Contrasting Somalia and Somaliland


Somalilandsun – Yan Digilov, Chief Strategist for Firestarter, talks about his discovery of a place called Somaliland which hasYan Digilov discovers Somaliland never been recognized by any government and was thoroughly neglected by the major NGO’s. See below for full video. Here are excerpts -Edna Aden

“As a hypothetical exercise, picture in your head a country in Africa limping into the end of the 20th Century facing widespread disease, poverty and war. Now let’s take this country and split it in half.”

What if we gave the one side everything they needed, an enormous credit card to build their infrastructure and aid in times of famine. “And the other side, we just leave it up to them to figure out how to pay for key infrastructure projects without access to support from international development experts. Leave it up to them to figure out how to secure peace without our guns.”

“Fast forward 20 years. Who’s winning? Which side has built world class hospitals that treat patients from across the region and which side is still battling malaria, HIV, and other infectious diseases?”

“Where do you think you’d find a private sector driving it, reaping the rewards of economic growth and where do you think you’d run into massive corruption? But most importantly, where would you find peace? And where would you find unmitigated war?”

“It wasn’t long ago that we heard a rumor of a place that this exact scenario was playing itself out in a place called Somalia.”

“There’s a place in the south called Mogadishu that is commonly referred to as the most dangerous place in the entire world. …while the world was focused on pouring countless developmental funds into Mogadishu a tribe of nomads had gathered in the north without the support of the international community to endeavor on their own path to development. Rumor had it that this section in the north was thriving. Still held in obscurity from the rest of the world but they had an atmosphere of economic growth and stable peace. We had to go and see it for ourselves.”

Students at Abaarso Tech in Somaliland

Mr. Digilov goes on, first, to describe the amazing Abaarso School of Science and Technology , of which Edna’s friend Jonathan Starr is the co-founder. This school is providing students with a world-class education. One graduate was recently admitted to M.I.T.

At just short of ten minutes, Mr. Digilov describes being in a hotel lobby in Somaliland when a certain woman sweeps past. He was struck the fact that this woman was walking about 3 paces ahead of a pack of about 10 men. “So, I knew I had to meet her.”

“Edna Adan has been able to put women on the front lines for the battle to improve health care for the population as a whole. And by doing so she makes sure that there will always be a seat at the decision-making table for women in Somaliland.”

“But if you and I had all the money in the world, we couldn’t figure out how to do what Edna has been able to do.”

“Surgeons come from around the world and spend weeks performing the same surgeries over and over again for people who have traveled great distances. But you can’t just send an email to a rural nomad to tell them about the opportunity to receive medical care. Edna has been able to use hyper-connected tribal networks that are able to spread news of an opportunity overnight to thousands of people. The work that they do at her hospital, maternal care, preventative health, and limiting the spread of infectious diseases, reverberates and has an impact of every Somali present or future.”

“Every month, Edna sends her own pension from the U.N. as [the hospital’s] operating budget, but of course she couldn’t have done it all by herself. That’s the question that we at Firestarter grapple with every day. There’s a lesson that I learned in the brief time that I worked at an investment firm here in Houston. You don’t invest an idea. You don’t invest in a strategy. You don’t even invest in a company. You invest in people. So, when we invest in a charity we have to consider the same ideals. We can’t just send money to people who look like they need it the most. We send our social dollars to people that inspire us to action. At Firestarter we have a holistic approach to giving to charity and to helping to fuel growth in the developing world.”

“Ain’t no mountain high enough for the people of Somaliland to be kept from the dreams of building their country.”

“Edna Adan’s hospital, though it’s the most modern medical facility in the region, is still fighting to get the diagnostic facilities they need to support surgical procedures and mammographic exams.”

“But most importantly, there is a very crucial role for us all to play. As individuals, simply knowing that a place like Somaliland exists helps to support the efforts toward peace that have succeeded, amid conditions that have historically led to nothing but war.” Read the original article HERE

Watch  Yan Digilov Discusses Firestarter in Somaliland