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21 July 2016

Ambassador to give update on much anticipated Somalia polls

Adziliwi Nematandani
Press Release

Members of the media are invited to the ambassadorial forum on the preparations for elections in the Federal Republic of Somalia.

The seminar, which is organised by the embassy of the Federal Government of the Somali Republic in collaboration with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), will take place at the HSRC Pretoria on Wednesday, 27 July 2016.
According to Somalian ambassador to South Africa Mr Jamal Barrow, the purpose of this Ambassadorial Forum is to examine preparations for elections in the Federal Republic of Somalia and the broader issues of democratic leadership and public institutions.

He said the communiqué of the National Leaders Forum issued on 12 April 2016 highlighted that despite various administrative and security challenges, Somali was on track to implement its 2016 electoral process and preparations for universal (one-person one-vote) elections in 2020.

“As specified in the communiqué a context-specific 2016 electoral process has been agreed upon and is being implemented so that elections can be held within the constitutionally mandated term limits of the legislature and the Federal Government,” added ambassador Barrow.

Furthermore, the seminar will discuss the continuing democratic transition in the country and the workings of, and challenges faced by, the various electoral implementation teams (electoral management bodies). The issue of gender transformation will also be discussed, including the resolve that 30% of the seats to be reserved for women candidates in each federal member state.

Ambassadorial Forums bring together researchers, policymakers, media and knowledge producers to engage around current practices and to discuss policy strategies and mechanisms that may facilitate the promotion of inclusive development at international, national and organisational levels.

Details of the event

Date: 27 July 2016
Time:  11:00 – 13:00
Venue:  134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria Central (scheduled to take place in the HSRC Video Conference Centres in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban)

For more information contact: Adziliwi Nematandani on tel. 012 316 9729 Cell: 0827659191 Email:

Issued by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Currently Somalia is under the rule of the non-elected Federal Parliament of the Transitional Federal Government, which was sworn-in in 2012 and is due to expire in 2016, to pave way for the democratic parliamentary elections which will be the first of its kind since 1967.

According to the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies, the present situation in Somalia is rather challenging. However, compared to how hopeless the Somalia case has been in the preceding two decades, the muted current developments where the discussion revolves around vision, unmet objectives and delayed elections could be seen as enormous achievements. For almost a quarter of a century, Somalia was characterised as a quintessential failed state. Famine, warlords, fiefdoms, piracy, corruption and terrorism were bywords for the country.

Since the formation of the current government in August 2012, the radical militant group Al Shabaab has been weakened. Most of Somalia’s urban centers and strategically important ports have been wrestled from their hands. Diaspora Somalis have streamed back to the country and invested in small and medium-sized enterprises. International confidence in the prospect of reviving the Somali state soared, culminating in the recognition of the government by countries such as the US, China and the UK who all sent ambassadors to Mogadishu.

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