Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Somalia has many challenges, however, there is good news to celebrate as the country moves in a new direction to reach out to Somalis in Diaspora. A Somali government delegation visited Canada to urge Somali-Canadians to get further involved in the rebuilding of their homeland. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion in Somalia has established a new initiative to promote the involvement of Somalis in rebuilding of their homeland.
The Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA) will bridge the gap for Somalis who want to return to their homeland. The two conference involving local community groups and activists, gave a platform to new ideas on how the Diaspora can be more than just a remittance. Somali-Canadians were urged to mobilize the community. Canada is home to approximately 200,000 Somalis and nearly 100,000 live in Toronto. Somali-Canadians are one of the largest contributors to Somalia in remittance.
“We want to promote to Somali-Canadians that they are more than just remittance. This community has the opportunity to be the leader in rebuilding key institutions of Somalia and help to establish a model for others,” Says ODA Director Abdulkadir Ahmed Mohamed. One of the key partners in the new initiative to engage the Somali Diaspora is African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).
Political Officer for AMISOM, James Gadin, faced tough criticisms, but addressed many in the audience with a powerful presentation on the reality of security in Mogadishu. Some audience members expressed concerns about AMISOM’s involvement in Somalia. “AMISOM is here to help Somalis and we must work together. We must restore basics of life in Somalia which are food, shelter and safety,” says James Gadin.