Our colleagues Nina Staal and Zia Gulam traveled to Somaliland to have a look at the host institutions and meet diaspora-experts on duty. The visit allows for a better understanding of the impact of CD4D. Are the institutions satisfied with the contributions of diaspora experts and the support from IOM?

Zia has been in Somaliland before, in 2016 to be precise. Since then, a lot has changed in the country. “Hargeisa and Berbera have expanded immensely in the meantime. The roads have become much better and there are many business opportunities for locals. Moreover, the port of Berbera has been modernized and now has the latest equipment and many facilities. A road connects the port with Ethiopia, allowing for trading opportunities between the countries. The city is rising.”

The Port of Berbera.

CD4D operates in three sectors in Somaliland: Rule of Law, Water and Infrastructure, and Local Governance. Within these sectors, various host institutions welcome diaspora experts to share their knowledge, for instance the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Water, Ministry of Interior, Berbera Municipality, Holland House Hargeisa, the Ministry of Parliament and the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs. Nina and Zia met the focal points of these institutions and our colleagues in Hargeisa, who all work closely together with the diaspora experts.

Meeting an IOM colleague in Somaliland.

The big question during a monitoring visit is: how do the host institutions experience the project? Luckily, Nina and Zia received a lot of positive feedback. For example, Berbera Municipality commented that diaspora experts made important contributions to the development of an ICT department. Moreover, the diaspora experts have supervised two interns, who are now both working at the municipality. One of them is even head of the ICT department!

Besides a busy programme visiting all host institutions, Nina and Zia managed to squeeze in a dinner with previous CD4D participants who ended up staying in Somaliland. Our colleagues do not have to think long about their favourite food in Somaliland: “The fresh fish of course!”. While the fish was brought to the table, insightful conversations about the long-term impact of CD4D progressed. Two former participants have now set up their own farms, which produce healthy food for the population and provide jobs for many people. A great example of the sustainable CD4D impact.

Zia really enjoyed the fresh fish in Somaliland. In the photo, he is standing in front of the restaurant.