The Seventy Percent

The status quo is no longer sustainable.

54 people have signed this petition. Add your name now!
The Seventy Percent
54 people have signed. Add your voice!
Maxine K. signed just now
Adam B. signed just now

Although Somaliland has made great strides, public health, economic growth and a lack of solution to Somaliland's quest of becoming an independent state are the largest roadblocks to lasting success. The current and past leadership of Somaliland are to blame for our lack of progress and this vicious cycle will only end when the people of Somaliland realize how they are being misled, organize and push for change. This paper argues that the status quo is no longer sustainable. It is just a matter of time before the public demands a change of better public services. And without devising a long-term strategy to address the real hitches that Somali-landers tolerated over the years, Somaliland political elites run the risk of impromptu demand of change that can threaten the only thing that Somaliland leadership can avow- that they created an oasis of peace in a region of enormous political turbulence. It is within this context that we must shed a light on where Somaliland lacks so that concerted efforts are made to better the lives of ordinary people.
Where Somaliland is lacking:
Despite a long political stability in Somaliland, the country remains poor. According to a World Bank study, for every 100,000 live births, 1,040 mothers die. Let us compare this with neighboring countries. In Ethiopia for example, for every hundred thousand live births, three hundred and fifty mothers die and in Djibouti two hundred die. These are still high but much lower than Somaliland. According those numbers, Somaliland has three times of deaths of Ethiopia and five times of that of Djibouti.
Furthermore, there is a high mortality rate in Somaliland. One out of every fourteen children dies before the age of one year. In Somaliland today, one out of every two children aged six to thirteen does not go to school. And seventy-nine percent of children fourteen to seventeen years old don't attend secondary school. In addition, sixty-five percent of Somaliland's three and half million people are under the age of thirty, of which seventy-five percent are unemployed. Likewise, Somaliland police reported two thousand eight hundred and seventy-three (2873) motor accidents involving two thousand and six hundred (2600) vehicles from January to November in 2013. This due to unpaved roads and lack of enforcing motor vehicle laws such as speed limits. These accidents claimed the lives of hundred and fifty (150), caused one thousand eight hundred and fifteen (1815) injuries, and much loss of property. The above-mentioned calamities exist because public institutions don't work for the ordinary people. And the Somaliland leadership of the last twenty-five years has been reactionary. The Guurti, the parliament, the executive, political parties, and local leadership are all absorbed in day-to-day tasks, which by and large have personal end motivations. None of them looks on the horizon to plan strategically with intuition of public's best interest. We are of the view that twenty-five years of this type of leadership is enough and staying the course is no longer an option.
Why the Leadership isn't working:
The current leadership is not working. And the classic example is the fact that forty-five percent of capital city residents do not receive the international standard quantity of water, not to mention other cities where crucial services are completely absent. This is not happening because of shortage of resources. Far from it. It is happening because of erosion of the political elites, because most of them benefit from the current state of affairs politically or financially. Instead of working to uplift the people of Somaliland, they chose to create rationalizations to inhibit the public from evaluating the real progress. The political establishments created a perception designed to mislead the public from gauging what Somaliland successive governments have accomplished thus far, instead of constructing a plan to deal with mishaps that Somaliland public faces. The perception is bracketed around the fact that Somaliland is not recognized as state. They use Somaliland's lack of recognition as a tool to stifle any meaningful discussion of what Somaliland government can do without outside help in the areas of social development, job creation, road rehabilitation, water, health, education and good governance, to just name a few.
The political elites are quick to point out that lack of recognition inhibits them from developing because they don't have access to "international aid and loans". And this is the end of story. While lack of international recognition had negative influence on some key issues, it is because of the absence of political shrewdness displayed by Somaliland leaders in the last twenty-five years, on which the failure rests. The political elites failed in the last twenty-five years to create an environment conducive for transitioning the society from tribal system into modern state in any measureable sense. Nepotism and favoritism are the norm in Somaliland political system; this can also be attributed to Somaliland leadership who chose to follow rather than lead the public. The political elites, likewise, failed to create a judicial system that the public seas as fair and balanced, and this forced many in the public to seek justice in unconventional ways. Finally, the political elites make a norm of delaying elections. For the last twenty-five years, not a single administration held elections on time. They use delay as a tactic to over stay the mandated election terms. As a result of levied choices, people accepted maintaining peace at the expense of social development and overall poor performance of government institutions. We are of the view that if considerable changes are not made in a timely fashion, it will be just a matter of time before the very peace that people chose to keep will be endangered.
Stop and think:
We believe it is time to ask ourselves: What has changed in our lives for the last twenty-five years?
Do we have good public schools?
Are our public hospitals well-found to treat and provide a care to all?
Do we have creditable institutions that are accountable for the citizens?
Do we have an independent judicial system?
Has our quality of live improved for the last twenty-five years?
Do we have enough water on a daily basis?
What is the economic outlook for our new college graduates?
Why is it that seventy percent of our youth are unemployed?

We believe that Somaliland is at a crossroads. And the Somaliland public has choices to make in these upcoming elections. On one hand is the old apparition of the last twenty-five years of nepotism, poor public health facilities, indefinite political ambiguity, corruption, unfair judiciary system (where the public does not have faith in), high unemployment, election delays and self-serving leadership. On the other hand, there is an opportunity to change the status quo and gradually improve the livelihood of ordinarily people. This is only possible if we (the people) organize and disengage from old policies. We are not endorsing any of the political parties, they too are part of the eroded political class, which failed the Somaliland public. We are proposing a new contract with Somaliland Public in the next five years containing the following:

a) Strategy of ending Somaliland political ambiguity
b) Tackling youth unemployment
c) Qaad awareness campaign
d) Implementation of independent judiciary system. The courts must be free from the executive. We should never allow for president to sack any judge
e) Constitutional amendment
f) An increase of tax collection, including the diaspora taxation. Currently, less than 18 percent of the people in Somaliland pay taxes
g) More funding for social services: education, health, and water
h) Ending term extensions of all government branches
i) Increase corporate tax to levels equal to other countries in the region

It is our duty to strive to improve our selves. Our votes have consequences. And one has to be deliberate about who he/she chooses to represent them. We should only be voting in the coming election for the individuals who are willing to sign the contract with Somaliland people. Please sign to be part of change we are desire to bring about.

{ The seventy percent is a nonpartisan, nontribal, nonsectarian
gross roots movement. Our sole purpose is to shed light on real issues that
ordinary people face in Somaliland}

Thank you

Share for Success