Civic Programs Conducted in Somalia
Gateway Institute for Research and Developemnt implemented civic education and engagement programs in Jubaland State of Somalia, an autonomous state where in 2012, after twenty plus years of the civil war and lawlessness, political leaders, civil societies and traditional leaders organized a national conference in Kismayo, the commercial city where political solution based on bottom up approach discussed and formally adopt new constitution. Kismayo is the fouth largest city of Somlia on which great number of Somalis in the State of Minneosta from and has significant influence to people who live in Somali Kenyan border. About 900 delegates congregated for six months discussing the kind of government they need to have. Despite the religion extremism threat, people decided to move forward to build government institutional.
On this regard, we offer two days workshops on The Federal Republic of Somalia Provisional Constitution with the emphasis of the role of citizens in a democracy and voter education. The program combined panel discussions and working sessions. The discussion consisted on review of the Vision 2016, the 4.5 platform, Elecitoral and Boundary and Federalization Commisions, regional constitutions,Somali institutional development, regions resource sharing and taxation, Somali's post conflic economy, and Somali Populaiton Stimation Survey. During the two days, partcipants will engage on a SWOT analysis (Democratic Institutions: Strengthens, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) of the state of democratic institutions and culture in Somalia.
We focus capacity building for state institutions, empowering women and girls, and employment training. It identifies economic factors that could educate new entrepreneurs to become business leaders.
Some of the civic forums and programs we provide include:
1. Promote international human rights laws,
2. Organize citizen mobilization toward peace and reconciliation,
3. Advocate women’s political participation, and
4. Organize debate sponsoring.
Gateway Institute also conducted civic engagement programs in Puntland Government of Somalia. Puntland, an autonomous state found in 1998, is moving toward multiparty system, which could create chaos and violence among different party supporters. Puntland organized national conference in Garowe, the capital city on which constitutional Assembly was held on late April 2012 to formally adopt its constitution.
On August 1998, eight years after the civil war, political leaders including civil societies organized a meeting and discussed political solution that was based on having a bottom up approach. About 600 delegates congregated for three months discussing the kind of government they need to have. Delegates announced autonomous state (self-governing) giving the political condition.
Thirteen years later, Puntland Government of Somalia decided to move multiparty system. The first step taken toward multiparty system was to reform its charter to formally adopt its constitution. The Somali people and Puntland in particular are not ready to move fully multi party system without conducting civic education including voting education.
We offered variety of civic education circles to educate the public about the important of having fair and fee election, the important of women and minority communities on political participation, and to recognize challenges and opportunities facing civic education in the 21st century. Civic learning should be given a priority in all states and local districts in Puntland Government of Somalia. Therefore, it’s necessary to reach out Puntland Government of Somali’s civil society including the media to open democratic dialogue on issues that mostly affect people's life such as political rights, freedom of association, freedom of religion, access to information through mass media, and learn civic tolerance so that citizen can enjoy diverse conceptions of the goods.
Gateway Institute specifically also work on the area of election monitoring and legal Support for human rights victims in Puntland Government of Somalia. Since the foundation of Gateway Institute in 2008, we monitored number of city council elections in this region. Gateway Institute has track record for helping creating city councils for the first time in this region. We offer impartial election observers that can strengthen an electoral process in Puntland Government of Somalia by providing independent assessment of election preparations, capabilities and fairness, assurance to all sides that fraud will be detected, increase voter’s confidence that they can safely and secretly cast their ballots and that vote tabulation will be conducted without tampering, and resenting a way that all citizens can participate in the political life of their nation, elections call for those elected to respond to the will of the people.