Somaliland and The Republic of Ireland are looking at ways of deepening their trade linkages between the two nations.
Somaliland ambassador to Kenya Omar Bashe Awil and the Irish envoy to Kenya Lisa Doherty met in Nairobi where they also discussed exchange of good practices in agriculture and maritime economy.
The meeting also focused on Somaliland’s efforts to seek sovereignty and how they can learn from Ireland’s experience.
“We consider Ireland very important to us because there is so much we can learn from them and at the same time work with them in terms of our economic growth,” Bashe said after the meeting.
The talks between the two envoys are a follow up to a previous visit by Somaliland former president Ahmed Silanyo three years ago which provided Somaliland with an important opportunity to explain its case for recognition to an Irish audience and to raise awareness of its successful efforts to bring about peace, stability and democracy in a volatile region.
Discussions between Silanyo and Ireland president Michael D. Higgins explored the possibility of increased Irish development assistance and investment in Somaliland and provided a platform for both sides to share experiences and lessons of peacebuilding and reconciliation following periods of conflict.
Bashe said the two government will pick up efforts to tighten the diplomatic ties between them and build on the available trade opportunities.
A fortnight ago, Bashe also held meetings with Austrian, Finland and French ambassadors to Kenya as part of his mission to widen up diplomatic connections in Europe which he says are important for trade, security at the horn of Africa and Somaliland’s push for international recognition.
By Odindo Ayieko