By Abdullah Yusuf Warsame
For almost two decades now, Successive governments in Somaliland had failed to attract much needed international investment and political recognition but all this might soon change if oil exploration in the country which are due to earnestly begin this year becomes successful, the presence of oil reserves will enable the country to leverage her new found resources towards international political recognition down the road thanks to the current Energy and Minerals Hon Hussein Abdi Dualeh efforts.
HE President Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud Silanyo appointment Hon Hussein Abdi Dualeh as the country’s Minister of Energy , Mining and Water Resources on the 28th of July, 2010 tasked with developing Somaliland’s energy and mineral resources in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way for the benefit of its people. These include the development of hydrocarbons, hard minerals, renewable energy and power generation.
At the time of Hon Hussein Abdi Dualeh was working for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) was living comfortably in Los Angeles, California, managing twice the budget of Somaliland for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).
Hon Hussein Abdi Dualeh, 56, is married and is the father of three sons who resided in the northern Los Angeles, California. Eng. Hussein has since re-established residency in Somaliland.
Prior to his appointment to the current cabinet portfolio senior petroleum engineer who’s been working in the American Oil Industry for over 40 years. Born in 1957 in the Somaliland Republic and studying at Amoud in Borama and then prestigious Shiekh Boarding school, Hussein Abdi Duale graduated with a degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1983, followed by five years in operations with Chevron. He joined Metro in July 1989 and managed 100 million dollars’ worth of maintenance contracts, including the CNG fuelling systems used by Metro’s bus fleet.
Only a couple of weeks in his new job as the Minister of Mining, Energy and Water Resources Hon Hussein Abdi Dualeh began by bringing on board a new and effective robust team into the Ministry of Mining Energy & Water Resources followed by put all his resources in formulating a comprehensive national energy policy intended on laying the foundation for developing the country’s energy sector and is a prelude to developing a regulatory framework for Somaliland and which will facilitate Somaliland Government’s vision for increased and enhanced modern energy supply for sustainable economic development as well as improving the quality of life of the Somaliland population.
As soon as he took office in August 2010, Minister Dualeh his first priority to come up with viable plan to put in place a suitable water delivery system in order to find a solution to deal with the water scarcity in our main city and to make sure every household in the country has access to safe and clean drinking water.
The Energy Minister saw the need to rehabilitate old or degraded boreholes, and drill new production and exploratory boreholes so as to further develop the nations principal well fields , and expand the availability of sustainable water sources but the country lacked the necessary funds to be used for this collateral task at the time .
This been the case Hon Dauleh managed to secure a $10 Million Development grant from UAE to be used for the upgrading of the existing Hargeisa & Burao Urban Water supply system through installation of new pipelines, and rehabilitate and improve pumping and booster capabilities and was to be followed by yet another $27 Million Euro from the European Community for Hargeisa Water Agency & Burao Water Agency, MMEWR .
In the hope of seeing a test well within the current administrations period in government Hon Hussein Abdi Dualeh spared no time in kick starting the nations stalled oil sector. He singlehandedly succeed in putting Somaliland on the international Oil Map while attending the 2011 Oil Industry conference which was held in Cape Town, South Africa leading to the visit of the Vice President of Tullow Oil PLC to Somaliland.
This lead to the imminent arrival in the country of several international oil exploration and production companies that have a good track record of finding oil and producing it and have sizable operations in Africa and the Middle East.
Somaliland and several Oil Companies have already signed production sharing Agreement (PSA) and four of those companies expected to start extraction and production activities any time this year.
Since then Somaliland has being attending similar oil and energy conferences being held across the world showcase such as Africa Down Under Conference as the one held last year in Australia whereby Somaliland had the opportunity to showcase its vast unexplored deposit of oil, natural gas and gem stones with the aim of attracting potential investors as a stable and favorable investment destination and several African Mines Ministers, business leaders and executives from the mining services industries. Last year, the conference attracted more than 2000 delegates, 166 exhibitors and a full three day program.
The Energy and Mineral resource Minister termed the recently concluded 20th African Mining Indaba conference as a success for Somaliland, being the first time the country attended a major energy forum with more than 9000 delegates in attendance drawn mainly from African mining industry executives, as well as professionals and representatives from resource-rich countries, to network and secure deals to develop African mining at the forum.
Hon Dualeh presentation at Indaba was directed at attracting investors, financiers and international mining exploration companies in Africa and worldwide and the ministerial provide industry stakeholders with insight about the great opportunities that exist in Somaliland hence being a vital opportunity to present Somaliland mining potential and attract prospective investors to come and invest in the country.
The Ministers recent visit to the people’s republic of china is of great significance to the people and the nation as a whole with our new Chinese partners who have pledged their commitment to undertake a compressive survey of the country’s minerals potential to be conducted through modern Chinese owned satellites also known as remote sensing which will be used to map the various types of minerals present and their precise geographical location in the country this will be the first phase and will be followed by deploying engineers and geologist on the ground to conduct geological assessment of the presence of minerals in the ground for the first time ever.
Thanks the Minister vision in consolidating our friendship with our new Chinese friends and through such partnership we expect doors to open which will offer us immense opportunities in terms of political and economically gains through the opening an office in the industrial city of Guangzhou soon aimed at promoting our shared interests and which will also be a commercial office which will in the future issue visas for Somalilanders and most importantly to enhance fruitful future diplomatic relations between the two nations and the launching of a Chinese language website which will be used for exposing what Somaliland as a country has to offers to the Chinese people and to the world in particular.
Somaliland held several free and fair elections which many nations have failed to hold successfully. All in all Somaliland built good governance and showed the world that it is ready to fulfill any condition which can be a barrier in order to become an independent state recognized by international community and that why I strongly urge fellow countrymen to think twice before doing something which will detract our hard-earned progress although a small clique of people who their own hidden agendas think by focusing criticism on people in leadership positions despite the absence of evidence, they will be able to drive a wage but little do they the bond between the government and the Somaliland citizenry is unbreakable and is based on transparency and accountability .
By Abdullah Yusuf Warsame