SOMALILAND: President Bihi’s Annual Address to the Bi-Cameral Parliament

Annual Address of the President of the Republic of Somaliland to the House of Elders and House of Representatives

 

In the name of Allah, the most magnificent, the most Benevolent,

Thanks to Allah, It is to Him that praise belongs.

May Peace, Mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you?

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my honour to appear here today before you on this, to address National Assemblies; the House of Representatives and the House of Elders for my annual address, 2018.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My government has mapped a route and set strategic, comprehensive plans pertaining:

  1. Security
  2. Foreign Affairs Policy
  3. Economy and Development
  4. Social Affairs
  5. Good Governance and Decentralization
  6. Judiciary and Justice
  7. Climate Change
  8. Elections
  9. Media Outlets

 

Although my administration has been in office for only 100 years, we have accomplished tangible achievements on state-building processes. It is strive, togetherness and the support of citizens that reached Somaliland to the peak.

 

During that time, we took some steps towards development; Tripartite Deal of Berbera Port which will have great impact on the economy and the development of Somaliland. The agreement, which was tripartite, will be embarked on soon and will bring about economic development and job creations for the country.

 

Likewise, an issue of utmost importance to note is that Somaliland military personnel moved to the east border of Somaliland with the help of Sool region residents who showed patriotism.

 

As you all aware of, the Federal Government of Somalia has made false allegations and flimsy lies against the government of Somaliland to the International Community; however we asserted to the International actors that the security forces of Somaliland and within their borders.

 

My government has vividly conveyed the world that Somaliland deserves to be internationally recognized since it has ticked all the boxes of statehood.

 

Ladies and Gentleman,

 

We are determined to strengthen and tighten the security of the borders of Somaliland – space, marine and land. This will enable the existence of Somaliland sovereignty.

Our policy is always to cooperate the regional and global governments in a state of tied security, pleasant peace, zero policy on interference and good cooperation.

I, therefore, urge all Somaliland citizens; governments officials, MPs, traditional leaders, elites, youth and women to be united and become hands in glove.

 

 Ladies and Gentlemen

Somaliland citizens are a single populace. Our sovereignty and statehood is greater than a person, group and clan. My fellow Somalilanders, it is our duty to defend the country from the injuries.

To maintain the local security, we must first strengthen the cooperation between security institutions and the people. Our responsibility is to conduct awareness to the populace for the importance of closely working with the security institutions. We must also keep in mind for the imperativeness of arranging capacity building programs for the security institutions.

We will tailor quality training for police with up-to-date equipment to boost their skills and knowledge in handling the local security and crimes.

We have also recently seen some young mobs and thugs committing crimes at that hinder the national security of the country. This is usually caused by the poverty and unemployment.

To exploit the mind and material support of the youth, we have commenced the comprehensive plan “National Service”. We have also deposited the budget for running this project.

Ladies and Gentlemen

When it comes to national security and tranquility, one should first redeem stopping the vendettas and bone-of-the-contentions based on clans.

The recent vendetta claimed the lives of 90 people, leaving many others wounded. Our nation can no longer afford losing many lives in clan fracas that can be grappled.

 

 Ladies and Gentlemen,

Excogitate the consequences of clan vendettas. What are the fruits we harvest? Immigration, seeking asylum, begging, losing the dear ones etc.

 

We are also concerned about the car accidents dramatically increasing in our country. Last year, we experienced 2258 car accidents, leaving 160 people died and 1956 injured.

I have assigned Ministry of Transport and Road Development to adopt the plan of road accident reduction measures.

Only highly qualified and tested driver should be given a driving license.

 

Similarly, only good-conditioned vehicles will move on our roads. The government is determined to introduce Road Traffic Act very soon.

 

Over the last years, the crime of rape has been at an alarming rate. This is  a serious  crime against our honorable ladies. In 2017, around 80 rape crimes were committed in Somaliland – 100 men were accused of this criminal. Most of the culprits are teenagers. We  must stand against this criminal case to eradicate it.

In this world, a government is revered with its military power and personnel. Although our security forces are well equipped, yet we have not achieved the milestones. We have braves that sacrifice themselves for the sake of this nation – we have national security forces that undermine the enemy of Somaliland.

