Somalis Should Portray Informed Debate On Regional Matters

(Hiraan)First and foremost, my vote of thanks to HOL which is a vital platform for regional news and also publishes informative articles that touch on issues close to our hearts. Secondly, my regards to the readers and prayer to Allah (S.W) for timely intervention to our problems both at states and individual level。

Am taken aback by the reactions some somalis made to a recent article by Prof. William Ochieng’ in one of the Kenyan Dailies-Daily Nation.

Am in agreement with his argument。Coincidentally this is the 3rd thing the two of us have in common. He is a Kenyan like me and the other being an Alumnus of The Alliance High School. I graduated from the school in 2005,long after Prof. William Ochieng’ did.

His article dated August 09, 2011 was what are the Pros and Cons of Somalia joining East African Community. I, therefore, find no basis for depicting him in bad light.

Am a Kenyan, grew up Kenyan in Kenya and yet to come across any Kenyan who dislikes somalis because they are somalis whether Kenyan-smalis or foreigners.

Of course, as a country, we have many problems that did not please our Somali brothers and sisters from Somalia.e.g. corruption, and police harassment in the name of fighting insecurity. Kenyans are also aware of these problems and have been doing their best to stop the same with little success. But with the new constitution we have high hope of making substantive progress as our police force in being reformed.

Despite these problems, Kenya is still more important to somalis than any other country in this world. It hosts the largest investments outside their country-if at all they ever invest in Somalia. Kenya has a relatively free market and is an important destination of foreign investments in the region. Somalis are welcome as long as they play by the rules of the market.

The East African Community is an inter-states co-operation which is a potential precursor to the establishment of a common market for goods, labour and capital within the region, with the goal of a common currency and full political federation in the future.

Prof. Ochieng’s was to weigh how much value will Somalia add to the community with the above targets. There are, of course, preconditions before a country joins the community. The country must be politically stable, have respect for political democracy and human rights. Somalia fails on all these. The country is the most corrupt and insecure in the world with no human rights protection.

Somalia will take sometime before it makes to the community. When it does, Somalia will benefit profoundly. It has a small population, about 8 million, meaning no serious multi-national company will invest and develop its infrastructure with such a small consumer market. Contrary, the East African Community has a combined population of 140 million.

Somalis from Somalia will also benefit politically. They will grow from clannist mindset to one that is mindful and expressive of africanness and learn to lean on the pillars of peace, love and unity at national and regional level.

Somalis will also benefit the community. How? As the community, especially Kenya industrializes, we need the somalis who have most recently flooded our markets with cheap goods imported from other countries especially Asia to use their skills to move and trade our locally manufactured products across the region including their country ,Somalia, where virtually all manufactured products are imported. Kenyans will also exploit their market especially in sectors like education, research, tourism .e .t .c.

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