repaired e.g. Egal International Airport and Hargeysa 2nd Bridge. Surprisingly very fine-looking buildings have been built and repaired for public institutions including the palace of the president.
Economic development: with the help of the current Somaliland vision 2030 that intends on achieving economic prosperity and social wellbeing by the year 2030 in establishing sustainable peace, stability, and democratic institutions ( Ministry of planning and Development, 2012). The overall economic status of the Republic has been dramatically escalating towards that vision. National budget was moved from 47,000,000 in 2010 to 212,000,000 in 2014. Beyond reasonable doubt there is an economic growth. From all indications there is economic growth in businesses for example if you walk around the capital city—Hargeysa—you will see dozens of small businesses in every kilometer square which is a sign of economic growth. The other successful story is the application of rich economic management for example putting in place a good macroeconomic management e.g. inflation, money exchange, stability in the overall macro level. Also the wide use of Somaliland note in Burco, kicked Giinbaar (Somalia Note) out of Burco as other previous governments failed to do. To increase the nominal income of the citizens the current government doubled the salaries of civil servants, national army and teachers from January 2011.
I’ve had in-depth conversations with some of the Somaliland Diaspora in June 2013—in Hargeisa and they informed me that they are very happy in seeing their people growing in all walks of life. One of them told me that in 1999 when he came to Hargeysa, his watch and bulk of his clothes were taken by some of his relatives and friends and he returned to UK with a lot of disappointments. But luckily he come back in 2010 and 2013, and he told me that nobody asked for either clothes or shoes. In economic point of view, human improvement set in motion in increases in real income as human income increases people experience a better life in—education, health, social, and alike.
Governance: it is a widely accepted phenomenon that good governance makes better human being as democracy, transparency, rule of law and accountability are engines of economic growth. There is a shift in terms of governance, for proof reference is the establishment of for example Anti Corruption Commission, Good governance and extremely successful audit which truthfully improves the government performance—leading to better and broader future governance.
Lets us glimpse the prevailing double standard in the world politics, Saudi Arabia is the least democratic country on earth however she is one of the closest friends of the West i.e. USA and Europe, thus, in 21st century only democracy is not the case. That does not mean that Somaliland democracy is not working but means that Somaliland wishes more than democracy. And an excellent case, Somaliland has been dancing according to the tune of the western countries for 23 years when it comes to democracy but no single country recognizes. And president Siilaanyo, the beacon of hope, understands the subject matter in that way and with the help of his will and ability Somaliland people can make Somaliland a kind of African Singapore.
In Conclusion, doubled the primary school attendance in two years, good macroeconomic management, sound infrastructure, and increasing living standard are a few of the success stories of president Silanyo. Moving from a stop and start economy, darkness to destiny, is what all Somaliland citizens have witnessed for a couple of years now and down the road, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. Most of the responsible policies set by the current government are driven by the need of the underprivileged communities. As for recommendation, those policies must be implemented and the president must closely monitor all the public institutions accordingly, if not doing so, public officials will betray the public interest, as many people are concerned about. Beyond reasonable doubt Somaliland is experiencing economic growth despite of chronic unemployment in youth which will no longer protract. As a final point, even if you are the most democratic country in the world, if you do not structure a favorable and conducive environment for the businesses—investments and Interests of your economic and political allies, you are more likely to be their enemies. Thus, who you elect matters and you have elected the most economically literate president—Siilaanyo, who has put in place good macroeconomic management; given that only democracy is not the case in the 21st century.
I look forward to seeing an optimistic paradigm shift in the way we Somaliland citizens evaluate the performance of governments which base on partiality, relations, nepotism, favoritism, bias and prejudice.
By: Curubo Abdi