Life after the transition period

“Nations with extractive political and economic institutions are likely to be poor, whereas those with inclusive institutions are likely to be rich.”

– Why Nations Fail

Finally the transitional period is over for us. We now have a legitimate government that has the blessings of our people and the international community.

We took new direction when our parliamentarians elected a president that was virtually unknown in the political circles of Somalia. His election is truly a major change for our country.

I say this, because this is the first time in a very long period that our people wherever they are in the world are truly feeling hopeful and optimistic about the future of our country. There is a real feeling that things will finally change for good in our country. There is the feeling that we have finally closed the dark chapter of the past 22 years.We are all feeling this way because we have recently seen real and concrete changes on all fronts in our country.

The first real change that we have experienced is that our people have realized after a long period that they just cannot keep backing groups who don’t have their interest at heart. And our honorable parliamentarians have reciprocated that feeling into action. They responded to our feelings and aspirations when they took the step of electing a president that was virtually unknown in the political circles of our country. Their action is truly a significant gesture. It means they have decided to cut the ties to the old groups who were running the affairs of our country. It means they have realized that our country needed to move forward and the only way they could do that was to once and for all change the old ways of doing things in our country.

However, the steps we have taken so far are great and they deserve to be hailed. But we have to remember that this is just the beginning. What lies ahead is the real challenge. As we all know our country has been in anarchy for quite a long time. Throughout that period, we have been living in a stateless country where there was no law and order. Our governmental and civil institutions were none existent because they had disappeared with the civil war.

The most critical step we need to take right now is to rebuild the institutions that will safeguard our people and our country. We need to build strong institutions that will ensure the integrity of any government that comes to rule the land. Without these institutions suspicions regarding the intentions of the government will always arise and people will not be able to trust their government. We will also not be able to achieve whatever we are trying to achieve as groups who want to destabilize our country and hamper our progress will always take advantage of the lack of transparent institutions that exist. That is why building these institutions are of utmost importance to our unity and survival as a nation.

One of the biggest problems the civil war period has created in our country is that there is little trust between some of the groups who are involved in the political and social process of our country. When the last government had collapsed everyone went back to their little towns and cities. Since there was no state that could rule the people and give protection, everyone gave their allegiance to tribes who in return looked after the interest of their own members.

We now have a government that is representative of all those tribes, but still the suspicion and mistrust that existed since the collapse of the last government still exists. I am sure anyone who is fully aware of the situation in our country knows this problem exists.

Therefore, we have to find a way to deal with this issue. One of the ways we can deal with this problem is to setup a transparent system that has checks and balances. In this way everything that goes in and out will be known and on top of that no group will be able to accuse the other without any verifiable evidence.

What we also need to build are institutions that are politically and economically inclusive. I believe if we do this then the playing fields will be leveled and all the stakeholders will be able to work together and have confidence in the system and the government.

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