Published On: Mon, Dec 8th, 2014

The Role of Development and Cooperation Somaliland Diaspora


Your Excellences, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to
start by thanking ForumSyd for organizing and giving us this opportunity to
highlight and discuss the role the diaspora has for the development in

Diaspara cash
It is without question the Diaspora community plays an integral and vital role in
the sustenance of Somaliland’s daily living. Currently, it is estimated that nearly
half of all existing households in the country rely on remittance from abroad. One
cannot overstate how critical this influx of money is for both the locals, who are
direct beneficiaries and the wider impact it has on the existing economy.
With this in mind, it is of utmost importance that the Diaspora and migrant
communities be included in any upcoming government development plans. It is
urged that they should be consulted in an inclusive manner such that they can
actively play a participatory role in decisive matters proposed by the government.
This derives from the inescapable fact they are chief contributors to the existing
funds in circulation. Moreover, they are either mostly educated to some degree or
hold a relatively expansive view of the globalised mindset. This factor is rapidly
becoming a mandatory necessity for any population seeking to plug into the
international community. That supplemented by the skill sets they have amassed
while in the Diaspora, can be utilized to progressively attain goals and objectives
set out by the government.
Statistics indicate the annual remittance from the Somaliland Diaspora amounts
to be in the region of $500 Million. This financial injection dwarfs the aid inflow
from international partners ($120-150 Million). Seeing that the remittance vastly
outstrips the latter, I reiterate to the government decision makers and all related
entities in the development sector, the Diaspora can no longer be cast aside and
categorized as mere cash cows. Quite the contrary, it is now more than ever
believed the time is ripe for them to be seriously recognized as key players.
Given the above outlined facts, the government and multilateral institutions
should exert more efforts in cohesively engaging the Diaspora. This should be
done so by identifying possible and plausible channels whereby they can work in
collaboration with the Diaspora members. It is already evident via existing private
initiatives led by the returnees that they bring a wealth of attributes to Somaliland.
Be this through their local entrepreneur ventures or NGOS, the Diaspora have
already proven then can tremendously assist in the economical and
developmental revival of Somaliland. Therefore as an ambassador in the
Diaspora myself, I shall seize this platform to strongly appeal to international
community. It is of paramount importance they should consider working closely
with this ever increasing segment of the population to hasten the attainment of
development objectives.

Let us not forget the Diaspora and migrants already make up a sizeable number
of members in the current government structure. Across most branches of state
administration, you can find members of the Diaspora working tirelessly to
execute government initiatives. It can be argued they are already acting as
catalyst in bridging the gap between the local population and international
community. I again recommend they should be mobilized and their willingness to
work in a stable Somaliland capitalized upon. The Diaspora are pivotal in acting
as agents of change and propelling Somaliland closer to recognition in addition to
implementing the required project aims outset by both the government and
international agencies.
Regrettably as it stands, Somaliland is not yet a member state of the UN.
However, it is worth stating we as an aspiring near future member have already
adhered to and are in complaint with most of the UN development tenets.
Additionally, it is worth noting that in our recently revised National development
plans, among our four main sources of capital development, the remittance from
the Diaspora is incorporated and ranked highly. This illustrates the invaluable
position they happen to occupy in ensuring the state continues to function.
Thank You
Rhoda Elmi
Ambassador of Somaliland

About the Author

- Arraale Mohamoud Jama is a 20 year experience as a professional Journalist and human rights activist Over the years, worked for the major News Papers in Somaliland as a reporter, editor and contributor. 2008 established website Araweelo News Network, he currently runs a web site based in Somaliland. who is the specializes in the investigation and reporting on issues relating to human rights, democracy, and good governance. contact: + 252 63 442 5380 + 252 63 4764409 + 252 63 442 5380

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