With the completion of a gruelling presidential election in my country Somalia, 2017 might be the most defining moment in our history as a country. After the election process, Mr. Mohamed Farmajo, the US trained stunned both friend and foe by capturing the presidency in the most impressive and peaceful victory like in no any other presidential race in the history of Somalia two weeks ago. Indeed, it is stark clear that the majority of Somalis have given the clearest signal to our parliamentarians to take back the control of Mogadishu.
As a former Ambassador of Somalia to Burundi and former Presidential candidate in the just ended elections, I traversed large swathes of Somalia and met with many people across the land during my campaigns. I observed very heated debates in the country and appreciated how people felt very sincerely and strongly about the issues they hold so dear in our country. Obviously, there are disappointments felt by those for whom the results did not go the way they had hoped and that is the nature of democratic systems anywhere in the world.
Be that as it may, no one in Somalia can deny that the election of President Farmajo captured the collective mood, ambition and the eternal will of the Somali people, including those in the Diaspora. I
believe now more than ever before, that now is the time to move forward together as a nation and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead. I am further pleased that these are the exact sentiments that
President Farmajo underscored in his victory speech.
He signalled from the onset that his presidency will mark a new turning point for Somalia and reiterated his deep resolve not to tolerate administrative corruption in his new government, the main cancer that has ravaged past Somalia administrations.
For our country to develop, it needs to build its economy and this can only be done by slaying the dragon of corruption, creating a climate of peace and security, increasing revenue base, and attracting investors locally and internationally. This victory offers an opportunity for Mr. Farmajo to safeguard the sovereignty of Somalia and bring in 21 century technocrats to the cabinet to rebuild our broken national institutions.
People of Somalia are asking for direction and focused leadership. They want their children to go to public schools, have jobs and pay good salary to our armed forces and public servants. The new President will need the International community’s support to the tune of at least $ 25 Billion over the next four years to deliver on building economic infrastructures, security, schools, hospitals, and important institutions in Somalia.
These are challenging times, and resources are stretched. But the International community must understand that this is a down payment to global security – because peace and security is shared goals for all of us. There will be difficult days and the road ahead will be long for Somalia. The single greatest threat to the future Somalia and beloved continent comes from Al Shabab and their extremist allies and that is why the international community must stand firmly with President Farmajo’s leadership to root out terrorism and build result oriented intuitions in Somalia.
Abshir Xasan Abshir is a former Ambassador and Member of Parliament,
Former Presidential Candidate of Somalia.