Somalia: Weekly update from the ministry of information

Mogadishu, 19 July 2014 – H.E. Mustafa Duhulow today spoke to the media in Mogadishu to provide an update on the progress of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) over the last week. The Minister spoke on various issues: the FGS’s plan on Good Governance; Consultations on the Review of Constitution; agricultural development in the country, the announcement of the Technical Committee to form the Interim South West State; the new Somali Ambassador to US, the FGS’s contribution of an initial payment of 500,000 US dollars to the humanitarian appeal; the departure of Turkey Ambassador to Somalia; an agreement between the Ministry of Finance and Kuwait Fund and Ramadan appeal.

The Minister of Information spoke on the FGS’s plan on Good Governance: “The Ministry of the Interior & Federalism has a programme to implement good governance in all districts in Banadir region and as part of this programme district commissioners took part in a 5 day seminar in Mogadishu on implementing good governance. The Minister of Interior & Federalism, H.E. Abdullahi Godah Barre, and the Mayor of Mogadishu, Mr Hassan Mohamed Hussein (Mungab) opened the seminar that took place from 13 to 17 July 2014. The aim of the seminar was to ensure that good governance is implemented so that district commissioners will be able to provide basic services to the people. The Federal Government of Somalia places great emphasis on the implementation of good governance in all institutions so that transparency and accountability is adhered to. This in turn will build the people’s confidence in the system. Subjects taught during the seminar included public finance management, the rule of law and security.”
The Minister of Information spoke on consultations to review the constitution: “The Ministry of Justice & Constitutional Affairs and the Speaker’s office organised a consultation meeting with the Independent Commission to Review the Provisional Constitution. The President, the Speaker, the Prime Minister and the ministerial sub-committee on political affairs were all present at the consultation meeting on 13th July. On 16th July the Independent Commission held the first public meeting in Mogadishu. Representatives from civil society and all segments of society attended the consultation meeting. The Independent Commission wants to listen the views of public. The Government is committed to providing resources to help the commission to carry out its duties objectively. The Independent Commission has been tasked to review the provisional constitution as the country is desperately in need of a constitution that is acceptable to the people of Somalia.”

The Minister of Information spoke on agricultural development in the country: “H.E. Abdi Mohamed Baafo visited Afgoye district on 14 July in order to encourage Somali farmers to develop their skills and their production. The Ministry of Agriculture provided farmers in the area with a variety of farming equipment to facilitate production and water pumps to use their wells so that they continuously receive the water for irrigation that they so desperately need. 250 farmers benefitted this program. The Federal Government would like to thank Qatar Charity for providing these equipments and water pumps through the FGS, which helps to empower Government institutions. I would like to appeal to other donors to follow suit, as people need to see the benefits of the efforts of the government institutions.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the nomination of the technical committee to form an Interim South West State: “The Federal Government has been making great efforts to deliver a reconciliation process between key stakeholders from Bay, Bakol and Lower Shabelle with a view to resolving outstanding issues. As a result of this, traditional leaders from these regions have agreed to form a technical committee consisting of representatives from clans in these three regions, so that they can work with the government with a view to forming an interim South West State of Somalia as part of the federalism programme of the FGS. The FGS will lead this process in order to ensure that the process is in line with the provisional constitution and that the process is inclusive. The Prime Minister announced the committee on 16 July 2014 at an event held in Villa Somalia. The President, the Speaker, the Prime Minister, ministerial sub-committee on political affairs and traditional elders from the three regions were present at the ceremony. The process has been a Somali-led and Somali-owned process, and this is very important for confidence building within communities, which will contribute to the peace building process in the country.”

The Minister of Information spoke on appointment of the new Somali Ambassador to US: “On 14th July President Barack accepted credential papers from the new Somali Ambassador to the US, H.E. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, who will be the first Ambassador to US since 1991. Ambassador Sharmarke conveyed a personal message from President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to President Obama and commented approvingly on the manner in which the US quickly finalised the process in a very short period of time. This step is a sign of the great progress being made in bi-lateral relations between the two countries. This is an example of the progress that Somalia is making in international diplomacy. The United States of America is one of the lead countries in supporting us in order to bring peace and stability in Somalia and to build government institutions.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the government’s initial contribution of 500,000 US dollars to the humanitarian appeal: “The Council of Ministers on 17 July discussed the looming humanitarian situation in the country and the warning signs of a repeat of 2011 famine. As a result of limited rainfall, increasing food prices, the international community’s slow response and the blockade of movement in some areas by terrorist elements, there are worrying signals of an impending humanitarian catastrophe in Somalia. Therefore, the government pledges an initial contribution of 500,000 US dollars to the humanitarian appeal and appeals to donors and the international community to provide the urgent resources needed in order to stop the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Somalia. A ministerial committee of 7 members was appointed to address this issue and I would like to extend my appeal to business community and to Somalis in the Diaspora to make valuable contributions to this cause.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the departure of the Turkish Ambassador: “Turkey’s Ambassador to Somalia, H.E. Kani Torun is leaving after serving his term in Somalia. The President of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud hosted a good bye iftar and dinner for the Ambassador in Villa Somalia on 17 July 2014. The event was well attended by Somali leaders, politicians and various segments of society. The President praised the role of the Turkish Ambassador over the last 3 years and noted that both countries now have the strongest of ties and the best of relations. Turkey played a key role in delivering aid during the famine in 2011 and until now they provided direct aid to the people of Somalia as well as funding development projects that are fully visible to the people. Turkey has won the hearts and minds of the Somali people as it was they who changed the attitude of the International Community towards Somalia. We hope that other countries will learn from Turkey’s example and will provide direct aid and assistance to the government and the people of Somalia.”

The Minister of Information spoke on the agreement between Kuwait Fund and the Ministry of Finance: “Ministry of Finance has signed an agreement with Kuwait Fund and presented it to the cabinet meeting on 17 July. Under this agreement Kuwait Fund will provide 3 million US dollars towards economic development as well as micro finance to smaller business communities with a view to encouraging people to take part in the economic development of the country. This will provide job opportunities for young people. The Ministry of Finance have been instituting reforms in public finance management that have earned the confidence and the trust of Somalis and the international Community. The Central Bank has developed initiatives to enhance public finance management in a transparent and accountable manner. The World Bank and the IMF are now assisting our public finance management. We thank Kuwait Fund for this agreement and we hope other organisations and donors will take confidence from this gesture and trust our system. In this way our people will be able to get basic services that in turn could enhance the capacity of our institutions with a view to developing our economy. ”

Minister of Information finally spoke on Ramadan Appeal: “We are now in the final 10 days of Ramadan, therefore, I would like to once again extend my appeal to Somalis to provide iftar and food aid to those who cannot afford to buy food. On 15th July I visited one of Internally Displaced People camps (IDP camps) in Mogadishu and I had an iftar with them in order to alow me to see their situation. I could see many families without iftar or food, which is unacceptable to a human being. We all need to do more to help poor people, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan. Finally, the Eid is fast approaching and we need to help each other out, and to help poor people to at least have a happy Eid. We need to ensure, for example, that every child in your neighbourhood gets Eid clothing. The holy month of Ramadan is an opportunity for all of us to work towards the peace and stability in the country and to bring our unity of purpose to life.”

Ministry of Information,
Mogadishu, Somalia