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Ministry of Information Spends 600,000 US Dollars to Fix a Decade Old Radio Station

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How Somalia is trying to Stifle Somaliland – US ties with an Online Troll and a pseudo-Charitable Organization

In February, June, and  August 2022, Mr. Okeke-Von Batten filed Lobby Disclosure Act...
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Somaliland Budget 2023: Glimpse of Hope and Ambiguity


Characteristically, before I look at the budget in detail, I must say a word or two about the definition of budget. Budget is a financial plan that states the objectives and goals of a government for a certain period of time; usually a year. In other words, it is the annual economic strategy but there are occasions when planning, instead of helpful, becomes harmful. Budgeting is a difficult and daunting process of estimating both revenue and outlays or expenditures during a specific period. Propounding a balanced budget with strong macro-economic and fiscal policy for a country with no de jure recognitions is prodigy. Lack of participation with the international economic system including the Brent Wood institutions is hampering Somaliland’s economic prospects. A national budget is the financial plan of a country. The government gets money from fees, taxes, and fines, and spends it on its national interests like national defense, security, infrastructure, grants for research, Education, social agendas such as social security and Medicare.

Somaliland Budget [i]2023 is 421.5 million dollars. The Central Government Budget is 298 million—making executive allocation to 71 percent. The parastatal agencies (like Hargeisa Water Agency, National Printing Agency, Central Bank and Berbera Fuel Depot) have 33 million, while the Local governments had a budget of 69 million. Moreover, the development investments such as World Bank projects, Somaliland Development Fund and Joint Programme for Local Governments are 21.5 million.

Local governments [ii]revenue has remarkedly improved from $43 Million to $69 Million for the last couple of years. It is an increase and upsurge of more than 50%. This has led major service delivery improvement.

The Minister of Finance Development presented the 2023 National budget to the House of Representatives in October 2022. Using budget data from the 2023 Financial Year, I will make a number of analyses regarding the budget source of revenues, allocations, mismatches, and budget priorities. This will allow us to understand how the 2023 Government Budget allocations differ from the National Development Plan II which has ended on 2021 and realities on the ground.

The best practice for budget measuring contains no more than the following 8 steps: Pre-budget Statement, Executive Budget Proposal, Enacted Budget, Citizens Budget in year report, mid-year review, year-end reports as well as Auditors Report. However, to the dismay of many citizens hardly five of the above-mentioned items exist; even though those are shrouded with secrecy while public participation has augmented distinctly and with little details and unfortunately at least three of these eight steps does not exist, at all.

The 2023 budget and its format are markedly different from last decade not as format uniquely but substance as well. Under the leadership of the acclaimed economist, the finance ministry has taken baby steps of reform. The ministry produced Macroeconomic and Fiscal framework, Medium-term Budget framework and budget outlook paper. Tax identification numbers has markedly increased from a few hundred to over 30,000. The number of regulatory frameworks has been introduced, to some extent the information management system has been implemented, staff training, and development has been prioritized which further facilitated streamlining data and production of quarterly economic performance bulleting was the icing on the cake. This has facilitated timely production of pertinent and reliable data in a consistent manner.

This budget is 5% higher than the last 2022 budget, with the forecasted 5% to 10% growth for a coming couple of years; 2025 will be historic year for Somaliland, domestic revenue will surpass  or to be close to [iii]500 million dollars coupled with the recently completed  Berbera port expansion and Ethiopia’s much anticipated and projected to shift certain % of its import handling to be channeled through Berbera port will have a multiplying effect on the revenue.  Donor funded projects are 20% unlike Somalia with the direct [iv]budgetary support and donor project funded are approximately 70% its budget.

Despite having a 421.5-million-dollar budget, only 24.5 million has been allocated the paramount portfolio of Education Ministry which is only no more than 8.2% of the overall budget. Currently, we are lowest  in terms of Gross enrollment Rate in the region approximately 43% of primary grade 1 Gross Intake Rate while Kenya whose Gross enrollment Rate surpassed 109% in 2015 coupled with 105% completion rate of primary schools with further close to 90% transition rate from Primary to secondary heavily invests Education in 4.4 Billion dollars but our inconsequential allocation for this overriding portfolio is hindering not only the current development endeavors but as well future generations.

