The visiting  Executive Director of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, Thijs Berman, paid a courtesy to the Somaliland House of Representatives, on Tuesday, where he was received by the First Deputy Speaker, the Rt Hon, Saeed Mire Farah ‘Giirre’.

Mr. Berman expressed how NIMD was keen to promote democratic practices in Somaliland as it did elsewhere in the world through a series of focused, tailored trainings and by encouraging inclusivity and pluralism in society.

“Somaliland has an excellent track of over 30 years on this path which quite rightly attracts the attention of the forward-looking world as a living example of rising from adversity as a war-torn society to a regional flag-bearer in democracy and fair and free elections,” Mr. Berman said.

Mr. Berman said he was looking forward to working with the parliament in the near future and during the course of an upcoming medium-sized project to address a few of the more pressing issues at hand.

On his part, Abdijalil Tahir, Director of NIMD Somaliland, outlined areas the two sides will cooperate on in the near future which spanned from training to the support of an initiative to encourage female participation in politics.

The First Deputy Speaker thanked the Director and his team for the visit and the consideration the NIMD support represented.

“As a young democracy, Somaliland has a palpitating need for a competent, working legislative branch. As such, the House of Representatives can use the transfer of experience and knowledge more established democracies such as that of the Netherlands and the rest of Europe can offer,” he said.

The Rt Hon. Ali Hamud Jibril, the Second Deputy Speaker of the HoR, who was also present during the reception added that, since the majority of the MPs were new to the field of legislation, exposure visits to regional parliaments could be of tremendous benefit.

“Practical training and visits to more established institutions can supplement the pooled experiences and resolve of the MPs to promote more efficiency in all of their oversight, representation, and legislation responsibilities,” the Honorable 2nd Deputy Speaker said.

The Honorable House Speaker, Yassin Haji Mohamoud Hiir, joined the meeting towards the end wrapping up the discussions by expressing how pleased he was in this new link-up with one of the best training and democracy support institutes in Europe, and how the envisaged support will contribute to better service delivery on the part of the legislators.

The Hon. Speaker also thanked the European Commission which funded the initiative through NIMD.

Present at the meeting was, also, teh House Advisor on Development Partnerships, Hassan M Jama “Heiss”.

Accompanying Director Berman on the NIMD sides, besides the Country Director, Abdijalil Tahir Afqarshe, were NIMD Program Coordinator, Kristina Miletec, Head of the Somaliland Project, Dr. Abdirahman Gass, and Dialogue and Conflict Resolution expert, Shaun McKay.

NIMD held a graduation ceremony at the Maansoor Hotel, Hargeisa, Monday, for 78 young political aspirants representing Somaliland political parties and political associations. The young politicians benefited from a ten-day intensive training on seven areas ranging from the political history of the country, to emotional intelligence, regional politics, communication skills, conflict resolution and dialogue and human rights laws and universal tenets.

About NIMD

The Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy believe that democracy can only thrive when all voices are heard, and inclusive and respectful dialogue between politicians, political parties, civil society, and citizens is crucial to achieving that goal.

NIMD builds its democracy support programs around that core belief, empowering everyone – from traditionally marginalized groups to established politicians – to play their role in political life and work for the common good of their country.

Working across the five key thematic areas of dialogue, democracy education, women’s political participation, youth political participation, and strengthening democratic infrastructure,  NIMD focuses on dialogue and trust building. Whether it is a formal dialogue platform, an informal gathering, a Democracy School class or an internal training session, intervention strategies aim at bringing people together to collaborate.