All of us talk of Somaliland and all of us demand many things from Somaliland. What do we give her in return? Somaliland will ultimately give us what we give her of love and service and productive and creative work. Somaliland will be what we are: our thoughts and actions will shape her.

Friends, I ask each one of you to remember these wise words as you go about doing your work, be it on farms, in villages, in schools, in colleges, in government offices, in shops, in hospitals. “Our Nation is what we are. It will become what we make of ourselves.”

Brothers and sisters, it is one brick after another that helps make a building. Millions of bricks go to make a great building. In the same manner, the efforts of millions of people go into the formation of a nation. The process of nation building is a great enterprise of adventure and creativity. It requires all of us to work together, bonded by our love for our Motherland. This love flows from our identity as Somaliland. Whatever be our region or district, we are all Somalilanders and Somaliland is ours. Our strength derives from our unity in diversity.

 Drought and floods are two fundamental problems that continue to bring suffering to our rural and urban population. We need concerted action to deal with these perennial problems. We need to insulate our people from the impact of drought by creating local level water security. We have to mobilize our people to come forward to take up the challenge of water conservation and management. We should make private-public partner investment in irrigation and addressing the specific problems of each valley basin, in an environment and people friendly manner. Water is a national resource, and we have to take an integrated view of our country’s water resources, our needs and our policies and water utilization practices. We need to ensure the equitable use of scarce water resources. I urge my fellow citizens and all our political leaders to take a national and a holistic view of the challenge of managing our water resources.Rural Somaliland needs must encompass investment in irrigation, health care, availability of electricity, primary education, rural roads and the modernization of the infrastructure for agriculture.

We must increasingly use modern science and technology to address the needs of dry land farming, the diversification of our cropping pattern, micro-irrigation and the quality of our livestock. Livestock production contributes 60% of the GDP and about 85% of our foreign export earnings so we need to ensure that the livestock resource is developed and managed sustainably, through government collaboration with all stakeholders, for the purpose of improving food security, reducing poverty, improving

livelihoods and contributing to the national economy, and the government should also provide guidelines, coordination and regulation of the livestock sector in order to increase its efficiency in terms of production and productivity for the betterment of the livelihoods of livestock producers and improvement of the Somaliland economy, through focused use of resources.

 Improving rural connectivity and access to information can enrich the farm and livestock community. Here Governmental initiative can be multiplied by the effort of private enterprise and community action. Our children are our future. In framing our policies we must keep the interests of future generations in mind. The Government must pursue social and economic policies that are conducive to the proper growth and development of our children, investing in their education, health and nutrition. A healthy child makes a healthy


Employment generation has not kept pace with demand for jobs. Government should address this deficiency in the growth process by encouraging the growth of small and medium enterprises, industries and sectors like tourism, where there is a high job potential. There is also an urgent need to provide employment in rural areas especially in areas suffering from prolonged drought.

The “Food for Work Program” will be an important part of our strategy to deal with this challenge. New investment in the infrastructure sector will also help generate new jobs. Our approach has to be one of seeking faster growth while ensuring that the benefits of growth are more evenly distributed. Our policies for higher economic growth and modernization should be combined with an emphasis on social justice, communal harmony, rural development, regional balance and concern for the environment.

Our government must always identify the most priority sectors for focused attention. The Sectors which are the pillars of the development bridge we must cross to ensure higher economic growth and more equitable social and economic development.The concerns of most of our citizens revolve around what we do for agriculture, livestock, water, education, health and employment.

We recognize that for the development of the country what we are able to do in the key infrastructure sectors like power, roads, ports and airports is also critical.Implementation of our government policies and programs needs for every Somaliland citizen to have an active role and full support to be an effective instrument of development for the benefit of our country.

Of course there are areas, in which the Government has to be actively engaged, like education, health care, roads, high technology and defense. However, for Government to be able to deliver results, there must be a reform in the functioning of government. We have to make officials accountable – make Government more transparent. We have to make public enterprises more efficient.