From 2018 to 2023 Education Ministry Budget has increased from14 Million to 24.4 Million USD which is 43% upsurge. But it is not adequate, huge investment is required in order to enable the Education Ministry to increase enrollment progressively and steadily. Currently, 8.2% of the 2023 Budget has been allocated but at least 12% to 15% of the budget is required to be directed to paramount and supreme Ministry of education.

The health sector is not in any better shape under the current 2023 budget. For example, 14 million dollars has been allocated a country with the highest child and infant mortality and coupled with the high maternal mortality rate h approximately 396[v] per 100,000 (it is too insignificant such a small amount). Education and Health in total have been allocated 38.5 million dollars which is a fraction of $7.7 dollars per person. Lack of heavy investment for the social services will critically diminish any future economic growth as half of our population lack both basic education opportunities and basic health facilities. A country which is not heavily investing in education and knowledge production will never reach self-sufficiency and its governance will not produce the desired outcomes.

In 20 years from 2000 to 2020: [vi]The global annual number of maternal deaths also fell significantly throughout this period, from 447 000 to 287 000, a decrease of more than a third. We need to come copying strategy for the Southern African Countries which has done tremendous and marvelous work decreasing maternal deaths and child mortality rate.

The much-touted public finance reform which has been in action for the last 12 years has shown limited early triumphs; all the 11 modules of the information management systems have been implemented with different levels of implementation stage. The asset register has so far captured cumulative amount of several Billion USD equivalent assets. Yearly reconciliation has been made International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) systems, while International Financial Reporting Standards (IFR) has been implemented. Information management system widely known IFMAS has been incorporated for numerous local governments but; much work remains to be done for the coming years in order reach institutions with sufficient capability and highly skilled workforce which can deliver necessary and obligator under the connotationally mandated segregated work.

Revenue has improved relatively for the last 5 years; thus far, the customs dominate 75% while inland revenue has reached 22% and the rest is 3%. In addition to that, few lines are contributing while others are hardly progressing or rolling. Most of the business tycoons are hardly paying profit tax; so, the profit corporate tax has made little improvement. Unlike the Goods and services tax which has shown dramatic headway but still the Telecom and Electric sectors are reluctant and disinclined to implement the required 5% GTS and to open their systems for the finance Ministry regulatory oversight. Increasing and widening the tax base requires robust systems and obligatory laws.

Finally, Somaliland required to dedicate significant political capital and immense investment for the Civil service reform. The World Bank funded project with name of reform will not make an iota of reform. Time is now to reform the current bloated civil servant at some institutions while others are lacking the required number. Skill must match on locations. After through assessment, adequate pay scales is required in order to reach efficient wage, otherwise it will end up, as the old Soviet joke; “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work”.

[i] Somaliland Budget book

[ii] Somaliland budget books for 2021, 2022 and 2023

[iii] Budget outlook paper 2022-2024

[iv] Somalia Budget 2023

[v] Somaliland Health and Demographic Survey (SLHDS 2020)

[vi] Trends in Maternal Mortality

About the Author

Yassin Abdillahi Ahmed is Finance specialist; currently pursuing MBA at Heriot-Watt University

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints of Somaliland Chronicle, and its staff. 

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Taiwan needs WHO, WHO also needs Taiwan

By Ambassador Allen C. Lou
Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan effectively mitigated the spread of the disease, leveraging its comprehensive public healthcare system, well-trained anti-pandemic personnel, and epidemiological surveillance, investigation, and analysis systems.

Moreover, Taiwan fully supports health-related SDGs and the World Health Organization (WHO)’s targets. Taiwan is willing and able to share its experiences with others to create an innovative health approach that positions the international community working toward the realization of health-related SDGs. The efforts of improving overall health standards are shown in many of our joint efforts with our like-minded partners.

Taiwan is willing to share Anti-COVID success with the World

Taiwanese people have played a pivotal role in the success of Taiwan’s anti-pandemic model. When compared with the 38 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development member states, Taiwan ranks sixth-lowest in COVID-19 mortality and case-fatality rates. Taiwan also ranks fourth-highest for coverage rates of at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and third-highest in terms of vaccine boosters administered. None of the data justifies Taiwan’s exclusion from WHO activities.

