Somalia, easternmost country of Africa, on the Horn of Africa. It extends from just south of the Equator northward to the Gulf of Aden and occupies an important geopolitical position between sub-Saharan Africa and the countries of Arabia and southwestern Asia. The capital, Mogadishu, is located just north of the Equator on the Indian Ocean.Somalia is also a country that is bountifully blessed with resources, rich and diverse cultures, creative minds, as well as resilient and hardworking people. This makes it startling to note that irrespective of these great qualities, Somalia is still insufficiently developed and is also one of the poorest countries in the world. Hence, there is a need for we the people of Somalia to uncover ways to accelerate sustainable development within our country.
In order to discover the path to development, it is necessary we first identify the obstacles that have long prevented this. To begin with, Decades of civil hostilities have virtually destroyed Somalia’s economy and infrastructure and split the country into areas under the rule of various entities, In addition, Somalia has continually struggled with weak governance, unfavourable leadership, poor infrastructures, corruption, disadvantaged consumer economies, wars, diseases and more. These has also been hindrances to well-deserved sustainable development within the country.
Rather than focus on the problems that plague Somalia, this article seeks to find a suitable path for developing the country. At this juncture, it is essential to clearly express that the key to developing Somalia lies within the hands of Somalis.
Firstly, we can start by understanding the system of Trabilism that so easily enslaves us and labour towards substituting it with one that favours us. We need to replace our overdependence on the West with a determined drive towards self-reliance.
The country should focus on a policy of trade rather than aid. Somalia should reconsider and reform her trade policy. A good place to start reformation is to stop receiving handouts from Western countries. The loans and foreign aid that we have continually received from the West, has not contributed to our development. Rather, poverty still wages war against us. These loans come with conditions that make it almost impossible for the debts to be paid. Foreign aid has created unnecessary aid formalities and has further strengthened the already existing system of dependency. Instead of we to look for solutions within ourselves, we are swift to receive the distorted generosity of the West.
Furthermore, Somalia needs to make a transition from being consumer nation to becoming producer nation. As opposed to importing almost everything from the developed world, Somalia should gradually move towards the point of manufacturing to meet her local needs. Somalia government should increase tariff on goods that can be locally produced so as to discourage Somalis from importing them as well as create a conducive environment for increased production. Also, the #oneAfricanFamily(OAF) should work towards greater economic integration in order to strengthen trade relations within Africa.
There is a great necessity for Somalia to pay closer attention to the development of science and technology within her borders. This will aid manufacturing. It’s time we stop depending on the West for technological know-how. Rather, we should invent technology that is influenced by our environment and culture. It should also be customized to meet our local needs. In addition, innovation and creativity should be encouraged and supported by the government. Also, the right economic atmosphere should be created in order to enable the growth of private businesses and entrepreneurial activities.
Effective leadership and good governance is greatly needed in order to ensure sustainable development in Somalia. These will lead to the establishment of strong systems, institutions and infrastructures that will stand the test of time. Without good governance, it will be impossible to attempt the repositioning of Somalia in the international system. Good governance is the vehicle that will transport Somalia as she journeys on the path to sustained development.
Finally, every Somali has a role to play in the development of Somalia. We should embrace our culture and wear it like a second skin because it is represents our unique identity. Our political, economic and social life should not be a shadow of western ideologies. Rather, it should be a conveyor of our culture.
The path to sustained development is a journey in unity that every Somali has to embark on. It is time for Somalia to arise in order to clear the path for sustainable development and re-positioning in the global system. Let us redefine Somalia and rewrite her story.