Thursday,22 October 2009 (Somalilandpress)-As reported in the media the International Community is putting pressure on the Transitional Government in Somalia to downsize its cabinet. With 39 Ministers, by any standard, the TG has one of the largest cabinets. Somalia is grappling with all sorts of crises and one of them is bloated government. Because bloated government is a serious obstacle to nation building and governing. It makes sense for the TG to downsize its cabinet. It is an irony for a nation such as Somalia with a small population of 10 million to appoint 39 Ministers. It is worth mentioning that China which has the largest population of 1.5 billion has a mere 19 ministries. [1] For that reason, it is incumbent on us to suggest to the TG the following:

Revoke the 4.5 plan
The 4.5 plan was responsible for the creation of ineffective governance in Somalia. Since 2000, the 4.5 clan-based plan was used to form three transitional governments in Somalia. The main objective of the 4.5 scheme was to create inclusivity so that no community (clan) was left out. However, the 4.5 plan has been an impediment to effective governance in Somalia. It was also responsible for the creation of some of the largest and exotic cabinets in world.

Inclusivity is made by leadership not clans
The only way to form a durable government is by including everybody. Inclusivity is important to any government to acquire legitimacy and political capital. However, inclusivity is not acquired by clans splitting position. It is the task of a leadership which seeks mandate from a whole nation to include all so that everyone can feel the government is there to serve all. However, inclusivity without competence is futile.

Inclusivity should go hand-in-hand with competence
Without competence there can be no government worthy of governing. Responsibilities (positions) should be merited not given out like presents. Those appointed to serve in the cabinet and in other parts of government should be merited individuals from across communities. For that reason, inclusivity should go hand-in-hand with competence.

We the people of Somalia add the call to the TG to downsize its cabinet. The TG should heed the call of the International Community to revoke the inept 4.5 plan and downsize its cabinet. Without doubt, the 4.5 plan was wrong for Somalia. It was an archaic way of forming a government fraught with serious lapses. It is the task of a leadership to create inclusivity and form a government which is and be seen to be fair and inclusive. The TG should see the obvious and look into the relevance of some of its ministries. There are ministries which overlap. There are also ministries which are no longer part of modern governance. It is not for us to point out here which ministries overlap one another and which are the obsolete ones. It is for the TG to see and address the problem.

1. Republic of China information

Abdullahi Dool