Taiwan Model in the East Africa – Awaiting to be Explored
Since the establishment of Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland in 2020, healthcare cooperation has long been the flagship cooperation between Taiwan and Somaliland. Health Information System Project (HIS), Maternal and Infant Health Improvement Project, and Dispatchment of Taiwan Medical Mission are implemented. The Taiwan Model of Healthcare Cooperation is combined with software (capacity building and technology transfer) and hardware (follow the priorities and match counterpart’s needs).To assist Somaliland government to combat COVID-19, Taiwan has also shared Taiwan-made vaccines (Medigen), Taiwan-made high-quality medical materials, showing just how Taiwan is actively contributing to the health-related causes of WHO. Although positioned in Somaliland, Taiwan is willing to explore cooperation in the East Africa.

Let Taiwan In and Let World In

Taiwan has not been invited to the World Health Assembly since 2017. Now Taiwan is still seeking to join WHA as an observer and meaningful participation on the WHO activities. To contribute more to the World, Taiwan needs World’s support. Taiwan believes that “no healthcare cause should ever be politized or weaponized”. Taiwan also firmly believes that “Healthcare, sympathy and empathy transcend borders”. Taiwan has the will and ability to contribute more to the World.

As countries work together to build sustainable healthcare development in the post-pandemic era, WHO and all relevant stakeholders should support the inclusion of Taiwan in the World Health Assembly to meaningfully participate in WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities.

Taiwan has been and will continue to work with the world to help ensure the fundamental right to health enshrined in the WHO Constitution are put into practice. In the spirit of the SDGs, Taiwan wishes to bring positive contributions to global public health. Only by fostering an inclusive culture will we be able to have sustainable health development.

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed—Care and empathy from Taiwan Government and People


News Release

Since Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland established in August 2020, the “Maternal and Infant Health Care Improvement” and “Health Information Management Efficiency Enhancement” projects play key roles of health cooperation. To further deepen and broaden the “Taiwan Model” cooperation, Taiwan and Somaliland Governments signed the “Medical Cooperation Agreement” for dispatching the Taiwan Medical Mission to Somaliland.

The Taiwan Medical Mission is not only working on capacity-building, also providing medical equipment and items based on Somaliland’s prioritized needs. In response to the Laas Anod conflict and humanitarian needs, Taiwan then accordingly provides trauma kits and other medical equipment as well as wheelchairs for our Somaliland brothers and sisters.

We all agree that peace and stability are the basis for all cooperation. We believe “Peace and Health both can increase human welfare”.  A friend in need is a friend indeed. Sharing makes Taiwan and Somaliland getting closer.

“Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping”. Taiwan will keep deepening “Mutual Benefit for Mutual Assistance” relations with Somaliland and to share with the East African countries.

Sustainable Health Development in Post-Pandemic Era


By: Dr. Hsueh Jui-yuan
Minister of Health and Welfare
Republic of China (Taiwan)

As the world enters the fourth year of the COVID-19 pandemic, most border restrictions have been lifted and global health governance has shifted from pandemic response to post-pandemic recovery. Countries have stepped up efforts to achieve health and well-being for all and further the realization of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) whose progress was impacted by the pandemic.

Taiwan fully supports health-related SDGs and the World Health Organization (WHO)’s triple billion targets. Indeed, Taiwan is committed to building a more resilient and equitable health service supply chain, maintaining an inclusive and equitable universal health coverage system, and providing disease prevention and management through a robust primary healthcare system. Taiwan is willing and able to share its experience in creating a cross-sectoral, innovative, and people-centered health approach to help the international community work toward the realization of the SDGs related to health and well-being.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan effectively mitigated the spread of the disease, leveraging its comprehensive public healthcare system, anti-pandemic personnel, and epidemiological surveillance, investigation, and analysis systems. Taiwan’s anti-pandemic response model included advance deployment and rapid response mechanisms. Other measures included border control policies, coordinated distribution of medical resources, and a patient-transfer system to prevent and contain the pandemic at a time when vaccines and antiviral drugs were unavailable.

Anti-COVID Success

Taiwanese people have played a pivotal role in the success of Taiwan’s anti-pandemic model by wearing masks, practicing social distancing, avoiding crowded areas, following quarantine regulations, and getting vaccinated. When compared with the 38 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development member states and Singapore, Taiwan ranks sixth-lowest in COVID-19 mortality and case-fatality rates. Taiwan also ranks fourth-highest for coverage rates of at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and third-highest in terms of vaccine boosters administered.

