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Somaliland: DP World Berbera Investment to Catalyze Enhanced Peace and Stability



After the President of Somaliland Ahmed Mohamed Siilanyo official invitation from the Ruler of Dubai, UAE. The government of Somaliland engaged in a direct business negotiation with Dubai Ports (DP World).

On Sep 2016, Somaliland government signed an agreement with DP World, which is authorizing the latter to manage and develop the commercial port of Berbera for thirty years. The $440 million deal include expansion of the port and other infrastructure development including highway linking Berbera Port to border with Ethiopia (Tog-Wajale town). The deal sets up a joint venture with 6 percent control together with the government of Somaliland.

This comes after Somaliland showed a political stability and maturity with multi-party democracy striving in a region dominated by civil war and dictatorship. In addition to traditional trade link between the people of Somaliland and Arabian Gulf states.

Undoubtedly, the deal will create jobs and improve the living standard of the people of Somaliland and the region. This will give the landlocked Ethiopia a reliable access to sea, where Somaliland is trusted friend unlike other regional ports. The deal received the support of the elected parliament of Somaliland and it was a hit on the face of those want to hijack the people on poverty and unemployment.

The process of transforming Berbera in to east Africa’s main free trade hub like the UAE’s Jabel Ali Port. The DP World expansion project in Berbera will lead to extensive trade activities, in which Somaliland will control region’s business and trade. Berbera Port will be ready to provide service in helping Ethiopia and South Sudan exporting their natural resources like natural gas and oil.
Today’s world, business interest is the strongest diplomacy where the world will have no option but to recognize Somaliland, as latter will be regional economy power. In other hand, Ethiopia will have loyal friend, Somaliland, who can provide reliable services with seaport access.

In addition to development of Berbera Port, the deal won the Arab world interest in Somaliland on the grounds of ‘an exchange of interest’. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Somaliland received an official invitation from its Egyptian counterpart, where the Somaliland delegation were received with full head-of-state diplomatic reception. The Somaliland Foreign Minister Dr. Saad Ali Shire met with his Egyptian counterpart, and Somaliland Minister of Higher Education met his counterpart during the visit.

Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs of Egypt Mohamed Idris expressed the importance of the Somaliland-Egypt relations. Mr. Idris led Egyptian delegation to Hargiesa, capital of Somaliland, in order to solidify the relations. Such Egyptian interest in Somaliland is first of its kind, which showcases a major change in the political attitude towards Somaliland. The below link is about the reports on the latest Egyptian visit to Somaliland: and .

Another remarkable event was the consecutive visits of Somaliland presidents to Kuwait who met the Amir of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed. The State of Kuwait sponsored projects in Somaliland including construction of Berbera Airport Terminal and development of Egal International Airport. The UAE based airline, flydubai, started its direct flight to Hargiesa, and signed an agreement with Ministry of Civil Aviation of Somaliland.

The below links represent the international response to the agreement between Republic of Somaliland and DP World:

1. DP World website
2. Wall street journal
3.Foxnews World
4. maritime news

DP World Wins 30-year Concession for Somaliland Port

6.Gulf news Shipping
7. The international news
8. The National Business
9. African intelligence
10. Dredging today

