Somaliland: Leading by Example

By Mohamed Adan Samatar

There are no shortages of references, including academic research papers, how-to-books or philosophical concepts describing the qualities of an effective leadership; however, there is one very important piece of the puzzle that is often over-looked which complements and completes the leadership qualities of an effective leader, that is “honesty”.

A community can be mobilized through voluntarism principles by their leaders when they are shown that the end results of their deeds are for the good of their own and that of the general population.

On July 8, 2021, we have all witnessed a unique phenomenon unfold in the middle of “Dooxa Hargeisa” or the dry creek of Hargeisa when the public heeded the calling of an honest, strong, patriotic and caring leader, Abdikarim Ahmed Mooge; the new Hargeisa Mayor.
He led the way with his gloves and his yellow vest on, cleaning and removing the garbage with his own hands. He made this a priority and is first order of business before putting his feet up on his new office-desk and self-congratulate on his victory lap.

This was an effort to solve an environmental and health concerns including to bring back the beauty of the cite to its original looks where children could enjoy and play their new clean riverbed.

Voluntarism is not a new phenomenon to Somalilanders, they did their share during the former dictator, Siad Bare. Sadly, their reward was devastating death and destruction of lives and property.

The Hargeisa self-help phenomenon was different, people showed up before dawn, after Fajr prayer, filled with happiness and joy looking forward for the task ahead and to stand side-by-side with their new mayor, Abdikarim Ahmed Mooge.

It was a day that brought the young, the elderly, boys and girls and mothers who were feeding them on the side while they were engaged in cleaning their environment. It was a day that will remain in Somaliland history forever.

Abdikarim’s calling to challenge his constituents was an exemplary for all other leaders in public offices to follow his foot-steps and make their priorities the needs of the public they serve, not their own self-interest.

Well-done Mr. Mayor, your future is bright. Who knows, you might be called Mr. President in the near future.

By Mohamed Adan Samatar

Former State of Arizona Government Management, BSc, MS Agriculture.

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