HIPS Publications

Dysfunctional federalism: How political division, constitutional ambiguity and a unitary mindset thwart equitable distribution of power in Somalia

Article 1 of Somalia’s provisional constitution states that “Somalia is a federal state.” Article 3 (3) stipulates that “the federal republic of Somalia is founded upon the fundamental principles of power-sharing in a federal system.” In the spirit of collaborative federalism, Article 51 (2) underscores that “every government shall respect and protect the limits of its powers and the powers of other governments.” Despite these clearly worded constitutional guidelines, conflict is rife between the federal government of Somalia (FGS) and the Federal Member States (FMSs) and the rift is still widening. Over the past three years, the federalism discourse has been characterized by confrontation rather than collaboration. Failure to reach consensus on a power-sharing model has hampered progress on all other issues of national importance, including security, stabilization, institution building, reconciliation, provision of services, peace building, international relations and resource mobilization.

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Finding a Way Out of Somalia’s Manmade Electoral Crisis

We at HIPS strongly believe that the window of opportunity is rapidly closing. We propose two courses
of action to arrest an electoral crisis and find a pathway to truly inclusive solutions based on a workable
compromise among the key stakeholders.

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Somalia Fisheries: Untapped Potential Held Back by Skills Shortage

Somalia is endowed with diverse and rich fisheries resources thanks to its highly productive coastal and upwelling systems. The national fisheries sector is still underdeveloped but is nevertheless very important as
it provides food, livelihood, income and employment opportunities for over 400,000 Somalis who directly or indirectly engage in various activities in the fisheries value chain and related services.1 It is also a major
source of protein for many internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other urban poor (especially those living in coastal areas) who cannot afford the basic traditional staples of meat and milk due to high inflation. At the
national level, the fisheries sector generates $135 million in value per year, which is equivalent to around two percent of gross domestic product (GDP

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Somalia’s Healthcare System: A Baseline Study & Human Capital Development Strategy

Over the past three decades, Somalia has been an arena for endless armed conflict and natural disasters.The consequences of these events on the health sector in general and the health workforce, in particular, have been devastating, affecting the entire health service delivery. This study, commissioned by the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS) and City […]

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Expanded Participation Model: Alternative for Somalia’s 2020 One-Person One-Vote Plan

On 21 February 2020, the President of Somalia,
Mohamed Abdullahi (Farmaajo), signed into law the long-awaited electoral bill that has been in the making for years. The leaders of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) celebrated the signing of the bill as a historic achievement, because the law should, in theory, allow citizens to directly elect their representatives in the parliament for the first time since 1969. Moreover, the law was designed to be implemented during parliamentary election scheduled for later this year, and presidential election early next year

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State of Somalia (SOS) Report

The State of Somalia (SOS) Report focuses on the main developments and key trends in politics, security, economy, social services and the role of external actors from 1 January to 31 December 2019. The objective of the report is to: empirically and systemically document key events in Somalia; provide analysis and context to policymakers, academics and the general public; and support peace building and state building efforts in Somalia. During the reporting period, the political situation was characterized by major upheavals and a deepening rift between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and Federal Member States (FMS). Four out of the five states[1] held (or are still holding) elections which the FGS saw as an opportunity to influence, and, if possible, replace the often-hostile state leaders with loyalists who would implement its vision across the country

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The Galmudug Crisis: A Blueprint For Sustainable Settlement

The prospects of a permanent peace or prolonged conflicts are both potentially high in Galmudug. Notwithstanding the political booby traps, there is still a rare window of opportunity to find a comprehensive settlement to the political crises that has paralyzed Galmudug for years. Luckily, some key actors in the state seem to understand the importance of holding free, fair and democratic elections in the near future.

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Somalia: In Search of a Workable 2020 Electoral Model

For the fifth time since 2000, Somalia is searching for an electoral model that advances the country’s democratic process. This is both a cause for celebration and a cringe-worthy setback. Discourse around electoral models indicates that the country is unfailingly pursuing a democratic path in a region where autocracy dominates body politics. At the same […]

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Farmaajo’s Presidency: A scorecard for the first two years and the prospects for the remaining two.

Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmaajo’ was elected as the President of Somalia on February 8th, 2017 on a platform of comprehensive reform, improved security, political stability, a revived economy, reduced corruption and smart foreign policy. Two years later, the President’s scorecard is mixed, with some encouraging achievements in certain areas but plenty of shortcomings on most of the lofty political promises detailed during his presidential campaign.

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Options To End Somalia’s Current Political Stalemate

Somalia has entered a dangerous political
stalemate that could unravel the significant
progress made on peace-building and state building
since the end of the transition in
2012. The announcement on 8 September
2018 by the leaders of five federal member
states to suspend cooperation with the
Federal Government is alarming on many
levels, not least because such a coordinated
action by the states is unprecedented.

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