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SOMALIA: Things a Responsible Somali Government Would Do

There is a dire need to take care of the Somali nation and its myriad issues, crises and interests. The Transitional Government can still do the job it has been established for and even accomplish for the nation. To do so, it will need to regain the initiative. The solution lies in how we utilize our human capital. The question is: What should a responsible Somali Government do? It would:

  • Establish peace and security.
  • Collect all weapons in the hands of the civilian population.
  • Promote reconciliation and harmony among our people.
  • Embark on political solution to end conflicts.
  • Tackle destructive fanaticism in the country.
  • Shutdown piracy.
  • Build a new state and its institutions.
  • Make the raison d’être of the Somali State to look after its people.
  • Rebuild the infrastructure and embark on nation-building.
  • Make a common destiny for all our people in different regions in Somalia including Somalis in Somaliland and Puntland. [1]
  • Rebuild the education system.
  • Imbibe our young people with love of our country.
  • Appoint a small but effective cabinet of up to 24 ministers.
  • Closedown obsolete and duplicate ministries.
  • Promote equal opportunity.
  • Promote Somalis from diverse communities and backgrounds to work together in harmony for the good of the nation.
  • Reward hard work, honesty and selflessness.
  • Promote self-governing in every region, city, town and village and after phase-one nation-building. [2]
  • Promote nationhood and enact the right of every citizen to live, work, invest or settle in any region, city, town or village in the country.
  • Reward regions which promote nationhood above clanhood.
  • Build a transparent and accountable system of government.
  • Administer all public spending funds from one office audited closely.
  • Declare funds received from other nations and financial institutions.
  • Publish where and how funds were spent.
  • Pay decent wages to public servants, ministers and the leadership.
  • Imbue our civil servants with the importance of good governance.
  • Promote the growth of independent and responsible media. [3]
  • Prevent corruption and malfeasance in government.
  • Simplify life: Eliminate red-tape and over regulation.
  • Restore the free “National Health Service” and allow private health care.
  • Promote free market with little or no government interference.
  • Promote enterprise and create a business friendly environment.
  • Levy modest tax on most goods.
  • Levy no tax on essentials and commodities such as food, medicine etc.
  • Rebuild the Central Bank to mint and to regulate the financial sector.
  • Print new currency when the whole country is under Government rule.
  • Tackle inflation and restore the value of Somali Shilling.
  • Accommodate and educate disadvantaged children in towns and cities.
  • Resettle and care for Somalis in DP camps in the capital and country. [4]
  • Resettle and care for Somalis in refugee camps in neighbouring nations. [5]
  • Resettle and care for Somalis squatting in public buildings in the capital. [6]
  • Provide fleeing Somalis who perish on high seas hope and light at the end of the tunnel so that they can remain and prosper in their homeland.
  • Address the needs of Somali expatriates marooned in the Gulf & Libya. [7]
  • Address the needs of Somalis persecuted in South Africa and other parts.
  • Address the needs of Somalis stranded in Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Russia, Estonia, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Italy, the Balkans and other nations.
  • Address the needs and concerns of our Diaspora.
  • Through the diplomatic missions of a revamped Foreign Ministry bring government to the Diaspora to assist, facilitate and add value to their lives.
  • Build Mending & Mentoring Camps for Diaspora vulnerable children to provide them with a sense of purpose and direction in their lives.
  • Enact a citizenship law relevant to the times. A national of Somalia is: (A) Anyone born Somali. (B) Anyone who was born in Somalia. (C) Anyone who lived in Somalia for ten years or more who wants citizenship. (D) Allow dual citizenship since many Somalis have become citizens of other nations. [8]
  • Live in peace and harmony with our neighbours.
  • Promote stability and progress in our troubled region.
  • Welcome any foreign national who is not threat to our nation.
  • Protect our coast and end illegal fishing.
  • Investigate nations and companies which plundered our marine resources.
  • Ban the export of coal and embark on reforestation.
  • Re-stock, care for and protect Somalia’s decimated wildlife.
  • Reforest the coral reef to reverse the damage of illegal over-fishing.
  • Address the issue of toxic dumps and investigate those behind dumping.
  • Strive for cancellation of all debt accrued by past governments.
  • Rebuild and restore the image and credibility of our nation.

Since it is not possible to put everything on this writing; these are merely 1% or less of Somalia’s needs. However, it is understandable if cynics are asking themselves how it would be possible to accomplish all this and where the funds would come. Cynics are individuals who are incapable to see the good and what is possible. They should be reminded that a government which intends to deliver finds the way and the funds to do things and make a difference.
Another useful item in the toolbox of governing is honest governing. People everywhere love to see where their money had been invested. When the revenue from tax collection and national resources are invested in the infrastructure, to build lives and improve living standards the public can do even more.
After suffering one of the longest wildernesses in modern times, the reason of being of the new Somali State should be to look after its own people. It is very important to make Somalis in different regions in Somalia and those in Somaliland and Puntland come under a new state which can look after the nation and its interests. Tangible steps could be taken to rebuild lives and the nation. The new state should be decentralized: allowing citizens in every region, town and city to administer themselves. It should also be a state which governs better and interferes less in the lives of its people. Since federalisms serves well a nation of different ethic groups (nationalities) — it seems the right system for Somalia is: Self-Administering Regions within a Functioning Union.
Notes
1. It will take leadership to make self-administering Somalis to once again believe in unity.
2. Phase one nation-building may take up to five years.
3. Free press is a vital artery for the establishment of a Good Government which has nothing to hide.
4. Hundreds of thousands without hope languish in DP camps in the capital and around the country.
5. Those who wish to come home should be facilitated and resettled and those who wish to join relatives in other countries should be assisted to do so.
6. In the capital, thousands of families who squat in public buildings should be housed in a new conurbation.
7. Somali expatriates stuck in the Gulf and Libya who wish to come home should be brought back and those who wish to join relatives in other parts of the world should be assisted to do so.
8. Over two million Somalis have become citizens of other nations in Europe, North America, Australia etc.
Abdullahi Dool
Hornheritage@aol.com