They have been working for the country’s defense for more than 40 years, having endurance, stalwartness, profound skills on war and decisiveness.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s devote everything to the security forces to sleep in peace.

Foreign Affairs Policy

The foreign affairs policy of Somaliland lies under:

  1. To secure international recognition
  2. To bolster the ties with the neigbouring countries, IGAD, AU, Arab Countries, Muslim World, EU and the entire world.
  3. To get bilateral and multilateral economic support, this will contribute to the development of the country.
  4. The injection of direct foreign investment into Somaliland soil.
  5. The basis of the Foreign Affairs Policy is pursuing harmonious relations with neighboring countries and the globe, creating a stable political scene. We are here to ascertain keeping the peace, vigilance and the tranquility of the regional and the global peace.
  6. The people of Somaliland are experienced when it comes to ravaging wars, prolonged hostilities and deeply realize the vitality of living in peace.

During my tenure, I paid working tours to Djibouti, Ethiopia and United Arab Emirates to bolster the multilateral ties between Somaliland and these governments.

We have promised to strengthen the relations in terms of security, commerce and socio-economic activities. We have also conveyed the message that Somaliland ticked all the boxes of statehood.

 

We are indebted for the government of UAE in investing our country. DP World joint venture agreement to creating a 400 meter quay extension and a trading hub is tangible achievement for the government of Somaliland and the region in general.

We thank UAE for their heroic support to Somaliland government and citizens. They conveyed the world media outlets the ample history of the Republic of Somaliland.  UAE turned the eyes of the world to a peaceful, stable and democratic country called Somaliland.

 

Somaliland-Somalia Talks

Somaliland-Somalia talks were slated to commence on 19th March, 2018 but we have suspended after the Government of Somalia attacked the sovereignty of Somaliland. The world knows that Somaliland is not under control of Mogadisho government. Ex-president Hassan Sh Mohamoud was elected by delegates from four regional provinces while Farmajo is elected by envoys from six regions. Somaliland has never involved their elections and the world knows that.

Economy and Development

The basis of achievement and accomplishment is the economy. No country can be built without economy. My government is determined to boosting economy, economic sources, and accruing the productivity of Livestock, Agriculture, Fishery, Mining and Frankincense.

My government will urge both local and foreign investment. We see investment as a leading contributor to economic boosting and job creation opportunities for youth and that’s why we have nominated the Ministry of Investment Development.

We are adopting a comprehensive plan of collecting taxes and keeping revenue sources, as we have paved the way of doing that task ahead. We have also started revenue collection method to sustain both the direct and indirect income of the country; we also took measures on curbing corruption.

We have also prepared the national budget in 2018 which is based on Public Financial Management System which will be submitted to Parliament in this week.

34% of the budget has been allocated for the Development of the country. We are strengthening the authority of the Central Bank. Globally, the Central Bank is has the ultimate decision to controlling currencies. It also regulates the fluctuations of the currency and keeps a close eye on the exchange markets. The Central Bank also gives green light to private banks and government banks.

Tax is the backbone of statehood. So, we are urging every eligible citizen to pay the tax. Through tax paying, we cover the needs. My government is ready to undertake heavy fight against corruption and maladministration via cooperation and unity.

The devaluation of Somaliland currency is a great concern to us and the people under the breadline. I have; therefore, nominated a task force to tackle on that pressing issue. After subsequent consultations with the pundits on the field, they have released tentative solutions that will address the situation. The measures are to be implemented from 13th March, 2018.

Every task has its embedded circumstances; the results of tasks are sometimes mysterious. The companies involving the electronic exchange systems had to deal with thousands of customers deposited their money. And that is a major reason that led to the delay of the measures to be in operation, but finally we decided to implement on the 26th of this month. I am so thankful to the companies of Somaliland that showed patriotism.

 

Infrastructure

Ports, roads and airports have an eminent priority for the development of the country’s economy and commerce. We have also planned to construct roads connecting Erigavo and Burao – the tarmac has been laid on km of that road so far. It is a clear fact that this road is paramount for the nation.

