Changing Perceptions: View from Somalia.


Byline: Khadar Dheen Gulled

Perceptions do not change overnight. Last week the Somali Partnership Forum continued the struggle to rebuild the country. Now the world is taking notice. Our national reputation will reflect the efforts we make today. It takes only seconds to earn a negative image in the world press, and many years to reverse. We are standing now on the other side of a great impasse.

Many believed Somalia would never rise again, and today we consider the success at inviting the world to Mogadishu and proudly standing before our accomplishments with promises of the future. Last month, our president renounced his U.S. citizenship even though Somalia allows dual citizenship, a strong indication of the faith placed in our new government. In my view, the government deserves unconditional praise in its balance of international stakeholders with the needs of the nation.

This is enshrined in our National Development Plan, and validated by our Mutual Accountability Framework. Validation has returned to us from the strong support from the IMF to expedite Somalia's debt. We have followed that crucial endorsement with the release of our Poverty Reduction Strategy, completing the road map ahead for both shortand long-term goals. Somalia now has the benefit to reflect not only on its own recent past, but that of the many other nations who have tried to rebuild after conflict.

The path chosen by the government has been one of international cooperation with institutions, and strict adherence to the rule of law. The...

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