THT-The Minister of Finance Development Dr. Saad Ali Shire is in Johannesburg attending the Solidarity Conference organized by the Somaliland Trade Office lobbying South Africa recognition of Representative of Somaliland a venue present coalition of SA political parties and business interests. The two-day meeting is attended by heavy-weight South African politicians including ministers.
Dr. Shire who spoke at the meeting presented Somaliland’s case for recognition and the fact that it has maintained peace and checked all boxes for statehood requirements with budding democracy and will soon become a major player in the continent’s trade and economics.
Emphasizing the connection between the Republic of Somaliland and South Africa, Minister Shire noted that Abdulrahim Abby Farah, a Somalilander, who served as Assistant Secretary-General for special political queries from 1973-78 and as Undersecretary-General from 1979-90, chaired the special committee against apartheid, and is credited with helping to secure the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990.
Solidarity Conference on Somaliland concluded in South Africa with a press communique on the agreements.
The Conference was held at The Venue Green Park, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa, from the 23th-24th of November 2020, attended members of civil society, political organizations and trade unions gathered in Sandton to discuss the issue of and the strengthening of the relations with the people of Somaliland.
The major Organizations which participated in the conference were the ANC, SACP, COSATU, NEHAWU, #Africa4Palestine, FOCUS, Communist Party of Swaziland, Communist Party of Zimbabwe, PUDEMO as well as academics, members of the media, opinion makers and others. The conference was addressed by amongst others, the Somaliland’s Minister of Finance Dr Saad Ali Shire, Ambassador of Somaliland Ahmed Jama Shir, South African intellectual Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay and the 1st Deputy General Secretary of the South African Communist Party Cde Solly Mapaila.
Somaliland is a successor state to the former British Somaliland protectorate. The country, located between Djibouti in the North, Ethiopia on the west and Somalia in the South, has been advancing its cause for international recognition in the last three decades.
The press release went thus:-
The African Union’s Charter and resolutions allow for the self-determination of Somaliland and the AU therefore should be recognizing and supporting the people and government of Somaliland. Furthermore, we call on SADC countries to, with immediate effect, re-establish and normalize relations with Somaliland. We specifically call on the South African government to reinstate full relations including allowing entry into our Republic of persons carrying Somaliland passports. It is shameful that South Africa has failed to continue recognizing the Somaliland passport given that other countries including the USA, UK, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and many others allow the passport to be used upon entry to their countries. Consequently we are failing the people of Somaliland who want to trade, study-in and travel to our country.
The conference adopted three primary goals:
The conference adopted three primary goals:
- Trade and Investment Conference for 2021
Southern African business as well relevant bodies within the public sector will be engaged in the coming months and a trade & investment conference will be held in the first quarter of 2021. The purpose would be to showcase business, trade and investment opportunities in Somaliland and the region. Such a conference will also seek to attract possible investment in South Africa by the visiting delegations.
- Political Engagement
A task team will be established to start engagements with the leadership of the Alliance and other progressive political parties with the intention of advancing certain issues with the Government of South Africa, the Southern African Development Community and eventually within the African Union and its Pan African Parliament.
- Establishment of Solidarity
The people of Somaliland have expressed the need to establish a solidarity movement in Southern Africa. Consequently, the conference has agreed to establish a Somaliland Action Group that will be responsible for creating further awareness in our communities. In addition, the Somaliland Action Group will actively increase people to people relations. The group will work with existing organizations that work on international solidarity such as Friends of Cuba Society (Focus), #Africa4Palestine, Western Sahara Solidarity Group, South African Solidarity Union for Venezuela (SASUVE) and the Swaziland Solidarity Network.
South Africa and Southern Africa has been at the forefront of both giving and receiving international solidarity, as the former President of Mozambique has explained: “Solidarity is an assertion that no people are alone, no people are isolated in the struggle for progress. Solidarity is the conscious alliance of the progressive and peace-loving revolutionary forces against exploitation of human by human. International solidarity is not an act of charity: it is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objectives. The foremost of these objectives is to assist in the development of humanity to the highest level possible.”
It is in this spirit of internationalism that we convened on and that we call all upon progressive organizations and peace loving peoples of our country, region and continent to mobilizing in support of the people of Somaliland and a more prosperous continent.