Similarly, 60 km of the road that connects between Halleeya village to Da’arbudhuq was completed during the first three months I have been in office. Furthermore, my government has planned to commence on Berbera Corridor which will connect Berbera and Wajaale. Berbera Corridor will facilitate Somaliland to participate the socio-economic activities in the Horn of Africa as it creates integration atmosphere among societies.

 SOCIAL AFFAIRS

Youth

Somaliland population accounts 70% youth between the ages of 15-35. We, therefore, realize that the future of this country rests on the youth. They deserve to get a shining future and better lives. Youth should get quality education which is in line with the global education system. We must train them morally and materially in order to participate the leadership of this country and that is why I have appointed qualified youth for some of the topmost positions in my government.

The government also plans to adopt and amend the Labor Code. After the completion of these amendments, we will no longer allow foreigner to do the job of the citizen.

Moreover, we have recently launched Youth Fund Account as we have deposited sh 2 billion. The Account will serve everyone who sets up plausible business that leads to job creation opportunities. My government is now working on the approach of administering the Youth Fund Account and the requirements of applicants.  I urge both civilians and government to participate in thriving the Fund Account.

We have also embarked on the National Service Program Account. My government deposits sh 1 billion every month which equals sh 12 billion annually. Secondary school leavers and university graduates will undertake the Program. The main objectives behind this Program are to enhance social integration of the population. We want students gain experience and manipulate their broad experience to their country.

Education

As you all know, education is the key to development. Developed countries provide their nation with a quality education. Our education system should be compatible with the up-to-date technology of the world.

Our government has planned to develop and refurbish the curriculum of Somaliland. Our country is in dire need of Educational Policy which meets the needs of the Republic of Somaliland.

Paving the way for equal opportunity in education, we have commenced to grant all the textbooks, technically on their syllabus, to the entire primary school students in Somaliland. The program is earmarked by sh 1.2 billion annually.

My government has also set to:

To enhance the welfare of teacher in terms of life and qualifications

To give an eminent priority to vocational schools, which will have job opportunities for youth. Therefore, my government will rehabilitate the vocational schools in Burao and Hargeisa very soon. Our aspiration is to locate a quality vocational school that provides quality education at every region in Somaliland.

  • We spur all Somaliland students to read. Public libraries will soon be established.
  • We will also improve the quality of education of the universities in Somaliland. My government will scrutinize how our universities will contend the global universities.

 

HEALTH

 

  • Knowing the importance of healthy to every society;
  • Knowing the vanity of human selves,
  • realizing the existing circumstances and health problems in Somaliland,

 

My government is determined to tackling the aforementioned obstacles that bewilder health services in the country.

 

Every Somaliland citizens should have adequate health care – that’s my aspiration! We must reduce maternal mortality rate to 50%, if God wishes.

 

 

To ameliorate that ambition:

  • We will increase the number of doctors working across the country. The doctor-patient ratio is 1:13500.
  • My administration will highly ponder the qualifications and experiences of doctors.
  • My government will also highly ruminate on bestowing a medical license (stifling) to avoid business medical personnel.
  • We will promote the health services offered by country’s hospitals.
  • My government will also improve and enhance the duties of the Quality Control Agency in order to monitor the quality and condition of medicine, food and chemicals imported to our country.

 

Water

 

As a matter of fact, water is the most indispensable thing to man. There is an increasing water demand in many parts of the country. Climate change is a factor that caused the water scarcity. Water scarcity causes apocalpytic droughts, causing thirst. Our economy cannot yet cover the water scarcity. Similarly, we do not have adequate running cost for potable water catchments and water digging. The capital city of Somaliland requires 60 000 cubic metric tonnes. We now recieve only about 9 000 cubic metric tonnes per day.

There are various organizations who haphazardly implement projects on water reservoirs but unfortunately there is no sustainability on such projects. The main reason for this is that there is no monitoring and inspection. So, my government will establish Water Act for the country.

 

For the last 7 years, the government of Somaliland led by Kulmiye Party has dug around 200 deep water wells, yet we are grappling with dearth of water across all the regions of Somaliland. Water experts have stated that wells are more important than dams.

Keeping that in mind, we have started water exploration throughout the 6 regions. The task is that easy – it needs capital investment and modern technological equipment for the coming 5 years.

