Wednesday May 11, 2022
Somalia Debates courageously embarked on advancing a new chapter in Somali politics, namely attempting to organise Somalia’s first Presidential Debates in the 2022 election cycle. Our thematic agenda, which is anchored around Road to Democracy, is a genuine initiative to help change attitudes, and expectations, paving the way for democratic transition in Somalia. This is where the future lies for Somalia’s political success and prosperity. We remain focused on these noble objectives.
Somalia Debates admits the adventure was a bumpy ride, culminating in a series of steps to undermine and stop our efforts for the past four months. Competing interests, both political and personal, made a negotiated settlement on underdevelopment at the cost of the many. SD came over several bureaucratic and coordinated obstacles, to the last minute, on the morning of the debates being prevented from entering the venue (Afizoni) of the debates without accurate formal information or communication. Somalia does not just have a terrorism problem – but a corrosive network that is hindering Somalia’s development structurally and socially. The task of reforming these attitudes, often fueled by poverty, must also be a priority for all.
We want to take the opportunity to thank the public and candidates for welcoming our initiative. In addition, we would like to give special mention to UN Somalia, Hormuud and the National Democratic Institute for taking us on their wings and bringing this initiative this far with their support, leadership, guidance, expertise and unwavering commitment to helping take Somalia ford-ward. Moving the goalpost towards open politics and democracy is a worthy and necessary cause for Somalia. On the same note, we pay special appreciation to our delivery partners, namely Dalsan TV, Universal TV, Hiraan Online, Horn Connect, logistics teams and lobbyists, for opening doors and believing in our worthy cause for the national interest.
This experience was a strong learning curve to build on. We now see the enormity of the task ahead. We remain focused on enhancing our politics in the coming months and years. We will now re-double our efforts to continue the Road to Democracy agenda. We owe it to Somalia’s future.