Somaliland: A way Forward for Youth


By: Mustafa Alisomaliland youth

Somalilandsun – Somaliland youth are the back bone of Somaliland nation and they are the future leaders of this nation . The life of the young people have been facing so many difficulty & different situations in last two decades for example the unemployment, poor education, poor health, lack of organisations for developing youth policies and less integration.

This article will focus on the situation of Somaliland young people, the role of the government, the weaknesses and strengths (pros & Cons) of Somaliland youth organisations and finally the author will discuss the suggestions and recommendations of how it could be tackled this problems.

The situations of youth in somaliland are good some how in terms of peace and education, on the other hand there is very high rate of unemployment according to UN 2012 Somlia Human Development Report says that “the unemployment rate for Somaliland’s age 30 and under is 67 % – one of the highest rates in the world, according to the study”. It also says “more than 60% of youth in Somaliland have intentions to leave the country in hopes of making a better living”.

The role of government.

Somaliland government has created a ministry of Youth & Sports which might not have policies, plans and strategy to develop the future of young generations and it has been serving for the last 22 years with in a different administrations.

Obviously they did some good work for example they held Somaliland National Sports Tournament 2013 which was completed successfully with out any violence, although it was managed poorly and they could do better than that because they had a good funding and the support from the government to run this project properly in order to surprise the world.

The government should take the initiative to encourage and develop the young generation. it should create policies and procedures, plans and strategy to deal with youth engagement. it should also provide guidance , skills, training and employment.

The government has not set a range of age to be called a youth and there is no limit of age that should be called a youth in Somaliland because you see some one at the age of 40 which is claiming a youth.

Some people beliefs including politicians that the Ministry of Sports and Youth is one of the poorest ministry in the cabinet because the minister will work with young people and the sports so it is under estimated in the politics community and they don’t understand the importance of these two sectors , which are highly valued in the developed countries.

Weakness & Strengths of Somaliland Youth Organisations

The youth organisations in somaliland are doing good according to their ability, knowledge and experience. The strength side of these organisations are as follows but are not exclusive ;

• they brought the innovation of creating a youth organisation which can represent and be a voice for the young generation.

• they have their general meeting and appointed a committee (Management Committee) every year

• they organise meetings and youth gathering to talk about the activities they could do and what options are available for them.

• some of them they organise football games and sports activities

• some of them has their own base and centres like bigger organisation for example SONYO Umbrella

• they speak out and raise their voice to be part of the decision makers of the country and to be actively involved in the political parties

The weakness side are as follows but are not exlusive

• the leaders of these organisations are over aged and some of them are above 40 and for this reason young people will not be conffortible to work with them

• they don’t have continiuess guidance providing information and advice relevant to the issues of young people.

• some of them they don’t have youth clubs and workshops to help young people and for those who tried to do such services they don’t do it properly or may be they dont have the skills

• they don’t promote youth activities and the importance of youth in the media while there are more young journalist in the media

• poor international relations and communications with the rest of world

• lack of promoting and communication in the Somalialnd diaspora

• lack of corporation among them (the different youth organisations in somaliland)

• lack of orientation and outreach work with young people, who are at risk of offending and gang crime

This discussion shows that there is lack of awareness of youth development in Somaliland, if it’s the role of government or the youth organisations and the involvement of Somaliland diaspora.

However the question is how we could create a good platform for Somaliland young generation and build a better future for this generation and the following generations. ?

The following suggestions could be benefit for youth organisations and Ministry of Youth & Sports:-

The government should create a platform where young people could be gathering and decide their own leadership where they can create youth forums and youth council led by young people which are under the ministry of Youth & Sports.

The ministry should create plans, strategy and policies for developing young generations and there must be expertise and specialist for the youth sector in the ministry, which could progress the policies and plans with advise and information for the youth council & forums. This platform should be implemented all of the regions in somaliland and it can be created ambassadors across the youth council & forums. It should also be allocated a budget for the youth activities and promoting youth development.

This platform is well known in the developed countries and it is very good system which can be developed a better future and confidence for the youth.

The role of the youth organisations is another important factor for developing youth because they are more connected with young people and they should provide more activities like sporting, educational activities, debates, orientation, advise, guidance, workshops and conferences. for example they can organise a debate about “a way forward for developing somaliland youth”, which they could have brilliant ideas.

The organisations should have a network of youth engagement and they should improve their relationship with other organisations like local government, ministries, educational institutions, NGO’s UN organisations, Somailand diaspora and political parities. if the network is well connected there are more opportunities in the network that could be created more activities for the youth.

Also international youth relations are very important because you are gaining more experience and knowledge from the international youth organisations like UN youth Council, they may give you guidance, advise and information relevant to youth.

The conclusion is that the youth organisations should have representatives in the diaspora which, could promote the development of youth and can provide a better international relationship because they are settled in the diaspora, and also they can provide financial assistant, equipment and facilities that are more demand the youth activities in Somaliland.

There are more suggestions similar to these and every somalilander could think but how it could be brought together? it could be brought together by corporation, communication, networking, socialising and involvement .

Mustafa Ali