Youth in Somaliland: Where Do They Stand?

HARGEISA, 8 November 2009 (Somalilandpress) – Youth is defined as a transitional phase from childhood to adulthood innovative by events such as completing schooling and further education, entering the world of work. Youth is also defined in terms of the duties a person takes on within a society; youth is seen as ending when the individual takes on adult jobs and responsibilities.

Youth have unique potential assets and resources to make their country into productive one and overcome his challenges. Youth in Somaliland organize themselves by established Youth forums, Youth organizations, Youth councils, Youth clubs and Youth alliances that are promoting youth rights, youth opinions and youth networks among different regions in Somaliland. The matters they deal with are as varied as the forms they take. Young people who join youth organizations have gain power and visibility through their involvement and want to bring about change. Thus, the role of youth can be depicted as harmonizing and essential to Somaliland’s development.

Today’s young Somali Landers need access to both decent formal education and opportunities to obtain a sort of life skills to actively participate of an increasingly knowledge-intensive society and become today’s young citizens and tomorrow as the country’s future leaders. Inspiring the young people to speak out by expressing their views and ideas feels he or she has some thing to offer in his society and also a sense of belongs. A major benefit of young people’s input in development process makes better the confidence, knowledge and motivates others to be apart of them. It is there fore important for every nation to ensure the wellbeing of its youth and Somaliland is not exceptional.

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Despite these contributions, the lives of young people in Somaliland are subject to number of contradictions. Young people in Somaliland suffer from unemployment, Migration, growing consumption of Kat and tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Young people qualifying the institutions of learning are roaming the streets of Hargeisa with nothing to do, observing the country and waiting a chance of employment.

Youth Participation through Organizations

The participation of young people in youth organizations provides an important van for young people’s involvement in social, economic and political spheres. Youth led organizations work for the benefit of youth. They provide services for youth, such as job preparation (Shaqo Doon), counseling for youth not to migrate, recreation informal education and health. Apart from their youth services some youth organizations initiated information campaigns about irregular migration (Tahriib) which is one of the problems faced in our society. You can see the corner of the roads in Hargeisa a large bill boards transmitting a message that is indicating the consequences and risks of Tahriib. While migration to Europe is pushy act for young Somali Landers in search of job opportunity and better life, at the other side recent days some parents consent to their children to encourage them to involve an irregular migration by supporting financial wise. This shows how the disease (Tahriib) affected even the Somaliland parents.

Truly, it is a key challenge facing for Somaliland who already suffered of human resource shortages. The Somaliland human resource is steadily drained as the young skilled and non skilled prefers to emigrate and apply their skills and force abroad owing to the elfin support to their home land.

Youth to Decision-Making Structures

The voice of youth is a precious asset to the political parties. Justice and welfare party (UCID) is committed to advancing the active engagement of young people in decision making process in the country. Initiatives include youth participation in advisory bodies such as youth wings in the parties were a step took in the right direction. For example the justice and Welfare party has an institutionalized national youth wing that has an access to the party’s decision-taking arena. The wing has now its own working strategies including the constitution, policies and procedures by which it implements its duties and exercises its indisputable rights. These efforts and contributions of the youth groups of UCID have drawn the attention of the party’s members and as a result, the party decided to offer 60 % of its total membership to the youth society of Somaliland.

In spite of these positive trends, young people still face many challenges and problems which prevent them from displaying their full potential. Somaliland lack sound national youth policies that guides to the next generations for participating the decision making process in the country. It is, there fore crucial that youth receive the guidance and support they need in this challenging phase of life and sustaining them successful transition from youth to adult hood.

Written by: Farhan Abdi Suleiman (Oday)
Tell: 4401132
Hargiesa, Somaliland


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