As 3rd Annual Diaspora Conference of Somaliland Successfully Concludes at Maansoor Hotel
Somalilandsun- The 3rd Annual Diaspora Conference of Somaliland under the theme “Experiences of the Diaspora and the Situation at Home” held at Maansoor on 2-3 August, 2016 successfully closed today, Wednesday in Hargeisa.
The Somaliland Diaspora Agency (SLDA) in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation organized and held this two days conference which over 350 participants of professionals entrepreneurs, community leaders, Diaspora-founded business firms and activists from the Somaliland Diaspora communities worldwide, Somaliland Soceity in Europe, several local entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs and business associations and cooperatives in different fields, investors, catalysts, business support organizations, various national and international development partners, experienced educationalists and public servants as well as ministries, DGs, departmental directors and technical teams from different ministries, some of Somaliland ambassadors particularly to UK, Sweden and Australia, leaders of the political parties, MPs and members of Somaliland National Recognition Committees in Europe.
In addition, a high level delegation from the International Governmental Authorities of IGAD attended the 3rd Annual Diaspora Conference of Somaliland for the first time in the annual Diaspora conferences of Somaliland
The MOFA Minister, Dr. Saad Ali Shire and Chairman of Somaliland Diaspora Agency, Mr. Abdi Abdillahi both spoke at the closure. The Chairman thanked the participants as well as the organizers and advised Somaliland Diaspora to strengthen their unity, cooperation and further engagement in developing their country of origin, Somaliland while the Minister gave a long speech in the significance and crucial contribution of the Diaspora to the socioeconomic, investment, political and national development of their country of origin. The Minister described the Diaspora as an important resource of both wealth and knowledge.
In the two days, the conference focused on the key thematic areas as Diaspora engagement in homeland investment, utilization of Diaspora, Services to the Diaspora, Diaspora unit y and role of Diaspora in the recognition efforts and so that a number of relevant topics as well as interactive sessions were undertaken. More pressing issues and challenges the Diaspora encounters in making investment and taking part the national development were raised and questions asked to the ministers.
The Somaliland Ministries participated in the 3rd Annual Diaspora of Somaliland at ministerial levels included Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Ministry of Trade & Investment, Ministry of National Planning & Development, Ministry of Mineral Resources & Energy, Ministry of Fishery, Ministry of Industry and Directors General, Departmental Directors and other senior officials from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Tourism, Ministry of Livestock. Ministry of Health, Ministry Education, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Chamber of Commerce – Immigration Department, National Higher Education Commission, Anti Piracy Coordination Office, directors general of autonomous government institutions, agencies and other bodies and commissions including IT Commission.
The Delegation from IGAD being Dr. Ahmed Hassan Ahmed, IGAD Health Coordinator and who was also Head of the Delegation accompanied with Dr. Girum Hailu Maheteme, Senior Advisor to Health & Social Development of IGAD participated in the conference. The Delegation delivered speech on behalf of the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Amb Mahboub Maalim and had presentations relevant to the event and about IGAD in both days. The Delegation was successful in introducing the IGAD Regional Migration Policy Framework and the Health and Social Development Program and its Mandate and at the same time made presentations on engaging Diaspora in developing homeland and best practices.
The IGAD delegation made a high level showcase and exhibition booth of IGAD’s work on health and social development. The booth of IGAD has been visited by the ministers from MOFA, Planning, Industry, Trade, DGs, and other government officials as well as from the conference participants, the Diaspora community and locals. Dr. Girum Hailu, Senior Advisor of IGAD to Health & Social Development explained what IGAD has been doing in the region in the area of cross-border health interventions, pastoralists health, maternal & child health and also the recently started Regional Caner Initiative. Dr. Girum Hailu also highlighted the Declaration made by the Ministers of Health of IGAD member states during the first IGAD International Health Conference, the first IGAD International Scientific Conference on Health was conducted in 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of Somaliland, Dr. Saad Ali Shire has looked at all the IGAD exhibition booth and asked about the IGAD interventions – in the health and social development, migration etc.
at the closure, Ms Qaali Ismail Yusuf, leader of WORTDO LNGO handed a present of locally made cloths to the IGAD delegation and Somalialnd MOFA Minister, Dr. Saad Ali Shire.
The concluded conference’s outcome is expected to come up with constructive recommendations that can help the Diaspora Agency and MOFA in laying the foundation for effective policy and strategies towards the Diaspora engagement and also will result strengthened cooperation and collaboration of Somaliland the Intergovernmental Authorities of IGAD more on the cross-border related interventions and the relations on socioeconomic and development issues.
Based on the conference theme and objectives, key topics covered included the below but were not limited to:-
Strengthening Diaspora relations
Unity with and among the Diaspora
IGAD Health and social development program and its mandate
Improving services to Diaspora
Utilizing Diaspora in health development
Engagement of Diaspora in developing homeland
Achievements of SL Recognition Committee in Sweden
Diaspora as a catalyst to International development
Utilizing the Diaspora in educational development
Somaliland Investment Environment
Role of Diaspora in foreign policy & strengthening cooperation
Roadmap on Diaspora engagement,
Lessons learnt from other countries and the best practices of other Diaspora communities
National Development Plan of Somaliland 2017-2021
Utilizing Diaspora in education development
Marking a national Diaspora homecoming day for Somaliland Diaspora
Interactions and showcases
Among participants of the non state actors and development partners included but not limited to: Somaliland Women Entrepreneurs Association (SWEA) with all its member business organizations and cooperatives, Somaliland Women in Business Association, Somaliland Fair Fishing Company, Dahabshiil Group, Somcable, Shaqadoon, Digaale Energy, Edna Aden Hospital, Hargeisa Digital Hub, Shuraako, Buubaal Dental Hospital, Hargeisa Cultural Foundation Centre, AYEEYO, Kaaba Organization, Miyi & Magaalo, Candlelight, Somaliland Development Fund (SDF), SONSAF, SOLJA, Haqsoor for Human Rights and Peace, WORTDO, SOMGUM, Sanaag Frankincense and Agriculture Development Association, Afro Bean, Nimo Fashion, Hargeisa National Library, Innovate Adventure, Adams Inn, Women Consulting, Women Life Traders, Deegaan Trading Co. Fursad Fun, Tasco, Hogosha, BFC, EU, UNDP, UNFPA, Spark, IOM, DRC, INNOCATE, DAI, Banks, Remittance Firms, Schools, Universities, other organizations of these kinds and other kinds.
Also, over 50 representatives of the private media institutions (TVs, Websites, and Newspapers etc), the Somaliland News Agency, SLNTV, the other public media institutions and BBC reporter in Somaliland who took interview at the opening.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of Somaliland, the Chairman of Somaliland Diaspora Agency, Mr. Abdi Abdillahi Hersi and the Event Organizers all are thankful to the participation of the distinguished above ministers of Somaliland, the other government officials, the professional Somaliland Diaspora members, the respected IGAD delegate, the influential and outspoken speakers, the educationalists and intellectuals both from Diaspora and locals, the business community organizations, entrepreneurs, investors and all the national and international development partners who participated in this conference.
Full report of the conference outcome will be available at www.sldiasporaagency.org before 30th August, 2016
Source: Somaliland Diaspora Agency
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation
Head Office; Hargeisa, Republic of Somaliland
4th August, 2016