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Renewing Somalia: Overcoming Challenges for Prosperity

By Dayib Sh. Ahmed

Effective leadership encompasses a harmonious blend of essential qualities crucial for both personal and organizational success. From integrity to influence, each trait plays a pivotal role in molding leaders who drive positive change. Integrity fosters trust, innovation fuels progress, and vision provokes imagination. Passion ignites dedication, while communication fosters collaboration. Self-awareness informs decision-making, empathy fosters connection, and courage propels action. Delegation empowers teams, while learning agility ensures adaptability. Decision-making and accountability uphold responsibility, gratitude fosters positivity, and respect nurtures inclusivity.

Together, these traits form the foundation of effective leadership, shaping the thinking of leaders who inspire growth and foster thriving nations. But unfortunately, Somalia finds itself ensnared in a leadership crisis of unprecedented proportions with mounting fears of country disintegration. A crisis engineered by self-centered and narrow-minded leaders prioritizing personal gains and succumbing to foreign manipulation, forsaking the welfare of the nation. Rather than upholding the basics of leadership – integrity and loyalty to nation-building – these leaders have compromised Somalia’s future. Sinking the nation’s destiny and tainting its image, they are committing an unpardonable sin that will condemn them into the dark pages of history as men who betrayed a cause they were tasked to preserve.

More disconcerting is even the malignant tumor of corruption feeding off the country to its dry bones. Corruption is an outgrowth stemming from the prioritization of personal interests by self-enriching leaders at the expense of the nation and its people. Weakening national institutions especially the legislative arm and Judiciary to hide from transparency is the greatest trademark of corrupt leaders and which today is so visible in Somalia. Destroying the legislative frameworks of the country annuls transparency. Dragging feet in forming an independent judicial system provides fertile ground for corruption giving culprits impunity. After all, corrupted individuals are sure they are shielded from the grill of accountability.

As these leaders capitulate to the whims of foreign interests, the trust of the citizenry diminishes, creating a national disillusionment. Placing nepotism before merit is the most unpatriotic act a leader can commit. It is tantamount to relinquishing the coveted status of national symbol to crown oneself the chieftain of selected groups.

Away from these destructive policies, wide-ranging reforms to rescue the destiny of the Somali nation are necessary. That begins with adherence to democratic ideals. A cardinal rule in the realm of democracy is the respect and independence of the legislative arm of the government. Discounting this rule inherits a nation with a rigid leadership.  Currently, a legislative coup seems to have been affected reducing the country’s Parliament mere yes men and women. This has to be reversed not to obstruct the parliament in executing their stipulated roles.

An important step is also establishing and enhancing independent judiciary. Judiciary plays a noble role in sopving national feuds and its absence means any misunderstanding can morph into a war of all against all. Furthermore, Judiciary ought to be of special concern at this point as it acts as a bulwark against leadership mishaps checking unlawful attempts of power grab.

Moreover, reorganizing the country’s foreign policy to deal with external issues is a pressing need. External powers are unashamedly intruding Somalia and meddling its internal affairs to the detriment of the country sovereignty. Robust foreign policy is the surest way of safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity rather than the usual cries when a foreigner pokes a hole.

National reconciliation is paramount to achieve societal cohesion and unity of purpose. This can be realized through the implementation of a dual-faceted conflict or dispute resolution is necessary. A mission undertaken by an expert conflict resolution and dialogue committee. The aim is to one time create an understanding between the suspicious clans to achieve national acceptance and another, addressing the concerns of federal member states to preserve national unity. The current affairs are extremely worrying and risk putting Somalia on the road of Yugoslavia. If Somalia cannot conduct these measures alone, it can seek the assistance of countries like Rwanda which are experienced in resolving internal crises and who have firsthand knowledge of the ugly face division.

Investing in education, human development, and economic opportunities for its citizens are other measures to smooth Somalia’s road to a bright future. Many of Somalia’s problems stem from societal ills chief of which is illiteracy. By educating the population through a domestically developed curriculum, the mindset of the citizens can be reoriented to the positive. Civic education fosters economic growth, particularly in key sectors like agriculture and entrepreneurship. Through these education initiatives, Somalia can unlock its full potential and create a brighter future for generations to come only if leaders are visionary enough to seize the opportunity.

About the delicate balancing of foreign interests, Somalia’s foreign policy can borrow a leaf from democratic countries with matured diplomacy such as South Africa and Ghana. Replicating their skillful manoeuvres of holding together rivalling powers through delicately balanced diplomacy helps to address the manifold political, economic and conflicting interests of foreigners plaguing Somalia. It is not insulting to learn from others given that Somalia’s institutions have been destroyed and their revival requires the intervention of Samaritans.

The ramifications of Somalia’s protracted conflicts are dire, exacting a heavy toll in terms of loss of life, economic upheaval, and profound psychological trauma inflicted on the society. The arduous task of rebuilding trust and cultivating sustainable peace necessitates a concerted effort to address the rampant human suffering, solve deep-seated grievances and foster unification of purpose and mission. Herein lies the transformative potential of initiatives such as a conflict resolution commission, which could serve as a beacon of hope in navigating the labyrinthine landscape of Somalia’s complex conflicts.

In summation, Somalia faces a decisive moment in its journey towards stability and prosperity, marked by the urgent need to address entrenched corruption, bolster democratic institutions, and promote reconciliation. These challenges demand commitment and collaborative action from all stakeholders, including the national government, federal states, civil society organizations, the private sector, and the international community. By prioritizing comprehensive reforms to end the country’s woes, Somalia can overcome the grip of perpetual miseries and pave the way for a peaceful, prosperous, and united Somalia.

By empowering the populace through civic education initiatives and fostering economic growth, particularly in key sectors like agriculture and entrepreneurship, Somalia can unlock its full potential and create a brighter future for generations to come. It is imperative that all stakeholders seize this opportunity and work together with determination and resolve to realize Somalia’s aspirations for a resilient, inclusive, and democratic society.

Dayib sheikh Ahmed (Faracadde)
Email: [email protected]

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