As the country works toward improving its urban infrastructure especially in the capital Hargeisa, Somaliland says they aim to implement what they learnt from the Future Cities Conference in Vipingo at Kenya’s coastal town on Mombasa.
The summit organized by the Brenthurst Foundation was attended by high-level representations that included scholars, former high ranking officials: including the former president of Nigeria Obasanjo and the former prime minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn as well as key policymakers from 46 countries.
The conference attendees deliberated significant issues concerning the future cities of Africa and the best practices needed to mitigate the rapid urbanization and preparation of suitable infrastructure, effective governance, efficient service delivery, security and affordable housing for the rapidly growing population of African citizens living in the cities.
Somaliland was represented by the Deputy Representative of Somaliland to Kenya and the Director-General of the Ministry of Planning and Development, Sharmake Gelle and Mubarak Abdullahi respectively.
“As a small country seeking international recognition and operating without international aid to fund our infrastructure, we want to learn from other countries how they have managed to improve service delivery in their main cities,” Abdullahi said.
He added: “We have two main cities of Hargeisa which is the capital of Somaliland and Berbera. The two are attracting foreign investors and visitors and it is important that these (investors and visitors) feel secure and at the same time get the best services they would require while in our country,” added the Ministry of Planning Director-General.
Mombasa City governor Ali Hassan Joho who is the host of the summit said: “As the Gateway Port city for the East and Central Africa, Mombasa is a critical player and we are definitely honoured to participate in the Future Cities Conference.”
BY ODINDO AYIEKO