Somaliland sincere about its relations with Taiwan

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Somaliland is “very reliable” in its relations with Taiwan, Somaliland Representative Mohamed Hagi said on Thursday (March 23).

Hagi said his country wants to have good relations with its partners and like-minded countries, and this includes Taiwan. Somaliland considers its ties with Taiwan “very important,” he said.

Taiwan is helping the East African nation in many ways, he said.

In education, it provides scholarships to Somaliland students. There are currently 20-21 scholarship recipients in Taiwan, the representative said.

Taiwan is also helping the country improve its maternity and infant care as well as implementing a digital health information system to help medical institutions organize patient information. Additionally, there is a Taiwanese medical mission at Hargeisa Group Hospital, Hagi said.

In terms of information and communication technology cooperation, Taiwan is working on an e-government project called the Somaliland E-government Capability Enhancement Project, which is meant to boost Somaliland’s e-government capability and improve government network management by establishing a data exchange platform among government institutions, according to the International Cooperation and Development Fund.

Taiwan is also backing the Somaliland Innovation Zone, which serves as an ICT training center, which was established in 2021. A Taiwanese agriculture team is currently helping Somaliland grow watermelon, guava, oranges, lemons, and wax apples, Hagi said.

The representative pointed out that because of its geographical location, Somaliland acts as a gateway to Eastern Africa and the rest of the continent and is able to facilitate travel and logistics needs for Taiwanese traveling in the region.

Somaliland is rich in oil, minerals, and other natural resources, Hagi said, but it needs Taiwan’s help to extract and process them. There is much potential in this regard, he said, adding that the results will aid in his country’s economic development.

Last week, Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs officials met with counterparts in Somaliland at the Ministry of Energy and Materials in Hargeisa to discuss joint resource development projects.

Somaliland “feels the pain” of being a politically isolated nation, the representative said, which is why he hopes Taiwan ties will grow. He said nearly all Somalilanders know of Taiwan and that he was “happy” about future bilateral ties.

Taiwan and Somaliland forged closer ties in 2020, mutually setting up representative offices in Taipei and Hargeisa.