Promoting Health for all

Last year, WHO’s Director-General outlined five priorities for the subsequent five years, which are promoting health, providing health services, protecting health, powering progress, and performing. Moreover, WHO’s Achieving well-being: A draft global framework for integrating well-being into public health utilizing a health promotion approach further demonstrates its commitment to health for all.

Taiwan established a universal healthcare insurance system in 1995. Since that time, the government has continued to provide disease prevention and healthcare services so that people of all ages can enjoy the right to health. Taiwan provides prenatal checkups, gestational diabetes screening, anemia testing, and three ultrasound examinations to reduce pregnancy risks and promote maternal and infant health. To assist infertile couples and reduce the financial burdens of in-vitro fertilization, the government has continued to expand subsidized infertility treatment programs. Taiwan also aims to create a breastfeeding-friendly environment and provide preventive pediatric healthcare and health education. Furthermore, Taiwan has established a number of prevention and management programs for noncommunicable diseases by targeting chronic metabolic diseases assist at-risk groups, providing services such as diet and exercise guidance as well as smoking and betel nut cessation information to empower people to take control of their own health. Taiwan also supports the global fight against cancer and WHO’s goal of reducing cancer mortality 25 percent by 2025.

Innovative technology and universal health coverage

Taiwan’s National Health Insurance (NHI) is a prime example of universal health coverage, offering financial protection and access to a wide range of essential services. The COVID-19 pandemic helped the international community recognize the importance of regional cooperation and digitization in healthcare. Taiwan is committed to promoting digital health and innovation to enhance the accessibility and quality of healthcare services, including plans for a next-generation NHI program. Taiwan has introduced innovative healthcare services, utilizing real-time telehealth consultations for patients residing in remote areas and outlying islands, and is exploring applications for artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. During the pandemic, Taiwan issued 13 export licenses for its herbal formula NRICM101 (Taiwan Chingguan Yihau) to help countries in the region combat the pandemic. Taiwan is currently implementing preventive measures for the post-pandemic era, such as strengthening the domestic production of critical drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients to avert future drug shortages. Understanding how important it is to work with the international community, Taiwan will further share innovative technologies and best practices with partners around the world to advance universal health coverage.

Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping

Taiwan has not been invited to the World Health Assembly since 2017. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is abating and dialogue on strengthening health systems worldwide is accelerating, Taiwan should not be left out. Taiwan can help, and Taiwan’s inclusion would make the world healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable.

Support Taiwan’s Full Participation in WHO

Taiwan urges WHO and all relevant stakeholders to support Taiwan’s inclusion in the World Health Assembly as an observer, as well as Taiwan’s full participation in WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities. Taiwan will continue to work with the world to help ensure the fundamental right to health enshrined in the WHO Constitution. In the spirit of the SDGs, no country should be left behind—especially not Taiwan, which has made significant contributions to global public health.

Distinguishing Truth from Myth: Exposing the Falsehood of Plastic Rice Claims


A letter to the Somaliland Public

Authors: Eng. Abdirashiid Muhumed and Eng. Maxamed M. Jibril

We have been tempted to write about rumors as a powerful political weapon and a means of spreading disinformation “fake news”. Despite a lack of evidence or proof, rumors can still be influential and create a strong sense of conviction and “chaos” that cannot be easily ignored. One recent case is the myth of plastic rice of Chinese origin in Somaliland that circulated like wildfire on social media and was uncritically disseminated by media outlets. Although less dramatic, this “hoax” has demonstrated the power of social media content creators who spread rumors for political gain and increased viewership.

It is hard to believe that there is some kind of plastic rice being marketed instead of natural rice grains. It is highly unlikely that synthetic resin mixed with cornstarch and shaped into millions of grains of rice, and then transported from China to Africa, would produce rice at a lower cost than producing conventional rice in China. Credible sources, including food safety authorities, health organizations, and reputable news outlets, have debunked the myth of plastic rice. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that there is no evidence to suggest that plastic rice is a real phenomenon. Similarly, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted tests on various samples of rice and found no evidence of plastic contamination. Additionally, major news outlets such as BBC News and The Guardian have reported on the myth of plastic rice and have cited expert opinions and scientific evidence to refute it.

The origins of the plastic rice myth can be traced back to China in 2011, where images and videos of rice appearing to be made of plastic were circulating online. This created widespread panic among consumers who began to question the safety of their food. Similar rumors soon spread to other countries, including India, the Philippines, Nigeria, and Gabon, generating a wave of media coverage on the subject.

