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|USAID Official Says Somaliland Is A Good Place For Investment|
Hargeisa, Feb 14, 2004 (SL Times) – An official of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has described Somaliland as a good place for his organization to work and make investment in development.
Mr. Andrew B. Sisson, USAID’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, who was interviewed by the Somaliland Times shortly before his departure from Hargeisa last Monday, revealed that the US government was providing 25 million dollars a year in humanitarian aid for Somaliland and Somalia through USAID, in addition to 3 million dollars a year through the State Department.
Mr. Sisson arrived in Hargeisa last Sunday as the head of a USAID delegation that also included Mr. Flynn Fuller, office director for Burundi, Djibouti and Somalia programs and Ms Moria Berry, USAID Somalia unit.
The USAID delegation met with senior Somaliland government officials, as well as leaders of civil society and the private sector. The delegates also reviewed several programs run in Somaliland with the help of USAID assistance.
Mr. Sisson, who lauded Somaliland for achieving a lot since the end of the war in rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, houses and in building democracy. He said they “hope to do more in the future [in Somaliland]”, adding, “from what we have seen and heard from friends, we will encourage our policymakers in Washington to take even more interest in development assistance in Somaliland”.
Mr. Sisson explained that the major reason behind the remarkable increase in the US government’s economic assistance for Djibouti, was related to the role being played by Djibouti as a military base for US forces engaged in combating terrorism in the Horn of Africa. “The Djibouti government and people have become a major ally for the United States in the war on terror,” Mr Sisson asserted.
While stressing the priority that his government attaches to the war on terror, Mr. Sisson added, “we appreciate any assistance that we can get from your government and people.”
Mr. Flynn Fuller, who lived in Somalia during the 1980s said he was impressed to hear from minister of Commerce, Mohamed Hashi Elmi, that a little bit of technical assistance can go a long way and that Somaliland was not looking for a large amount of handouts but for a little bit of a assistance in its efforts for continued development and rebuilding. “I was also impressed to know from the minister that Somalilanders were now learning how to share resources of the country by coming together,” Mr. Fuller said.