21 August – Source: Africa Business Communities – 218 Words
The Upper House of Somalia’s parliament has passed the National Communications Act, which was earlier passed by the National Assembly on August 9, 2017. The Act was approved with 39 of the 40 sitting members voting in favour after serious discussions in the last couple of days. This makes the first act that is approved by this new House to Somalia’s legislative system. The president is expected to sign this bill into law very soon before it becomes effective.
H.E. Eng. Abdi Ashur, the minister for Posts, Telecom and Technology, said while discussing the bill in Upper House, “It is an important act for Somalia. This was the bill that all stakeholders were eagerly looking forward to.” “It is another historic day for Somalia and a giant step towards establishing a regulatory framework for our vibrant telecom industry, because this was the oldest bill that remained idle before the parliament for more than 10 years,” he added.
The current leadership of the Ministry has made passing of this act as one of the priorities of the Ministry by drawing a new, successful strategy that involved all stakeholders. The law will help the government increase revenues and contribute to security. It will also improve rights of the consumers and attract more investment for the sector, among other benefits.
- Somalia Approves The National Communications Act (African Business Communities)
- Puntland President Urged To Resign Over ‘Leadership Incompetence’ (Garowe Online)
- Hajj Costs A Rip off Senate Lambastes Travel Agencies Summons Ministers (Goobjoog News)
- New Burundi Battle Group Arrives In Somalia (AMISOM)
- Shabaab Confirm Killing Of Official In US Airstrike (The East African)
- Young Entrepreneur Zahra Ibrahim Strengthens Somali IT Sector (UNSOM)
Puntland President Urged To Resign Over ‘Leadership Incompetence’
21 August – Source: Garowe Online – 256 Words
The President of Somalia’s northeastern region of Puntland, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” has been accused of failure of leadership and for failing to uphold the responsibility he was sworn-in. The traditional elders, intellectuals and scholars of Obokar Isse sub-clan who held two-week meeting in Garowe, that was wrapped up on Monday have strongly criticized the current Puntland administration led by President Ali. They have urged the state President to step down immediately due to his inability to handle the crisis in Puntland, including politics, economy and justice, which has dragged on for years since taking office in January, 2014. “President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” has lost the confidence of the people since he disregarded the power-share system and the communities agreement Puntland was established in 1998,” read a statement by the elders.
Ali’s administration under fire for allegations of printing counterfeit banknotes, that led to high inflation that hugely effected living cost of the local people in Puntland in particular and Somalia as a whole. The elders said that the President of Puntland has failed, due to pay soldiers for months, civil servants, and form the Constitutional Court, and the security of the region’s shoreline and securing the state boundaries.
The accusation against the current Puntland government comes amid rising concerns on security as the region is under security threats from the Al Qaida-linked Al shabaab and pro-Islamic state militants. The incumbent President’s five-year tenure is ending in less than one and a half years, and expected that state’s 66-seats-chamber will pick the next President in January 2019.
Hajj Costs A Rip off, Senate Lambastes Travel Agencies, Summons Ministers
21 August- Source: Goobjoog News – 487 Words
The Senate has strongly castigated travel agencies for imposing significantly high fees on Somalis traveling for the Hajj pilgrimage calling for government intervention to cushion the public against the exorbitant charges. The Senate summoned Religious Affairs Minister, Imaan Abdullahi Ali, Trade minister Khadra Ahmed Duale, Foreign Affairs minister Yusuf Garad and their Transport counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Salat to appear before it over the matter.
In a heated debated Monday afternoon, the Senators wondered why Somalis had to pay close to $4,000 to attend Hajj yet it would cost a much lesser amount. The Senators also questioned the rationale the travel agencies used to charge the same amount for Somalis in Mogadishu and regions such as Bosaso or Hargeisa which are located more than 1,000Km away.“Who decided pilgrims in Mogadishu can pay US$ 3,808 and a similar pilgrim in Bosaso which is far more than a 1,000km to pay the same? How can a pilgrim in Hargeisa pay $3,800 yet one in Djibouti pays $1,600 despite the fact that the two places are relatively close?” posed Senator Abdirisak Osman Jurille. Jurille said the travel agencies were setting the law and implementing as they liked.
Senator Fatuma Hassan Adan said the Religious Affairs minister sought time to handle the matter since he was still new in office. “The minister told us he was aware of the matter but that he was still new in office. She said he would deal with it in the next Hajj or Umra period.” The concerns by the Senators follow complaints that travel agencies have been charging high amounts for pilgrims to Hajj yet the services they were getting could not match the cost and that the figures were generally high in relation to a regular travel.
“The amount of money a Somali pays in relation to those from our neighbouring countries is significantly different. They [Somali pilgrims] are offered the worst service. The palace where Somali pilgrims stay and the places for other people are hugely different,” Senator Mohamed Amin Sheikh Hassan said. Senator Hassan Farah Hujale said the travel agencies were not accountable and set the fees on their own noting there was no law to regulate them. “There is no law that limits these agencies.