Despite widespread fear and panic, multiple studies and investigations have found no evidence for the existence of plastic rice. In fact, the rumors appear to be based on urban legends and conspiracy theories rather than factual evidence. Rice is subject to strict safety and quality standards, and it is a complex product that cannot be easily replaced with plastic. Rice is made up of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and other nutrients that are essential for human health. Plastic, on the other hand, is a synthetic material made from petrochemicals that has no nutritional value and cannot be processed by the human body.

Somaliland imports all its rice from mainly Asian countries and its staple food for Somalilanders, and despite the rumors, there is no single evidence from the local citizens or government authorities regarding the plastic rice being consumed or sold in the Somaliland market. The myth of plastic rice is nothing more than a hoax. As always, it is important for the Somaliland government to strengthen the capacity of its food safety institutions to ensure that food is safe and healthy and, more importantly, food-related information is credible and reliable.

*The aim of the article is not to encourage consumption but rather to clarify to the public the misconception the caused by rumors about plastic. 

About the Authors

Eng. Abdirashiid Muhumed teaches Environmental Sustainability at Barwaaqo University, an independent follower of World politics. Engineering of Agricultural Science and Entrepreneurship From EARTH University, Costa Rica.

Eng. Maxamed M. Jibril is a dedicated professional with a passion for sustainable food production and social responsibility. Currently pursuing an MSc in International Land and Water Management at Wageningen University & Research. Engineer Jibril has previously worked in the Somaliland sector of agricultural development and food security.

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints of Somaliland Chronicle, and its staff. 

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Notice: This is an article by Somaliland Chronicle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Under this license, all reprints and non-commercial distribution of this work is permitted.

Dialogue into Oblivion: Is Somaliland Sleepwalking into a Re-union with Somalia?


If you are the sensitive type that is allergic to inconvenient and harsh reality checks, you should probably stop reading, our intention is not to upset your delicate sensibility, instead we want to objectively examine and look at the underbelly of the Somaliland – Somalia talks and how it has been the biggest obstacle to Somaliland’s quest for recognition and independence. If you have read this far, you are curiously skeptical of a new perspective on this dead horse of a subject. Trust us there is…

Let’s agree to disagree but we believe that Somalia has already won its main objective in the supposed dialogue with Somaliland. There are a lot of misconceptions about the nature of the talks and why we should participate in them in the first place, for instance, some think that Somalia is trying to convince Somaliland to rejoin the union or from the perspective of many Somalilanders, Somaliland must convince Somalia to ‘agree’ that it indeed deserves its independence and be the first country to recognize it, that could not be further from the truth and anyone who believes this needs their head examined. What Somalia is doing is simply show the world that Somaliland is not serious about its independence and that its leadership care more about aid funds and are holding out for a better deal. Deceptively brilliant and it is working because you see, we are being lectured by the Swedish Embassy in Somalia on election and security.

Because of the flaw in the basic premise of talking to Somalia, starting with the fact that it makes no sense to talk to a country that has been willing to strangle Somaliland in the crib since its rebirth of the horrific genocide perpetrated by the murderous dictatorship of Siad Barre, which it has prioritized over putting out the many fires that has been engulfing it for years, and that Somaliland has never understood the actual cost of the talks or the fact that those entrusted to negotiate on its behalf came back grinning like idiots and with a straight face broke the news they have signed over the control of our airspace to Somalia.

Although President Bihi did not start the talks with Somalia, he is equally complicit in perpetrating this monstrous lie and with his autocratic tendency of not caring about anyone’s view on any subject coupled with lack of any dissenting voice from his circle, he may be slowly sleepwalking Somaliland into a union with the very country that is attacking it in Lasanod. It is a lot, but before you blow a gasket, remember that that President Bihi has fully endorsed Hassan Sh Mohamoud’s Envoy to Somaliland Affairs immediately and has reciprocated by reappointing our brilliant Edna to represent us in talks with Somalia, despite recently declaring the talks dead and that Somaliland will no longer participate in such shenanigans unless a specific set of preconditions were met.