DP World Signs $442 Million Berbera Port Deal

13. The Load Star Editorial
14. Container Management

DP World wins 30-year concession for port in Somaliland


DP World wins Somaliland port concession

16. reuters
17. Arabian business
18.Lloyds list
Press Release: DP World Wins 30-Year concession for Port of Berbera in Somaliland (05.09.2016)
23.ABC6 news
24.Rose bank killarney Gazette
25.Hastings Tribune
25.Southlands Sun
26.WAND TV or WAND 17
27. Four ways review
28. New castle advertiser
29.Zululand observer
30.northern Natal courier SA
32. Randburg Sun
33.Bedfordview and Edenvale news
34. scottsbluff Star Herald
35.Berea Mail
36. Port Technology
37. Lemonde Afrique
38.KTAR news
46.Radio France international
DP World deal ‘helpful’ to Somaliland’s bid for independe
50.DP World获得索马里兰柏培拉港口特许经营权
51. Port news
DP World получит в 30-летнюю концессию инфраструктуру порта Бербера в Сомалиленде
52. jp.wsj
53. www.Al
موانئ دبي تدير مرفأ بربرة في أرض الصومال…/115283-160601-تري-صوماليلاند
صوماليلاند تريد أن تجعل بربرة مرفأ استراتيجيا بمساعدة دبي
55. I24news TV…/115283-160601-تري-صوماليلاند
تستثمر 1.62 مليار درهم في أرض الصومال
57.middle east online
المشروع المعلن مع جمهورية أرض الصومال بقيمة
مليون دولار ويهدف لتحويل مرفأ بربرة إلى مركز تجاري
“موانئ دبي” تنال امتياز إدارة مرفأ بربرة في أرض الصومال
أعلنت موانيء دبي العالمية الإثنين في بيان للبورصة، فوزها بامتياز يمتد 30 عاماً لإدارة و تطوير ميناء في منطقة أرض الصومال، وبما يحتاج لاستثمارات 442مليون دولار.
60. al arabi
إدارة مرفأ بربرة في أرض الصومال… لـ”موانئ دبي”
“موانئ دبي” تنال امتياز إدارة مرفأ بربرة في ارض الصومال
62.اخبار اليمن
موانئ دبي تستحوذ على مرفأ بربرة في أرض الصومال
63.المغرب اليوم 64.
65- Ethiopian Foreign Policy

Written By: Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi

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




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


Hargeysa Cultural Center

20th March 2018


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Press Release: International Observation Mission to Somaliland’s 2017 Presidential Election Launches Final Report




The international election observation mission (IEOM) to the poll on 13 November 2017 assembled 60 observers from 27 countries at the invitation of Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission. The IEOM observed 355 polling stations (22% of the total), across all six regions of Somaliland and 17 of the 21 districts. The IEOM reported a largely peaceful and well-organised polling day in areas observed, albeit with some irregularities, but not of sufficient scale to have impacted the final result. Thus, the violence following polling day—which saw some deaths amid allegations of electoral malpractice—was deeply disappointing.

Says Dr Michael Walls, chief observer of the IEOM:

“Once again, Somaliland called on its admirable tradition of conflict resolution to defuse a potentially dangerous post-election situation. But Somaliland is at a crucial stage: over-reliant on a customary system to solve problems, with the chosen electoral system not yet fully accepted as a means of determining political leadership. Set against a background in which major international deals are pushing the stakes higher, we note the need for renewed commitment to an inclusive politics. We hope Somaliland’s democratic journey will continue peacefully, and move on to the next stage, namely holding its much-delayed parliamentary poll in 2019 as scheduled.”

The IEOM makes a number of recommendations, including: strengthening legal bodies supervising campaigns and elections (especially formal dispute procedures); timely updating of the voter register; improvements to civic education and training for polling staff, political parties and voters; better transparency around the electoral process; that political parties use formal dispute resolution structures, improve female representation and refrain from inflammatory campaigning; legislation to ensure freedom of expression; more state funding for elections; and campaign spending limits for political parties.

The election, Somaliland’s third presidential poll and sixth election overall, saw Muse Bihi Abdi of the Kulmiye party defeat rival candidates from the Waddani and UCID parties. With 55% of the vote, Muse succeeded the retiring incumbent, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud ‘Silanyo’, also of Kulmiye. The election saw the first use of Somaliland’s innovative biometric voter register and the first participation in a Somaliland election of some in the easternmost regions. The IEOM, which was funded by the British government, was led by the Development Planning Unit at University College London, and Somaliland Focus (UK), and project managed by UCL Consultants.


Download the Press Release Here: IEOM Press Release – 7 English

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Women: Traditions, Culture and Women’s Health




Written by: Dr. Mariam Abdilahi Dahir



Somali community is distinguished for their richness of cultures and practices, these are tradition aimed at ensuring social cohesion, cultural identity and promotion of belongingness, the positive traditional sides included the extended family support for the women and sharing the difficulties, breastfeeding, childcare/spacing, caring for women in during maternity, all these positive traditional need to be promoted and use it within the younger generations.

Women is vulnerable when she is young although she receives lots of protection from her family (waa inan ha la xanaaneeyo) but she goes under cutting or FGM, she grows with the pain and struggles to survive with this trauma, this is the negative traditional practices that effect the women in the Somali community and effects all her life and risks her health and leaves with complication that can lead to fistula during childbirth or even death. Some researches highlighted that when the girls undergo the cutting they don’t ask support and advice directly from the health workers! and fewer have sought advice from their family members, that shows that the health seeking behavior among women is very low as well they don’t see the FGM complications is a health problem!

