Garowe (PP Editorial) — An inaccurate theme is dominating a three day Garowe event organised by Heritage Institute, a Mogadishu-based think tank.

The question “How can the prolonged transitional period be phased out by 2025?” does not stack up against the current political reality in Somalia.

The transition ended officially in 2012, when Somalia formed its first post-1991 permanent government.

So why did Puntland Government accept a theme for the event that sounds more like a joke than a carefully considered subject worthy of discussion?

In 2012, when the Federal Government of Somalia was formed, there were only two Federal Member States and a unicameral house.

From 2017, Somalia has had a bicameral house, and five Federal Member States.

The adjective ‘transitional’ ceased to modify the Somali Federal Government eight years ago.

An inaccurate theme will dominate Forum Ideas sessions in Garowe organised by Heritage Institute.

Although the transitional period began in 2000, the continued use of the 4.5 power-sharing formula does not warrant the description of Somalia’s political institutions as transitional.

“The country in the past two to three years has come together quite significantly. It is both politically stable and developed as well” said Nick Kay, the former representative for the U.N. Secretary General in Somalia in 2015.

Kay described Somalia not as “a failed state but a recovering fragile country.”

The investment put into institution building in Somalia has paid off.

Ten years ago Al-Shabaab controlled Kismayo and Baidoa.

Today the two cities are seats of two Federal Member States.

How does the former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud view the Heritage Institute theme?

A more accurate theme could promote lively discussions at a time Garowe hosts an alliance of Somali presidential candidates.

This article first appeared in the © Puntland Post, 2020 and is republished with permission.

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