Why Somali diaspora failed practicing good governance ?

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Another large flow of migration happened in the late 1980s and early 1990s after huge exodus refugees arrived neighboring countries to survive their lives from horror clan backed militias who overthrown power over the government, underwent mass killings and violation of human rights which later tuned to much atrocity. These refugees and their relatives finally ended up to Europe, North America and Australia.

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After above mentioned journeys ended to different host countries, Somali diaspora started to help their relatives living inside the country which immensely contributed people’s livelihoods and increased the economy of different regions specially northern and southern ones. According to Ken Mankhaus, Somalia is among few countries that have Diasporas who have much influence to the economy and politics to their homeland. What is more, Somalia Diaspora effectively participated humanitarian relief operations by coordinating with local authorities, media outlets, traditional elders, religious leaders and individuals by having an ability to mobilize resources and funds quickly to implement timely emergency responses at the time of incidences and disasters. In the drought of 2006 in southern regions of Somalia, a drought committee established in Mogadishu in March 2006 received US$ 600,000 after a campaign to raise awareness among Somalis of the situation of the victims in drought affected regions. More than US$ 100,000 was raised in a four-hour fund raising programme through the radio organized by Simad and HornAfrik media Inc in collaboration with three major telecommunication companies in Mogadishu (UNDP Somalia, 2009).

Nevertheless, initiating complex and deep rooted good governance systems in Somalia is only a story written in the lines of papers or orally told among workshops and seminars held locally or for overseas. In fact, Diasporas from US, Canada, UK and EU are transcended in Somalia’s federal government and some federal member states holding from top level positions to the bottom but they failed applying sophisticated and well developed good governance systems ruled in the countries where they raised, educated and had their passports as a second nationality. It is just because, the Diasporas returned home and entered to Somalia’s political body, have different agendas as some seek generating wealthy, some seek reputation and self-esteem while there are widespread management incompetence in some others.

Those who posses the first agenda have some knowledge and skills that don’t allow them to engage with the communities live in the host countries which means, they’ll not be able to apply and contest for highly ranked and well paid jobs to generate a profit and then to live a suitable life. They also don’t want perform unskilled labour jobs to work hard for covering family and relatives’ needs and wants. For escaping these challenges and life obstacles and to engender hasty economy after short duration, they fly back home backing unverified educational certificates with fake modified personal experiences. After booking a hotel, seeing clan elites and touring beaches and other key locations in the capital, a proposed decision making political or civil position will be in place toward them. With already having behind the scene agenda, they’ll soon start committing strategies that will lead achieving desirable illegal profit making goals with imitating and acting working hard for the sake of this great nation and its society.

The Diasporas who migrated abroad between 1980s and 1990s are the next group who came back to the country. This group mostly have strong economy, enough education and great work experiences. Some of them also had been professors and lecturers to some highly ranked universities and policy or technical institutes in America and Europe while others became successful entrepreneurs. More importantly, their arrival is different as you expect. They didn’t come here to give advantage to or attach their strong knowledge and experiences for renovating Somalia’s governance and peace building systems but differently, they come here to gain and build reputation and self-esteem. This group is fame for criticizing local public services like health, education and environment without exception and without contributing any single bit of action. While in office, they’re busy remotely managing their special affairs and family issues under their second nationality countries or sometimes, they go to overseas seminars and workshops which mostly don’t add any value for their duties to the nation. After the time of their service finishes, they rapidly went back.

The final group in Diasporas that I am going to discuss and analyze in this paper is, individuals that perform non-professional jobs while in abroad like tax-drivers, remittance owners, clerks, unemployed etc. who don’t have needed background knowledge and experiences returned to the country to lead Somalia’s decision making offices. They have invalid documents like fake academic certificates, seminars participated and experiences except their passport. They see themselves as the most superior, priority one and the only one who has first preference when there are opportunities, victories or achievements. In contrary, when desired milestones not reached or there are faults in the work they blame other staff (locals) for incompetence. This group is the most danger one because of their ignorance and not willingness to develop themselves. Also they don’t listen advises from other colleagues. They have poor managerial behaviors and team working and tasks prioritizing. Furthermore, they’re similar in agendas for the first group and additionally, they don’t hide their feelings regarding insecurity and the death tolls caused by terrorist insurgents by clearly saying “our family are save and we will go back whenever we want”. This citation shows the level of disrespect and carelessness of suffering Somali society. Sometimes, when they’re socializing with other community members they exaggerate the importance of been dual citizenship person by giving extra value to their second nationality countries than home country which seems indirectly promoting illegal migration.

Last but not least, there are smart and robust enough persons from the diaspora that contributed Somalia’s peace building processes, political engagement, good governance improvement, humanitarian relief efforts, public services delivery and economic recovery that without them, the situation become even worse.

Finally, addressing issues discussed in this paper want the implementation of two scenarios. The first one is, modification of Somalia’s constitution to ban dual citizenship holders have the eligibility to run top offices like presidency, prime minister, been parliament speaker and even ministerial posts. This will enforce any diaspora who want to serve this country under these positions drop foreign passport before appearing as a candidate and additionally they will try to achieve tangible results toward their obligated responsibilities in order to live the country safely and have save heaven after the end of their term.

The second scenario is, to put in place clearance and verification procedures that all Somali diaspora must pass it before been candidate to a top political or decision making post. This will help distinguish individuals who have unbearable objectives from those who eager contributing their nation for greater goodness.

It is greatly advisable to ensure people’s capacity and capability before s/electing or nominating to proposed top level decision making post otherwise, the desired objectives will not be met if only holding foreign passports is the noble criteria.

by: Axmed Cabdi