“What I have seen in Somaliland is an efficiently functioning society…., A
lot of other countries in Africa can learn from Somaliland...” Francis Kornegay
Hargeisa, Somaliland August 7, 2004 (SL-Times) – An international 2-day
conference on peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa was
successfully concluded in Hargeisa on Monday.
Organized by the African Renaissance Centre of Social Science Research,
Media and Deveolopment (ARECSMED), the conference was the first of its kind
to be held in Somaliland and brought together international scholars from
the African continent as well as Somaliland development experts, senior
civil servants and journalists.
Besides discussions of peace, security and development in the Horn,
the conference which was opened Sunday by Somaliland's Vice-President
Ahmed Yusuf Yasin, also dealt with a number of other issues such as
democracy, good governance and the media in the context of the Somaliland
Speakers included Prof. Kinfe Abraham, President of Ethiopian
International Institute for Peace and Development; Prof Francis Kornegay,
Program Coordinator Centre for Africa’s International Relations,
Witwatersrand University, South Africa, Matt Bryden WTSP/ICG researcher and
expert on Somali affairs, Prof. Medhane Tedasse, author of numerous
articles and books on the Horn and Political analyst for the Sub-Saharan
newspaper; Ahmed Rajab, the well known Zanzibari journalist and chief editor
of the bi-weekly Africa Analysis journal, and Patrick Gilkes, former editor
of the Somali Service and currently a political analyst on the Horn of
From the Somaliland side there were Shukri Bandaro, member of the National
Electoral Commission and founder of Candle light NGO; Penha’s Sa’dia;
Hussein Ali Nur (Editor of the Republican); Yusuf Abdi Gabobe (Editor of the
Somaliland Times) and others.
The conference’s over 200 participants, drawn from various social sectors,
interacted in lively discussions on the issues presented. Matt Bryden spoke
about a number of possible scenarios that may emerge out of Mbagathi.
Prof Kinfe presented an analysis of the historical background of conflicts
in the Horn of Africa, while Tedesse’s paper dealt with a new analytical
framework on the significance of Somaliland’s recognition in the context of
new security conceptions.
Prof Kornegay’s presentation represented tentative thoughts for establishing
what he called a Somali Coast Dialogue Forum in order to prevent a
Somaliland-Somalia conflict in the future.
Some of the main papers presented and other articles related to the
conference have been reproduced in this edition of the Somaliland Times.