As millions of Somalis are celebrating the dual events of the 62nd birthday of their nation and the coming of a new administration during the week of June 26 through July1, WardheerNews could not miss but reflect some of the daunting tasks at hand.
Many feel that with the right moves, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre are poised to complete the draft constitution, foster a political atmosphere for a comprehensive national reconciliation, rebuild or strengthen institutions, and foster a Somalia that is at “peace with itself and with the world.” Delivering on some of these promises, and it is quite possible to do so, could put Somalia on the path of full recovery and earn them a golden page in the annals of history.
The new administration comes into office with a significant political capital paralleled by discernible expectations. Properly and effectively using said political capital is the key to managing and delivering on some of the core expectations. The new administration must utilize its political capital to institute far-reaching positive changes.
As the President promised, prioritizing service delivery goes far to meet expectations. He should not waste time on politicking as did his predecessor. While the list of expectation could be longer, here are some of the areas that may require focused attention:
Climate change and perennial droughts often result in severe famine conditions. The current drought, which has officially resulted in a full-blown famine conditions, is one of the worst thus far experienced in the country as well as in the Horn of Africa. The President’s timely move to bring Mr. Abdulrahman Abdishakur as the point person to coordinate famine issues is an indication of the president’s determination to deliver on the key issues. If possible. plans for drought mitigation as well as for preparedness for future droughts must be drawn as early as possible.
The new administration can and must effectively and materially utilize its political capital to form a government of real technocrats with a proven record. It is prudent that ministers be hired only after thorough interviews by the PM and or his designee are conducted. There has to be a match between ministerial portfolios and job competency which the candidate or candidates bring to the table. After all, executive jobs require both good technical and sound judgement.
Furthermore, separation of powers must be respected in that executive members should not be selected from the legislative body, unless there is an unavoidable need, justified on public safety, in such a case, that particular candidate must vacate his/her legislative seat. We say this because we firmly believe that a person can do good only one job. The current model where parliamentarians simultaneously hold cabinet positions has not served the nation well thus far; it may not do so now. or in the future. Its of a paramount importance that the lower house chamber, just like the Upper house to focus their primary responsibility of legislation and oversight.
Certain ministries have become cesspools of corruption and controversies. A clean up effort and minimizing government corruption is a timely task for the new administration. A case in point is the Ministry of Finance and treasury. In order to fix the country’s faltering financial house, a highly respected person with proven IIMAAN or TRUST must be appointed for the country’s overseer of its coffers. So far this ministry has been a symbol of failure in past administrations.
Our cities also call for a reputable attention for they are population centers and service delivery spaces. The administration needs to come up with a new urban agenda which in the long run could help both in service provisions and in mitigating some of the negative impacts resulting from climate change. The country could benefit from establishing a new ministry with the responsibilities for Environment, Climate change and urban/rural agenda to connect these key areas that have serious bearings on the lives of millions of Somalis.
Somalia should own its security structure in that a new approach to pacifying regions and urban centers must top the new administration’s agenda. As the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) timeline draws down, a Somali-owned new security infrastructure, assisted by bilateral countries, must be the emphasis. A prominent role must be given to regions where terrorist activities are present such as Jubbaland, Southwest, and Galmudug.
Mogadishu’s stability is the vehicle for national revival. So it must be freed from any kind of threat! Maka Al-Mukarama, the heart of the city, must be safe 24/7. To do so, a new grid system dividing the city’s neighborhoods into monitorable blocks must be designed. Each five to ten blocks can easily be monitored by a precinct without violating the privacy of residents. Big cities in the West such as Los Angeles and Houston Police Departments have successfully used this formula to control any number of gang-related crimes. Los Angeles has succeeded in containing over 70,000 gang members. If Al-shabab criminals are typical gangas without any political agenda, police work as opposed to military work is better to deal with them.
Wardheernews hopes that this new administration of Hassan Sheikh Mohmoud and Hamza Abdi Barre are poised to make real change. They have the political capital and the endorsement of the majority of the nation. In the life span of nations, 62 years could be considered a toddler. Somalia has more to look for and let us hope great days are ahead of us.
Happy Birthday to Somalia and to the New Administration.
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