Press Release

The Executive Director of SONYO Mr. Saeed Mohamed Ahmed , was among the those eleven youth leaders chosen to participate in this year’s International Visitor Leadership Program, Mr. Saeed met had the opportunity to with Mr. Grant Harris who is the President Obama’s Special Assistant on African Affairs and Policy Advisor on Africa during a visit to the white House.

The session was interactive and more of information-sharing. Saeed has interacted with Harris by also briefing on the processes of peace-building, state-building and democratization that Somaliland has managed to successfully pursue in the last two decades. In addition, Saeed urged Obama’s administration to come close to the real context in Africa and particularly stand up for the support of the growing democracy and the blossoming development in Somaliland. He said: “for Obama to be able to go down to the practicality of his fourfold strategy on Africa and push forward the growing democracies in the African world, it is imperative to support Somaliland and consider its case as a unique phenomenon that should be promoted for contributing to the desired peace and stability of the Horn of Africa and also setting a live example for the states that still need to recognize the importance of democratic governance”. In continuing his discussions with the Special Assistant of the US President, Saeed has also asked about the US’s plan on inviting Somaliland’s president to the upcoming African Leaders Summit in the United States. He said: “Our president is a democratically-elected leader and while he has been in office, he tried to consolidate Somaliland’s relations with your state, are you going to invite him in your upcoming African Leaders Summit as even a de facto state president?

In responding to the questions of Saeed, the Special Assistant and Senior Policy Advisor said: “Somaliland has a very unique case and we do respect its efforts and great work. We will continue to engage with Somaliland to reach its vision. But, as you know, we have recognized the current Somalia government and we also invested in the security sector so that Somalia can also cope with its challenges and build a strong peace”. Mr. Harris also mentioned that USA welcomes Somaliland’s good work and would also like to see its processes of democratization and peace-building continue for consolidation. Mr. Harris also mentioned that they will only invite African heads of de jure states in the upcoming African Leaders Summit.

Mr. Saeed, and fellow participants  in the “International Visitor Leadership Program” most pof whom who came from Africa, got a briefing from Harris regarding President Obama’s agenda on Africa. In the briefing, it was told that the engagement of the leaders of the next generations—for building sustainable friendship and ties with Africa—is very important and a priority for the United States strategy on Africa. In addition, it was also mentioned that President Obama’s agenda on Africa has four key strategic objectives:

• Increase the trade and investment with and in Africa
• Strengthen democratic institutions in the African states
• Advance security and promote peace in Africa
• Extend the development channels for African socio-economic empowerment by identifying the actual constraints on the ground and looking for sustainable solutions

In conclusion, the meeting members were given chance to interact further with the adviser and have photo sessions with him. The meeting concluded with very good atmosphere. It was really a great opportunity for the mostly youthful participants of the program and particularly for Somaliland to have its voice heard in such important forum.



  1. Ignorance is not a shame. All people are born ignorant. The shame is a refusal to admit ignorance and start learning. We need experience and skills of how we can do our things right. We must learn and listen to people who know the things that we do not know. The need is to import this gained experience to Somaliland and apply it to our work ethics. And even eloborate this kind of experience.

  2. "But, as you know, we have recognized the current Somalia government" This so called somaliland is just planning to faile. how you keep repeating the same mistake over and over again is just beyond belief. You keep begging and begging for recognition and all the time, yet another slap. As if you can't live without america recognising your existance, muppets!

    • Mindfulness, for instance, begins with bringing the mind to the present moment. What is the reason you feel disturbed? It is either because your mind is caught up in the past, or it is disturbed by hope and fear related to the future. The past is goneand your future is as yet uncertain, but the worries are a waste of time. Bring your mind to the present moment – where does Zoomalia stand today and where does Somaliland stand today – then you can begin to see things/difference clearly. The simplest way to do this is to focus on how you can free Zoomalia from the foreign mercenaires who get their higher pay at the expenses of your own people who alwasy suffer from daily killings, rape and robery. Do not be obsessed with Somaliland and things that are non of your bussines.

      • There is nothing called bussines, you just meant business and I doubt you wrote that first line judging your poor logic/spelling.
        1. The one who is caught up in the past is the one who is dwelling over prier 1960, and the separation plan of ethio-zoomalilanders in 1991; The one who worship their colonial powers and still beg them day and night to recognise them;
        2. The one who is disturbed by false hopes and fear is the one who has no foothold, no recognition, no past to build on, and very gloomy destiny to this doomed zoomaliland project with your beloved silaanyo!

        • In politics, symbols are crucially important. Sharing a stage with members of your community, giving an old lady a ride in your SUV, thumping a 56-inch chest, and, to cap it all, headgear that defines who you are as a person or people. Here is a list of symbols that are currently providing a shock to your own homeland.

          a) Anarchy.
          b) Mayhem,
          c) Lawlessness.
          d) Orderlessnes.
          e) Robery
          f) Rape,
          g) Hopelessness,
          h) Re-colonization.

          if there is any blood in your body, you would have surely lifted your people out of above humiliations.
          Talk is cheap. It is disgrace when mercenaries to try to mend your ways.

    • ILyas,

      Did you forgot Somaliland existed 23 years without recognition? Did you for got Somaliland is currently more developed than it has ever had be while united with the failed state of Somalia? So. what make you think Somaliland will not continue to exist another 23 years or more without any country recognizing us?
      You no what? Unlike you, we do not depend on handout from other Countries.Like or not, Somaliland will be here forever! You can swallow poison from an envy.