They are not subject to any accountability. It is now time to summon the minister to shade light on this matter and the Senate can pass a law to deal with this matter.” Another Senator, Muhayadin Sheikh Ali Jama accused the Somali embassy in Kenya of colluding with travel agencies instead of providing support to Somalis who want to travel from Kenya. “This year I went for Umrah from Nairobi. I went to our embassy alongside other MPs. We were told to we could get a visa worth $700 from the market but not in the embassy. The embassy has a connection with these.”
21 August – Source: AMISOM – 185 Words
A new battle group of the Burundi National Defence Force (BNDF) arrived in Somalia today, commencing a one year tour of duty under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The 45th battalion of the BDNF, led by Lt. Col. Philbert Hatungimana, landed in Mogadishu on Sunday to replace battalion 39, which is rotating out after completing its tour of duty, during which it helped the Mission achieve its mandate of restoring peace and stabilizing Somalia.
Lt. Col. Hatungimana expressed the readiness of the new battalion to contribute to peace and stability in Somalia. “My expectation in this mission is to help restore peace and stability in Somalia and to help the people of Somalia regain peace,” he explained. Lt. Col. Hatungimana stated that the new battalion will be deployed to Jowhar, the headquarter of HirShabelle state, and will work closely with the Somali security forces in securing the region. Burundi was the second country after Uganda to deploy soldiers to Somalia to help restore peace and stability under AMISOM after a prolonged civil war. Other Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) are Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.
21 August – Source: The East African – 289 Words
The Somali militant group Al-Shabaab has confirmed the killing of its senior operative Sheikh Ali Mohamed Hussein alias Ali Jabal, in a US airstrike. The group confirmed the death in a message of condolence and congratulation to Muslims, through its media outlets.“This is a message of congratulation and condolence in regards to the martyrdom of Sheikh Ali Mohamed Hussein,” it said. “We are relaying our condolences to all members (of Al-Shabaab) about the death of a fallen hero,” the message widely quoted by the local media said.
It confirmed a claim in early August by the US and Somali governments of the death of the man who had directed the Al-Shabaab operations in the Somali capital for nearly a decade.The Al-Shabaab had remained quiet about the reported death for more than three weeks. Until his killing by a missile fired by a US drone on July 30, Hussein was in charge of the Al-Shabaab’s Mogadishu operations. The Somali government early this month stated that it authorised an operation with a friendly force (the US) near Toro-torow, about 70km southwest of Mogadishu, believing that it neutralised the Al-Shabaab governor for Banadir (Mogadishu and the surrounding areas).
The American military Africa Command (Africom) stated: “The US conducted this operation in coordination with its regional partners as a direct response to Al-Shabaab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces.” “His (Hussein’s) removal disrupts Al-Shabaab’s ability to plan and conduct attacks in Mogadishu and coordinate efforts between Al-Shabaab regional commanders,” it added.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“Somalia is in the process of rebuilding its institutions, and empowering women to participate in the economic, political and social life is essential to building a stronger society, achieving international standards for development and sustainability, and improving the quality of life for Somali women, men, families and communities,”
21 August – Source: UNSOM – 418 Words
Zahra Abdikarim Ibrahim has managed to establish one of the most successful Information Technology (IT) companies in Somalia, in what is known to be a difficult investment environment. To succeed, Zahra had to face numerous challenges, from insecurity and negativity towards such an ambitious project, to the trials of juggling career and a family life. “Somali women are like all women around the world. When I was young, my dream was to make a difference being a mother and having a full-time career,” says Zahra, who is a mother of four.
She emphasizes that one must have a passion to succeed and be ready to take risks. True to her dreams, in 2006 she founded her own company, the Somali Software and Technology Company (SOSTEC), starting off with just one computer in a rented cubicle office. “I knew from the start that I was venturing into was a male-dominated industry, but that did not stop me from investing in the sector,” she recalls.
Over the years, Zahra had grown her company into one of the largest technology service providers in Somalia. The company currently employs 20 young professionals, and offers an array of IT services such as web hosting and design, live streaming, database and IT training. Zahra strongly believes that Somali youth can be a powerful force of change.“We are not only profit-oriented, but also consider the role that youth can play in rebuilding our country,” Zahra stresses, adding that SOSTEC runs several IT programmes that benefit schools and small businesses.
Zahra continues to plan the future of SOSTEC, and would like to expand the offer of specialized IT services.“In this environment, getting performant equipment is difficult and costly,” she explains. “We would like to introduce more graphic design services, but the purchase of superior equipment is not easy, and we have to think of alternatives.” Zahra believes that hard work and a strong education background are conditions of success. “I urge the youth, and especially young women, to take education seriously,” Zahra adds. “I was second in my class, when I was a student at university. I wanted to excel in everything I did. Women can be pilots, computer programmers, doctors – it is all possible.”