Your Excellences and Ambassadors, Honorable Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I wish to extend a warm welcome to all of you who have travelled to Hargeisa to attend the 9th High Level Aid Coordination Forum. We are very happy with the progress we have made through the High Level Aid Coordination Forum process in the past and we hope this year will provide us with an opportunity to make further progress.
On behalf of the Somaliland Government and people, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the development partners for their generous assistance to Somaliland over the years. The support you provide has brought about a transformational improvement in the quality of life of Somaliland’s citizens, and has been an essential ingredient for Somaliland’s social and economic well-being.
This year is of course a special year for Somaliland. It marks 25th year anniversary since Somalilanders exercised their right to self-determination, dissolved the failed union with Somalia on 18 May 1991 and reclaimed independence. The Somaliland inherited was one that had been ravaged by conflict and military subjugations, yet Somalilanders have overcome tremendous adversity to create a stable and enduring peace by means of a locally-driven, bottom-up approach, built a democracy in which power changes hands peacefully in elections which are monitored internationally; and put in place a system of governance which upholds the rule of law, respects human rights, and provides services to its people.
We look forward to holding elections once again in March 2017, and despite short delays in voter registration due to the drought, preparations are on track. Somaliland has done everything it can to ensure the elections take place on time, including paying additional costs due to delays caused by the drought, however, we urge donors to make good on their promise to deliver resources to support the voter registration process for the elections.
The firm foundations we have established in terms of peace, reconciliation, security and governance has produced an environment where government, civil society and international partners can work