Is Somalia Poised for Economic Success?

Ali Sharif Ahmed

Dr. Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute has published a series of articles in the National Interest and other publications that seemed aimed to destabilize a concerted effort by the federal government of Somalia and its international allies to settle Somalia’s longstanding external debt. This would have doomed our nation.

In his essays, Dr. Rubin outright accuses Somalia of corruption and an unwillingness to fight terrorism. His allegations are reckless, designed to undermine the progress we have made with our international partners, particularly the United States.

We have heard these false stories before—peddled by our rivals, but rarely so amplified. We are grateful that our allies reject these claims, and instead rely upon actual facts.

In reality, Somalia has made considerable headway overcoming three decades of instability and strife. Over the last ten years, we have consolidated a viable federal government. In addition to Puntland and Somaliland, four more federal member states have been established. Three elections have resulted in the peaceful and legitimate transfer of power between three presidents. 

More importantly, Somalia, with crucial support from the United States and African Union, has significantly weakened Al-Shabaab’s ability to carry out terrorist activities across the country. Presently, the terrorist force is on the run, reduced to operating in remote areas, away from economic and political centers. 

The fight will continue until they are defeated, and the end is in sight. 

Recently, government forces secured five towns and, despite a December 28, 2019 attack in our capital, we have greatly diminished the frequent bombings that terrorized our people. Reforms in the security sector such as biometric registration of the military, far better training, and regular pay are helping us build professional armed forces. And we must, to take over responsibility for national security from the African Union Mission in Somalia. 

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