Somaliland: Southwark Council in Knowledge Exchange with Local Counterparts


The Mayor of Southwark Council Councillor Abdul Mohamed addressing the pfress in Hargeisa Somaliland

By: Latifa Yusuf Masai

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Southwark Council intents to help local governments in Somaliland improve their service provision.

This was revealed by the mayor of London’s Southwark Council Councilor Abdul Mohamed who is on a ten days visit in the country where he shall visit various local councils and share knowledge with counterparts.

Mayor Mohamed who originally hails from Somaliland was received upon arrival at the Egal International in Hargeisa by a large welcoming committee that included presidency minister Hirsi Haji and the deputy mayor of Hargeisa Abdiaziz Mohamed among others.

According to Mayor Mohamed who heads a 63 member British Council with a population of over 300, 000 residents in the heart of London said that he was very impressed by improvements in the country he last visited 5 years ago and knowledge based interventions by his council will help enhance managerial skills of the local mayors.

“Southwark is one of the most historic councils in London and houses major institutions of both Britain and Europe and is home to a sizeable population of Somali speakers who have managed to integrate with the original inhabitants successfully” Said Cllr Mohamed

While informing that most the Southwark residents of Somali origin enjoy good livelihoods as a result of their individual efforts the Mayor revealed that others are living meaningless and unproductive lives due to their consumption of Khat, a herbal stimulant.

Said he, “With impending legislation banning Khat in Britain it is hoped that the herbal consumers will translated their addiction to productive things in a country where efforts bear equivalent returns”

Urging fellow Somali speakers in the Diaspora and the UK in particular to stop shying away from involvement in public life the Mayor of Southwark council plans are ongoing to start motivating British Somalilanders to become more involved especially as pertains to seeking elective offices.

Mayor Abdul Mohamed who was optimistic that the recognition of Somaliland as a sovereignty country will “Inshallaah’ come to fruit urged Somalilanders not to rest on their laurels but continue developing their country thence improve their livelihoods especially as related to economic growth.

Cllr Abdul Mohamed who was announced as the Mayor of Southwark at Council Assembly on 22nd May 2013 was born in Kenya’s rift valley to Somaliland parents. His grandfather had emigrated to Kenya as a soldier with the King’s African Rifles Camel Corps.

He is married to Caroline McDonald, an Australian, and they have one son Farah Mohamed (16) they have lived in Peckham for 25 years.

Mayor Abdul MohamedCllr Mohamed graduated from Leeds University in Yorkshire where he trained with the former National Coal Board as a mining engineer. He then left to work as a mining engineer in Africa, where he spent some time in the Copper belt in Zambia.

He has also worked in inner city regeneration since the late 80s. He has worked for several London boroughs carrying out regeneration work, including Haringey and Lambeth Council, on various large inner city estates such as Broadwater Farm and the Angel town estate.

He has been an active trade union member, being shop steward (UNISON) for his Public Service workplace. He has been one of the Faraday ward councilors since May 2002.

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