MOGADISHU, 2 July 2019 – Somalia yesterday marked its 59th Independence Day, during which President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmajo’ called on international partners to prioritise development support rather than aid for the country.
The President hosted a state banquet for members of the international community resident in Somalia. The banquet took place at the presidential palace, the Villa Somalia, in the capital, Mogadishu.
While speaking at the banquet, the President hailed international partners for the unwavering support to Somalia over the years, and noted that the support has substantially boosted the country’s recovery efforts.
“We are here to work with our international partners to build a great future for our people. However, we expect more development projects and maybe fewer aid programmes from now on,” President Farmajo said.
In attendance were representatives of multilateral and bilateral partners that have played a critical role in Somalia’s path to stability.
These included the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) led by Ambassador Francisco Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia. Other guests included African and Asian diplomats accredited to Somalia from Egypt, India, Kenya, Sudan, Qatar and Uganda, as well as top Somali government officials from ministries, departments and agencies.
Somalia attained self-rule as a unified country on 1 July 1960. This year, the independence anniversary celebrations began at midnight with the hoisting of the national flag across the country’s regions and in the capital, Mogadishu.
The President said that the country’s Independence Day was a celebration of the hope and enthusiasm of the people, and underlined the commitment of Somalis to live harmoniously with their neighbours.
He also highlighted achievements by his government to fight corruption, boost revenue collection, payment of salaries, and economic reforms to enable Somalia to qualify for debt relief.
“I believe Somalia has a bright future as indicated by the faith, strength and resilience of my people. Somalia will defeat its enemies and we are determined to advance in all sectors,” said the President.