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Announcement of the Hargeysa International Book Fair and Somali Studies International Congress

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11th Hargeysa International Book Fair – 21-26 July 2018, Hargeysa, Somaliland

We are pleased to announce that the 11th Hargeysa International Book Fair  (HIBF) will be held 21-26 July 2018 in Hargeysa, Somaliland. Last year, we celebrated the festival’s 10th anniversary with our chosen theme of Connectivity. This year we start the next decade with the theme of Wisdom. As an organization we have always sort to promote an “open, creative connected and tolerant society led by wisdom”, and not by emotions; a society that has survived within its own mechanism, culture, heritage and knowledge production. From the 9th century Beytul-Hekmi (or Dar’ul-Hekma) in the Islamic Golden Age in Bagdad to the Somali wise men and women who guided the society in the traditional judiciary system, and who governed with authoritative leadership, the virtue of having wisdom as attribute, always gave few people a distinguished mandate to lead. What happened to that virtue? Who are our chosen vanguards today? What do the literature, the traditional oral poetry and arts had to do with the wisdom? Are men of literature loosing their appeal? Do the radical transformation of the Somali society in the recent time deteriorated the essence of wisdom of the ordinary people? These are the questions that we will seek to answer collectively.

Intertwined with this, HIBF2018 will be hosting Somali Studies International Association 23-25 July 2018 (SSIA18), with Somali knowledge production filled by foreign people (something we often ignore) during a period of difficulties of war – it is important to consider how that factor changed Somali literature and how with a young Somali scholars emerging once again to claim their space within Somali knowledge production- this yet again will change and shape our understanding.

Last year we had the privilege of hosting South Africa as our guest country- this year we will welcome Rwanda, a country which less than three decades ago was embroiled in horrific genocide, but which has reemerged as a proud, progressive and leading country in Africa. Rwanda is also reclaiming its narrative and knowledge production and we are pleased to welcome writers, poets and film-makers, but also policy makers and influential people that shaped the recent history of Rwanda.   The parallel between Somaliland’s own difficult recent history and road recovery are many- and with Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame elected as the 2018 chairperson for African Union, it seems that their futures are also intertwined.

We look forward to welcoming each and every one of you to Hargeysa International Book Fair 2018.

 

Dr. Jama Musse Jama

Director,

Hargeysa Cultural Center

20th March 2018

 

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Academic Researches

Somaliland: First 100 Days of President Muse Bihi Abdi

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As Somaliland held its latest and strongly contested Presidential Elections in November 2017, the new President marked his first 100 days in the office last week. This paper examines President Bihi’s first 100 days in the office and the issues surrounding him from Politics, Economy, Development, International Relations and many others. It gives a detailed background of the situation in Somaliland and analyses the current circumstances through intellectual and legal perspectives.

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Academic Researches

Somaliland’s Foreign Policy Analysis: The First Four Administrations In Perspective

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According to dominant paradigms of international relations theories, a country’s foreign policy consists of the self-interested strategies chosen by the state to protect its national interests, and the deployment of the various tools of diplomacy and statecraft in order to achieve these objectives within the international relations milieu.

Since Somaliland re-asserted its independence on 18 May 1991, its main foreign policy objective has been the attainment of international recognition. Somaliland has made tremendous strides toward this end by building a functional state with all the legal attributes of a modern state. Notwithstanding the enormous challenges Somaliland has faced under the status of being diplomatically unrecognised for the last 27 years, the state apparatus has continued to evolve internally and externally. Somaliland has conducted foreign relations with the international community in its various shapes and forms, and has continued to welcome the international community cooperate on issues such as development, investment, social reform and consular relations inside Somaliland. In the modern international order, the recognition of statehood is administered by a number of different legal, political and economic factors that include (a) a permanent population, (b) a defined territory, (c) a functioning government, and (d) the capacity to enter into populations with other states. Somaliland has a strong case for satisfying all of these conditions.

It is worth acknowledging that successive Somaliland administrations have done an impressive job with respect to Somaliland’s international relations, given the many international and domestic constraints it faces. Nevertheless, observers of Somaliland’s foreign policy over the past 27 years have seen it as a more reactionary and self-explanatory approach (mere differentiation from Somalia), rather than entirely pragmatic.

It is the theme of this paper to examine Somaliland’s foreign policy goals and decision-making as they evolved under the leadership of Somaliland’s previous four presidents. Doing so involves presenting how these respective administrations dealt with Somaliland’s neighbouring states as well as regional and other global organisations. This paper will also focus on the present foreign policy challenges. It will conclude by offering recommendations with respect to current foreign policy arrangements.

 

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About the Author:

Mohamed Abdillahi Duale is a political analyst and independent researcher on Horn of Africa politics, mainly Somaliland’s international relations. He is currently based in United Kingdom, and Saeed Mohamed Ahmed is a social worker and Civil Society activist based in Somaliland and he is currently the Director for Strategy, Research and Innovation Services of Gollis University.

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Life Style

Somaliland: Researchers Pilot System Using Electrodialysis to Produce Safe Drinking Water

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The demand for cost-effective desalination is increasing with the growing population and the need for safe drinking water, driving continuous innovation in the sector. REvivED water, a pilot project led by FUJIFILM Manufacturing Europe B.V., is focusing on the potential of electrodialysis for desalination applications, both as stand-alone systems and in combination with established desalination technologies.

Electrodialysis can be added as a pre-desalination step to existing Reverse Osmosis systems, increasing their water recovery; more drinking water will be produced from the same amount of seawater with lower energy consumption and at affordable costs. The REvivED water consortium has recently welcomed Trunz Water Systems AG, a Swiss water treatment company with distribution channels across Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Pacific. Trunz Water will build and operate a system in Spain that demonstrates the benefits of combining electrodialysis with Reverse Osmosis for sea water desalination. The test system is expected to be operational by the end of 2018.

The REvivED water project is also developing small scale stand-alone systems for rural areas powered by solar energy. The main target is off-grid applications in developing countries, where brackish water can be converted into safe drinking water. The first such system is under construction and will be tested from May 2018 onwards in Somaliland, Africa, demonstrating the role of electrodialysis in the provision of quality drinking water for the world’s growing population.

 

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