Lets address the elephant in the room that Somaliland is facing an existential war in its eastern flank where brave men and women are dying to uphold their sacred duty to defend the homeland against all enemies foreign and domestic. Our Command-in-Chief, President Bihi, has failed to hold Hassan Sh Mohamoud and Somalia accountable and has not uttered a word of protest to the world to get Somalia to stop the flow of arms and fighters from the Somali National Army to Lasanod where supposedly decorated and highly trained officers have met their maker at the hands of our brave military.

Through his multiple admissions, the Somali President, Hassan Sh Mahamoud, a diet version of Farmajo perhaps but despite the smile is just as antagonistic and hostile towards Somaliland and its independence. He has unequivocally stated that Somaliland cannot be independent and that Somalia will not disintegrate on his watch. The NGO-drones turned public servants in Somaliland view HSM different as he pledged not to disrupt aid to Somaliland and perhaps this makes him likeable in some circles but as far as anyone with an ounce of brains is concerned, Somalia’s stance has remained consistent and has demonstrated the will and resolve to achieve the goal of bringing Somaliland into its fold by any means necessary, including waging war using its proxies in Lasanod.

The damage is already done, and re-appointing Edna to lead the Somaliland – Somalia talks is utterly pointless. Somalia’s goal is to simply demonstrate that Somaliland is at the negotiating table, and is willing to talk and perhaps one day will rejoin Somalia. Keeping Somaliland at the negotiating table is a brilliant tactic and another level of ‘Ila Meerayso’ and we have been willfully falling for it for years.

In hindsight, during his election campaign, President Bihi has sold an image of a hardliner who will never compromise Somaliland’s independence and sovereignty while labelling his opponents from Waddani pro-Somalia, we are not here to relitigate that but the reality is that President Bihi has has not been good to Somaliland and failed the most basic of his sacred oath and duty as a leader and has continued the trend of distorting the line between Somaliland and Somalia much more than his predecessor.

Engaging in any form of dialogue with Somalia is futile unless Somaliland can come to a consensus on what they hope to gain from these discussions and have leaders who will not compromise their sovereignty. It is an act of betrayal to our nation and a disrespect to the sacrifice of our courageous young soldiers who are fighting to defend their homeland, to sit down with the enemy and continue on this perilous path. By allowing Somalia to take the lead with minimal opposition and compliance from Somaliland’s political leaders, we are permitting Somalia to triumph.

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Court Injunction Seeks to Block Reporters Social Media Accounts to Curb Incitement of Violence and Propaganda


A court injunction issued in mid-January 2023 and seen by Somaliland Chronicle seeks to curb the reach of a few journalists accused of incitement or violence and propaganda and has ordered telecom operators in Somaliland to block the social media accounts of nine journalists and media outlets for spreading fake news and incitement of violence.

According to the court order issued by the District Court of Marodijeh, the Somaliland government is seeking to block access to the social media accounts, including Facebook, youtube, and Twitter accounts of Mr. Abdirisak Terra, Miss Busharo Baanday, Mr. Mohamed Yusuf Bakayle, Abdisalam Germany and others.

Some of the reporters that the Somaliland government seeks to block their reach in Somaliland have broadcast news, interviews, and articles related to the ongoing crisis in Lasanod, where they have accused the Somaliland government of committing genocide and have sought to amplify the message of the unionist elders who have pledged their allegiance to Somalia and have vowed to wage war against the Republic of Somaliland until it withdraws from what they called their ancestral lands. In some instances, these journalists have published propaganda aimed at sowing discord in Somaliland and demoralizing Somaliland’s armed forces.

Although the Somaliland government’s record on free speech and freedom of the press has been less than stellar, especially under President Bihi, many countries, including France, Canada, Germany, and the United States, where freedom of expression and media is the cornerstone of their democracies have enacted laws to combat disinformation and incitement of violence.

It is unclear if Somaliland’s telecom companies will comply with the court’s injunction which was issued three months ago, and if there are ongoing discussions between the Ministry of Telecommunication and Technology and the telecom operators on the subject. Somaliland government exerts little to no influence on telecom companies which are subsidiaries of the largest banks in Somaliland.

Efforts to reach telecom operators and the Ministry of Telecommunication and Technology for clarification on the court injunction were unsuccessful.

Navigating the Uncertainties of the New Political Economy War: How Developing Nations Can Empower Themselves.


As the world’s biggest economies continue to battle for economic supremacy, developing countries have become increasingly vulnerable. The so-called “new political economy war” between the United States and China, and Russia, has created an uncertain environment in which many developing nations are forced to choose sides or risk being left behind.