Citizens increasingly demand governments that are accountable to them. They have a concern both for probity and efficiency in public affairs.The question of ethics in public life has repeatedly agitated our people and we have to try to find Constitutional, legislative and administrative devices to deal with the challenge. The time has come for us to consensually evolve a code of conduct for all political parties, a code of ethics for all individuals in public life, and a code of best practices for the Government at all levels.

 So I say today let us resolve to work together to develop such a code of conduct in a consensual way so as to uphold the values enshrined in our Constitution.We must also look within our parties and ourselves and ask ourselves what is the root cause of the decline in values in public life? How do we reform our public institutions, our political parties, and our government at various levels? To launch our economic

reforms we have to liberate individual enterprise from the stranglehold of bureaucracy and continue to widen the space available for private enterprise and individual initiative. But governments cannot be wished away, especially in poor country like ours where the government has an important role to play. The challenge for economic reform today is to breathe new life into government so that it can play a positive role where it must.

But what is government? Government comprises people’s representatives and civil servants. The reform of government is, therefore, a reform of the way, the elected representatives and officials, work in government. It is we, fellow citizens, as members of the civil society, who must mobilize our enormous resources in support of such reform. To make democratic institutions more accountable we should take the appropriate steps to strengthen the lowest tier of development and our public life.

I am concerned about the slow rate of growth of the backward regions, just as I am concerned about the economic distress of the less privileged sections of our society.We should encourage new investment in less developed regions. We should help in strengthening developmental institutions there.

Special attention must continue to be paid to governance and development in the Sool and Eastern Sanaag Regions. The pattern of development must be such as to create new opportunities for job creation so that the youth of these regions can look to the future with renewed hope and confidence. These regions of our country can benefit by improving road connectivity and encouraging new investment.

If we can honestly work together to create an environment conducive to development and tourism, there are regions will prosper more.Peace, social and political stability and communal harmony are essential for economic development. People want such peace and stability so that they can lead safe, secure and normal lives and go about their work, relax and enjoy life.

It is such focused attention to development that will address the real concerns of our people today. It is by strengthening our economy and making our democracy more inclusive that we can walk tall in the comity of nations. It is because of our commitment to democracy and development that we also wish to live in peace in our neighborhood and with the world as a whole. Violence has never helped in the progress and prosperity of any society.

 I fully appreciate and believe that we owe an incredible debt of gratitude to our armed forces and security forces. The government must assure the unstinted support to their welfare and to the modernization of our defenses. They have played an admirable role in the defense of our unity and integrity. Not only have they defended our frontiers but also at home they have readily helped whenever their services have been sought in rescue and relief operations and in the protection of the life and property of fellow Somalilanders.

We value the friendship of all nations, big and small and we will seek closer economic relations with all countries. As a democratic country of more than 4 million people we are destined to play an important and positive role in world affairs, in structuring a just International order as we have high hopes that we will soon hail our diplomatic recognition.

The power of the people, however, is infinitely greater than the power of governments. But, it is by combining the two that we can make our nation truly great.However, as I have said already, there are limits to how much the government can do. The greater part of the solution lies in each one of us, in our families, in our communities. If we can all cooperate with one another and work together as a community there is much we can do without looking for intervention by the government. We have to revive the spirit of community service and the spirit of nationalism, especially among our youth.

I want our people to understand that each one of us has the power to do good for our nation if we are only so determined. Let us all work together to revive that spirit of idealism, self-sacrifice, discipline and unity of purpose that characterized our statehood recognition struggle.I am confident that the people of this holly nation have the will, determination and the resources to meet this challenge.

Somaliland’s destiny beckons us to pool all our wisdom, experience and knowledge to make this future happen.I am confident that this is possible and within our reach. Our government should do all that lies within its power to convert this dream into a living reality

Thank You,

Abdi Halim M. Musa