Good governance and Decentralization

 

We have also nominated cabinet ministers with new Ministries. My newly elected government will contribute much to the development of the country. We will be on duty to serve the nation.

My government is working with transparency and accountability. We are working hard to reaching satisfactory good governance.

Knowingly, corruption is national disaster. It leads to:

  • Maladministration
  • Hinders the confidence of the citizens over the government
  • Diverts the social service
  • Impedes the development

 

Nevertheless, I hereby confirm you that my government has a zero policy on corruption and embezzlement. I wil not accept to any one who incorrectly exploits his position from the government.

Justice and Judiciary

Judiciary is paramount in my government. Justice efficiency strengthens social integration. Justice system is the leading factor to stability, tranquility and the vigilance of the country. Truly, our government will not remain stable if not adhered good justice system.

Therefore, I am the one who is in charge of the three branches of the government  – Legislative, Judiciary and Executive. My government is committed to enhancing the Judiciary and Justice of the Republic of Somaliland. The judiciary reform is already in place.

My government will defend the rights of the citizens in general and the vulnerables( women, disabled, children and elderly people). We are working hard to complete the drafts of Judiciary Acts. Around 15 Acts have not been submitted to the House of Representatives althought they have not yet endorsed. We are demanding for the rapid approval of the Acts. We will also submit other Acts, in line with the Constitution to the Parliament for approval.

 

Droughts and Climate Change

Droughts are nothing new. Prologed droughts battered the territory but once a decade or once two decades. We had also recieved adequate rainfalls. Nonetheless, droughts are recurrent and there is low rainfalls.

Currently, the ravaging droughts reflect the faces of many of the citizens and yet demands are there.

My government will spare no effort to grapple with such harships caused by stringent droughts. I call upon Somalilanders to stand by one another and help each other.

Recurrring droughts and scanty rainfalls have brought arid lands and has a direct relationship with the climate change. So we have to change our lifestyle from the nomadism to well planned map on drougth prevention. We must also prevent deforestation and poaching. We will adopt the Environmental Act Policy.

The government is in pursuit of key measure to address recurring droughts. We must also supplicate God to befall us rain.

 

ELECTIONS

 

As you know, we have launched a multiparty sysytem in Somaliland. This system was rosy as it allowed us to hold subsequent elections which all took place peacefully. Following the last presidential election, our country has reflected prestige from the International Community.

 

We spend hefty sum of money in holding elections. An example is the last presidential election which was spent around $24 million – 54% of that budget was paid by Somaliland government, while the remaining 46% was offered by the International Community.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

The National Electoral Commision has submitted me the cost estimation of the Local and Parliamentary elections which is Sh 16.7 billion.

 

My government is determined to hold these elections simultaneously as planned and at the slated time. You have timed these elections with the approval of the Supreme Court.

 

On 22nd March, 2018, Waddani Party submitted me a request, calling the NEC to be fired. The party has also blamed NEC for the presidential election held on 13th November, 2017. NEC has implemented all the legal rules and acts of the election. They have also built all the offices in charge of conducting the election as revealed in the Election Act. They garnered reputation and prestige from the outside world for the free and fair election they held.

 

Both local and international supervisors have admitted the transparent election they conducted. I therefore see Waddani’s allegations as illegal argument far from the fact that is intended to hinder the smoothness of Somaliland elections.

 

To the Media Outlets:

 

Press is a double edged sword. We must use is towards the development. My government is ready to enhance and improve media outlets. We have planned to hold capacity building programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of journalists of our country.

 

If used on the wrong side, press leads to chaos and turmoil. On its plus side, press builds the country. Freedom of press exists but should not harass the rights of others.  I call on the media to lead their country towards the peace, prosperity and social integration.

 

In Conclusion:

 

Honorable MPs : the House of Elders and the House of Representatives, I want assure you that my government has come to office amid severe droughts and economic recession.

 

The government of Somaliland is committed to realizing the pre-set plans. We will pursue the circumstances ahead to attain the milestones. Through hardwork, unwavering determination, diligence and commitment, we will ripen our fruits. My fellow Somalilanders be patient and perserverant for the existing circumstances. One day you will see things done as needed, inshaa Allah.

 

Thank you

 

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