The new trade policies of these rich countries often prioritize their own interests over those of less developed nations. For example, US tariffs on Chinese goods have had a devastating effect on many African exporters who rely heavily on Chinese imports for parts and materials that they can no longer access due to increasing costs imposed by Washington. Similarly, rising tensions between Moscow and Washington have seen Russian sanctions hit some of its former Soviet neighbors such as Belarus hard economically—a situation made worse by China’s refusal to step in with aid or investment.

This is not just an economic issue; it also has far reached implications for global security and human rights. With many developing countries reliant upon foreign investments from powerful states like China and the US for development projects such as infrastructure or energy sources, there is a danger that this reliance could be used to manipulate them into taking sides in geopolitical disputes or accepting unfavorable terms when making deals with large investors. This could leave them open to exploitation both financially and politically while simultaneously limiting their ability to pursue independent paths towards long-term prosperity without fear of retribution from larger powers.

Meanwhile, much needed international aid programs designed specifically for poorer nations may struggle if resources are diverted away from them towards more urgent matters related directly to the ongoing conflict among major players—such as military spending or diplomatic initiatives intended solely at bolstering one side over another—at the expense of those most affected by poverty across regions like Sub-Saharan Africa where aid remains essential for progress against endemic maladies like HIV/AIDS . In light of all this uncertainty facing developing countries caused by this new political economy war amongst rich nations, we must recognize that ultimately only they themselves can shape their own future .

The new political economy war between the US and its major rivals has created a situation in which developing countries are increasingly vulnerable. In order to ensure their own future prosperity, these nations must take measures to empower themselves through increased autonomy, better governance systems, improved education opportunities and other initiatives that foster entrepreneurship and innovation. Only then can they stand up against attempts at manipulation from outside forces while still having enough leverage within regional dynamics to secure equitable deals with richer partners.

One economic policy solution for developing nations to survive economically amidst this war is to invest in their own people and infrastructure. This could include increasing access to quality education, providing incentives for entrepreneurship and innovation, promoting sustainable agriculture and energy production, investing in local infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges, reforming government regulations that hinder business development, improving tax systems to ensure they are fair and equitable, establishing financial institutions that promote economic growth through responsible lending practices, creating trade agreements with other countries outside of the power dynamics of the major players involved in the new political economy war , implementing tariffs on goods imported from those countries who have imposed sanctions or otherwise hindered international trade with them , among many others. By taking these actions, developing countries can become more self-sufficient while also positioning themselves to take advantage of any opportunities which arise due to changes in the geopolitical landscape.

 The African Union and the World Trade Organization could take several steps to help African countries in this case. Firstly, they could provide technical assistance to help strengthen the capacity of governments in Africa to develop their own economic policies that are tailored to their respective countries’ needs. This includes providing expertise on trade negotiations and dispute resolution, as well as helping them design effective social safety nets for vulnerable populations.

 Second, the AU and WTO could work together to promote regional integration by encouraging free trade agreements between African nations or through establishing common tariffs for imports from outside of Africa. This would give African nations greater bargaining power when negotiating with foreign investors or trading partners such as China or Russia who have become increasingly influential in the region.

Finally, both organizations should also advocate for fairer international rules around investment flows into developing countries so that those funds are used responsibly and do not lead to exploitation or environmental degradation. They should also look at ways of increasing access to affordable finance options for small businesses in Africa so that local entrepreneurs can benefit from global markets without having to rely on large multinationals who may seek unfair advantages over them due competition laws within certain countries like the US.

To do so successfully will require greater fiscal autonomy, stronger institutions, better governance systems, improved education opportunities alongside other measures which foster entrepreneurship, innovation & investment within local communities —all things which empower citizens rather than leaving them dependent upon external assistance. Only then will these states be able stand up against any attempts at manipulation & coercion from outside forces while still having enough leverage within regional dynamics (through collective action) to ensure they remain adequately represented & protected during negotiations with wealthier partners.

*** **** ***

NB: This article by Dani Rodrik has inspired me to write an op-ed about the new political economy war and how developing nations can empower themselves.

Project Syndicate. (2023, April). The New Rich-Country Trade Policies: Developing World Must Shape Its Own Future.