When the girls reaches puberty and receive the period they struggle alone, it’s a shame with in Somali community to talk about it even to seek advice from mothers is rare, that makes the girls mismanages and have difficulties sometime to handle properly it might cause drop out from the schools.

The period pain/irregularity and the hormonal changes is difficulties that girls face (unmarried) that is taboo to share with their peers and there is no specialized services in the country, the only time they come to seek health when it get worse or when they develop complications that sometimes difficult to manage.

Child birth is another challenging period that Somali women face, the culture and the traditions plays and important role to shape the mother’s life during this period, the family always connected to each other and take advices from elderly women (some of the positives) but the advices always its not appropriate or its not applicable to the current situation, in the first 3 months in the pregnancy women develops symptoms called morning sickness (walac) they experience nausea, vomiting and anorexia sometimes, this time is critical if they haven’t had the appropriate care and eat nutrients food and  vitamins it will affect the growth of the infant, the elderly women or the peers advice the mothers to eat less and not to take any vitamins; their advice continues to the later stages of pregnancy that  they warn the mother to eat good meals because the baby will grow and they will need surgery during the pregnancy, which is wrong it’s just a believe , pregnant mothers need 8 to 9 meals in the day.

When it comes to women’s rights to health or seek advice from health facilities she usually take the permission from her family/husband this is a challenge the health seeking behavior of the mothers, but the culture gives the husband a power of protecting his woman that makes him over protective and couldn’t understand why she needs to see a health worker/doctor for her health, we are losing a very big number of mother in Somaliland in the child bearing age and the leading cause is “wrong health seeking behavior” with other contributing factors such us limited access in rural areas and poverty.

As we are talking about good traditions we had practices of breastfeeding, some mothers use to breastfeed up to 2 years that was well appreciated but when the urbanization started that practices reduced and changed to bottle feeding that is not health for the mother neither for the child, we need to promote the breastfeeding and learn from our culture.

The child spacing is another huge challenge that health and believes don’t match, health promotes a healthy child spacing methods that supports the mother to have a good time between the pregnancies as well as the child get enough time to grow and thrive but there is some myths that people believes about the modern spacing (pills, injection and implants)  that it’s a foreigner agenda that want us to not grow as a population this is a very challenge piece of work that health workers must work hard and promote healthy child spacing with the community.

Women use to walk long distance and still they are in the rural areas, they build their houses “Somali Huts” they care for their cattle, and move from one place to another by foot, that is healthy they were fit and they use to eat fiber rich foods and drink milk, these are good practices that the city life is reduced women can’t do, they are risk on obesity (baruurtu in kastoo qurux tahay somalida . being  fat is beauty in Somali context) and other chronic disease like hypertension, osteoporosis (bone diseases) Vitamin D deficiency because they are always in their homes or in cars (some in offices) that reduces the sun exposure and other disease that come with immobility, healthy lifestyle is needed and fitness clubs for only women to be initiated.



Empowering Women- Health, Well-being and Development

Somaliland can reduce maternal and child mortality which is the highest in the world (High maternal (850/100,000 lb) and child mortality (146/ 1000 lb); for achieving the health goals the country must improve in terms of women empowerment and considering its fundamental value in improving women’s well-being and overall positive impact on the family, women empowerment must consider as an important and essential public policy goal. It has been argued that economically empowered women can play a more active role in household decision-making and have greater bargaining power to increase spending on education and health. Women empowerment expands the freedom of choice and action to shape women’s lives and in the long run not only contributes to individual woman, but to the family, society and the country as a whole. Women empowerment is considered as necessary condition for development, although it is not a sufficient condition. Women empowerment has several dimensional focuses and envisages greater access to knowledge, social and economic resources, and greater participation in economic and political decision making processes. It seeks change in the sexual division of labor, equal access to food, healthcare, education, employment opportunities, ownership of land and other assets and access to the media. Despite the involvement in numerous household and income generating activities women’s contribution to the family income is yet to be recognized equally.1



Women will be empowered and they will take care of their health when we understand the positives sides of our culture that promotes women’s health well-being and we discourage the negative practices, creating health promotion and health education starting from schools to peer groups, markets and within the communities/villages were women are available, letting women lead their programs and work to improve their health well-being and development, women need to be in the decision making positions but before that let them decide on their health to decide when to seek health and advices this to lead to let women legally sign the life asving surgical operations.

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