Saturday 24th March 2018

Somalia’s True Political Heavyweight

Thanks to a new constitution and improved security in and around the Somali capital, the nation of 10 million is getting a fresh start. International efforts to stabilize Somalia have picked up and outside investment is pouring into the country in record numbers.

The man maneuvering Somalia’s ‘Roadmap’ plan and the path to peace is not entirely the result of foreign security and intervention–the bulk of the credit goes to Somalia’s own leaders, and in particular its prime minister Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali.

Dr. Ali was brought fresh from his job as a professor at New York’s Niagara University in June 2011. During his short time in office, the premier has navigated his way out of the feuds that once engulfed the Somali leadership, and focused his attention instead on how to get the war-torn country out of twenty years of civil war.

With Ali at the helm, Somalia’s draft constitution was approved just a week ago. The prime minister’s Roadmap for the End of Transition will soon usher in the end of Somalia’s decade-long struggle for legitimacy.

The prime minister’s constitution gives power back to the Somali women and allows Somalia’s fledgling state-administrations to exercise powers even over their own foreign policies.

What makes Ali’s rise to power unbelievable is that he has done most of his work under the worst famine in the region in over half a century.

The premier’s security policy has also pushed Al-Shabaab militants into a small corridor of power, and much of this came at a time when President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was unwilling to work with regional powers against the armed insurgent group. By the end of the next president’s term, Al-Shabaab will be a distant memory, and this will come entirely as a result of Dr. Ali’s brilliant security plan.

Ali’s leadership has garnered attention far beyond Africa. In the last year, Turkish premier Racep Tayyep Erdogan, Saudi prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon have all visited the notoriously dangerous Somali capital.

The prime minister has proven, most importantly, that Somalia can count on a moderate, pragmatic, and logical leader to push it forward. No more do Somalis have to listen to militant pseudo-Sheikhs and illiterate clan elders for guidance.

Despite his lack of experience and relative youthfulness, the prime minister has proven his ability to connect with all levels of society. And that he is not just limited to dealing with professionals of his own caliber.

With Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali as president, Somalia cannot fail.