Somalia:Weekly Progress Report from The Ministry of information

Mogadishu, 21 June 2014 – H.E. Mustafa Duhulow today spoke to the media in Mogadishu to provide an update on government progress over the last week. The Minister spoke on various issues: Consultation of the National Youth Policy; the progress towards reconciliation; the official opening of the Office of the Auditor General; President’s visit to Jowhar, Mahaday, Bakol and Wajid; the Draft Media Law consultation with journalists; the recent agreement between Somalia and EU that Somalia becomes a member of the ACP; and the parliament’s approval of the Independent of the Review & Implementation Commission.

The Minister of Information spoke on the Consultation of the National Youth Policy: “The Ministry of Youth & Sports began a consultation process with young people in order to provide young people with an opportunity to develop the National Youth Policy that will provide young people with a quality education and job opportunities, so that they can contribute to Somali society and politics. The Government is committed to encouraging young people to stand up for their country.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the progress towards reconciliation: “The Government, during the last week, succeeded in reconciling groups in Gedo regions, which resulted in conflicts being resolved through peaceful means. During the last week the Deputy Minister of Defense, along with a group of MPs, succeeded in reconciling groups in Beled Hawa in the presence of traditional Elders and all segments of society. The Vice President of the Jubba Interim Administration and Gedo region authority were also there to work with the government that resulted in a peaceful reconciliation and an agreement being reached meaning that the groups are now working towards the common good of the country. In Lower Shabelle Region, the Minister of Interior & Federalism and the Minister of Defense (who is also the Acting Minister of Security) succeeded in establishing security institutions in Merca, and started reconciliation process between groups fighting in the district. Traditional elders and all segments of the society are taking part the process of reconciliation. It is the policy of the Federal Government that all disputes should be solved through reconciliation and peaceful means.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the official opening of the Office of the Auditor General: “On 18th June the Deputy Prime Minister officially opened the new offices of the Auditor General which will help government institutions to implement good governance. The Office of the Auditor General will ensure that government institutions are free from corrupt practices and any instances of mal-administration. The Auditor General was appointed through a transparent and competitive process and the aim was to appoint the most competent people to lead the office so that we can improve good governance and public finance management. This in turn will give confidence to the people and to the donor community.”

The Minister of Information spoke on HE the President’s visit to regions: “On 18th June the President of Somalia visited Jowhar and Mahaday districts and he lay down the foundation stone of the first University building in Mahaday, which Banadir University is implementing. The aim is to provide education in every district in Somalia. The President spoke to the public at the ceremony and promised that the Federal Government will reach out to all regions of Somalia. The President also visited Bakol and Wajid districts in Bakol region in order to evaluate the conditions for the people in those areas. The government succeeded in bringing food aid to Bakol and Wajid following Al-Shabaab’s blockage of the area. The Government is committed to carry out political outreach to all districts and regions in Somalia in order to provide basic services to the people.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the draft Media Law consultation with journalists: “On 18th June members of the Review Committee held a consultative meeting with Somali journalists in Nairobi. The purpose of the consultation was part of the ongoing consultation with Somali journalists, in order to provide opportunities for Somali journalists to share their views on the draft Media Law. I took part this consultation meeting over the telephone and I was encouraged by the commitment and dedication of the Somali journalists taking part in the development of the Somali media. I promised them that the Media Law will reform the Somali media and all journalists will have their rights as Somali journalists protected by law. On Thursday 19 June I presented the draft Media Law at the cabinet, which they are now reviewing. We hope the cabinet will approve the Media Law during its next meeting.”

The Minister of Information spoke on Somalia becoming a member of the ACP: “H.E. Abdiweli Shiekh Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Somalia and H.E. Andris Piebalgs, Head of EU Development signed an agreement on 19 June 2014 in Nairobi in order for Somalia to become a full member of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Somalia was excluded from the Cotonou Agreement for the ACP countries for the last 25 years. Additionally, the EU donated 400 million Euros to Somalia, part of the ACP donations. EU provides donations through the ACP in order to implement projects for peace-building, stabilization, economic development, reducing poverty and public finance management. This historic agreement will help Somalia to receive donations through the ACP and that is why it is important for Somalia to be a member of the ACP.”

Finally, the Minister of Information spoke on the approval of the parliament of the Independent Review & Implementation Commission: “The overwhelming Parliamentary approval of the Independent Review & Implementation Commission on the 19th June 2014 is a significant step towards the Constitution Making Process. The Federal Government is committed to implementing Vision 2016 including the Review of the Provisional Constitution, the Implementation of Federalism, and the democratization process in order to hold fair and free elections by 2016. Review of the Provisional Constitution is the pillar of the Vision 2016. There will be a referendum after the review of the constitution. But before the referendum there will be a set of serious consultation process, public awareness campaigns, debates and discussions so that the people may fully understand the constitution. The Federal Government of Somalia is committed to ensuring that the process is transparent and accountable to the people. Therefore, it is essential for the Somali people to take part in the process, as the engagement of the public is the key to the success of the process. I therefore call on everyone to support the process as the review of the constitution is vital to the realisation of Vision 2016.”

ENDS

Ministry of Information
Mogadishu, Somalia