The world has been unfair about my country, Somaliland; despite it has remarkably achieved enormous political successes in the midst of hostile Horn region over the past two decades. The economy is currently progressing. So is the democracy. Our traditional state-building approach is believed to be a useful lesson for African states, particularly those who have failed to put their pieces together. We, Somalilanders, milk in peace with so little bi-literal support, and yet our hopes are high.
In this piece, however, I am very concerned (and little more critical) about Somaliland’s development. As a Somaliland student who has a bright future ahead of him, I feel obliged to comment about our state of affairs before it gets too late. I cannot be silent and soldier on with my ‘private business’ when the national duty is calling. So let this brief message be a wake-up call for all of you!
Somaliland has rarely seen a statesman like Egal, the founding father of modern Somaliland. I, therefore, longed for a visionary leader that is elected not because of the clan he happens to be, nor the mere promises he makes during election campaigns, but a pledge is given because of the wisdom of his political character. We- Somalilanders- are desperately in search of a leader who gets no more hectic about the worldly ‘things’ but instead makes us all great!
I dream of such a country where its leadership commit bringing about social, political and economic changes for the benefit of all. I hope that there will be a time very soon when transparency becomes the catchphrase for governance and the public servants are truthful and serve well for their needy people.
In the same spirit of patriotism, I vision of a country where its youth genuinely interact in a meaningful way beyond their localities instead of quarrelling about the ‘dirty politics’ and making short stories about ‘clannism’ in social media.
Let’s work for recreating our Somaliland society where its pillars are built on firm foundations. As such we-Somalilanders- must know that education is the essence of a prosperous state. Its recognition is a key to making a civilised society with its members harmoniously live together. Let’s think of school as the seed that produces our tomorrow’s religious scholars, doctors, engineers and civil servants. With this in mind, I confidently believe that if our students and their teachers are not well-taken care of it today, needless to say, that we’ll again fall apart.
In sum, Somaliland is at cross-roads, and I thus appeal for every Somalilander to put the public interests way above their private interests. Because for all that I suggested, none requires substantial investments; it instead needs the wisdom of great leadership that recognises its significance at this time. Let’s work for a better future where we will be a shining example of peace, prosperity, progress and brotherly co-exist with our neighbours and world at large.
Abdikadir Askar is a Vice President of Uganda Somaliland Students’ Association (USOLSA). He is currently studying a Bachelor’s of Arts in Public Administration at Kampala International University.