Sayidcali Ismail AhmedSayidcali Ahmed is a MasterCard Foundation’19 scholar currently studying at Westminster College (USA), double majoring in Political Science and Global and Transnational Studies. He works for the senate of the Student Government Association and as a treasurer of the Global Development and Progress Club. Ahmed also serves as a resident advisor and Math tutor. In addition, Ahmed is a fellow of The Public Policy & International Affairs Program at Princeton University. After graduating from Westminster College, Ahmed plans to pursue a career in public policy, especially in Education Policy and Analysis (EPA), to participate in policy development, research, analysis, and organizational leadership in developing countries and worldwide.

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints of Somaliland Chronicle, and its staff. 

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The Republic of Somaliland Reaffirms its Solidarity with Taiwan and Condemns China’s Actions In the Taiwan Strait


In a statement on social media, Somaliland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation condemned China’s military drills in the Taiwan Strait as breaking the status quo and that the Republic of Somaliland stands strong with Taiwan and fellow democracies.

The statement is a response to China’s latest tantrums in the form of a military exercise in the Taiwan Strait following Taiwanese President’s Tsai Ing-wen visit to the United States and meeting with US officials, including the Speaker of the House Representative Kevin McCarty.

In addition, a bipartisan congressional delegation visited Taiwan a day after Tsai and McCarty ignored China’s warning against such meetings. In late July 2022, the People’s Republic of China announced “live-fire exercises” in response to a visit by the former Speaker of the House Representative Nancy Pelosi to Taipei.

Although President Biden has explicitly stated that the United States will defend Taiwan, the United States has maintained a policy of strategic ambiguity with respect to defending Taiwan against Chinese invasion for several decades. And one key aspect of U.S. strategic ambiguity about Taiwan is its refusal to explicitly state whether it would come to Taiwan’s defense in the event of an armed conflict with China. The U.S. has deliberately kept its commitments vague, stating that it would “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means of grave concern” and that its policy is “based on the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.” This ambiguity is meant to deter China from using force against Taiwan while also providing the U.S. with flexibility in responding to evolving circumstances.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 21: President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky holds an American flag gifted to him by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as he addresses a joint meeting of Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol on December 21, 2022 in Washington, DC. In his first known trip outside of Ukraine since Russia invaded, Zelensky met with U.S. President Joe Biden and outlined Ukraine’s request for continued military aid. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Despite increasing rhetoric and military drills in response to Taiwan’s diplomatic moves, it is unclear if China’s calculus of taking Taiwan by force, with its limited expertise in the projection of power outside its borders, is tenable given the misfortunes of Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.

The Chairman of the Opposition party of Waddani, Mr. Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi “Cirro” and Presidential contender, has in the past questioned the value of picking Taiwan over China despite the fundamental incompatibility of the latter with Somaliland’s quest for international recognition. 

Somaliland has rebuffed multiple attempt by Communist China to woo it away from Taiwan with promise of economic package and its own version of bilateral ties.

Somaliland and Taiwan established diplomatic relations in July 2020, with the signing of milestone Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Taipei. The MOU established diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties between the two territories, including the exchange of ambassadors and the establishment of representative offices. The decision to establish diplomatic relations was based on their shared values of democracy, freedom, and the pursuit of self-determination, as well as their desire to expand international partnerships and cooperation.

Both China and Somalia have strongly condemned the establishment of bilateral ties between what they consider part of their respective countries and have reaffirmed each other’s unwavering support for the territorial integrity of One Somalia and One China.

The first Somaliland Health Information System at Hargeisa Group Hospital launched


The Somaliland Health Information System (Somaliland HIS) officially launched at Hargeisa Group Hospital in March 2023. This system was developed by Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) together with Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital(KMUH). It marks a milestone in the digitalization of healthcare system in Somaliland.

The system was customized according to the needs of Somaliland and has a simple and user-friendly interface. Hospital staff who used the system for the first time were able to learn how to use it within 30 minutes. Additionally, after registration, patients will receive a personal health card which can be used for medical treatment at different hospitals. Medical records can also be accessed across different hospitals in the future. The system will also upload medical records to the Ministry of Health Development for decision making. For expanding Somaliland HIS network, this system will also be implemented at the other hospitals in the near future.

A friend in need is a friend indeed. Taiwan is willing to deepen “Mutual Benefit and Mutual Assistance” cooperation with Somaliland and other countries in East Africa to benefit the peoples.