Somaliland Leaders

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Axmed Silanyo


Boarding Schools: Sheikh and Amoud (1946-1957) Completion of education up to a Secondary Level. Advanced Level: GCE Examinations, London (1958-1960) University of Manchester, England -Honors Bachelor's Degree in Economics (1960-63) University of Manchester, England - Master's Degree, Economics (1963-65)

Working Experience:

1965 - 1969: Senior official at the Ministry of Planning and Coordination, Mogadishu, Somalia.

Positions held included: Head of Economic Planning Services; Director, Development Planning Department; and director general for the Ministry.

1969-1973: Minister of Planning and Coordination

1973 - 1978: Minister of Commerce

1978 - 1980: Chairman of the National Economic Board

1980-1982: Minister of Commerce(for the second time)

Seminars, Symposia, Conferences and Training Programs:

Participated in wide ranging forums relating to different aspects of development in various parts of the world such as America, Soviet Union, UK, Switzerland, France, Germany, India, and a number of African Countries. Also participated in a number of training programs under United Nations auspices including UNITAR, UNIDO, Economic Commission for Africa and so forth. Benefitted from a Leadership grant related to the development field, visiting different organs of state and federal government and regions throughout the United States organized by the Afro-American Institute.

International Conferences:

Attended sessions of the United Nations, OAU, Arab League, as well as Islamic and Non-Aligned Movement conferences.

Leader of Somali delegation to:

UN Special Sessions in New York; OAU and Arab League, EEC-ACP, Ministerial Meetings, as well as to many countries throughout the world; Non Aligned Conference in Lima, Peru 1976 ; UNCTAD in Nairobi, Kenya 1977.

Role during the Struggle to the present day:

1982-1984: Chairman of Somali National Movement (SNM), UK Branch.

Established offices and organized SNM committees throughout Europe, North America and the Arab world. Raised international awareness of the liberation movement and the brutality of the Siad Barre regime against his own people through representations to international human rights groups, the press media, various European government bodies, including the British parliament and the European Inter-parliamentary Union, as well as relevant organizations in the Arab and Islamic world. Embarked on a program of recruitment of important southern personalities and groups to join the SNM movement. Lectures and presentations to the international academic world. Gave lectures at various Universities and relevant forums throughout the United Kingdom and the United States.

1984-1990: Chairman of Somali National Movement (SNM)

Longest serving Chairman and in command throughout the most tumultuous, expansive and decisive period of the movement.

In 1984, the struggle was nebulous and at its infancy. The period was one during which the movement was being steered through its most trying period. Momentous events during this period included, but not limited to:

The first major, simultaneous and coordinated invasion of the SNM troops into the mountainous regions of Somaliland (October 1984). Major expansion of SNM fronts in the southern as well as the northwest regions (Awdal). The agreement between the Siad Barre regime and Mengistu was at one point expected to bring the whole struggle to its knees. But SNM masterminded the famous invasion of 1988, which proved to be the death-blow of the Siad Barre regime. Peaceful transfer of power in a spirit of unity at the 1990 SNM congress (i.e., the last ever to be held).

1990-1996: Various Roles:

Attended and played a key role at the Congress of Somaliland representatives in Burao in May, 1991 where Somaliland re-established its sovereignty. Initiated and organized the famous Forum For Peace which brought about the ceasefire agreement between the warring parties in the so-called Xarbal Aqnam war around Berbera in 1992. Initiated the movement which brought about an end to the internal war of 1996 which ended at Beer in the Burao region where formal agreement of cessation of hostilities was finalized and exchange of prisoners was undertaken. 1993-1997: Member of the House of Representatives.

1997-1999: Minister of Finance, Somaliland

Achievements included: Masterminding an end to the run away inflation that threatened the economy of Somaliland; Resolved the vexing problems of ration supplies to the armed forces; Initiated a program of fiscal reform.

1999- 2000: Minister of Planning & Coordination, Somaliland

Achievements included: Establishment of mechanisms for the coordination of aid programs between the government and the foreign aid community. Initiated the formulation of a three-year development plan. Organized well-attended conference on aid for Somaliland at the international level for the first time in Hargesia. Attended and addressed the SACB (Somalia Aid Coordination Body) in Nairobi, Kenya--the first Somaliland government Minister to do so. Led Somaliland government delegation to meet World Bank and IMF representatives in Nairobi.

Year 2000 -2002: Various Roles:

During the period of working with President Egal, played an important and decisive roles as a mediator in preventing crisis with respect to incidents relating to the relationship between Djibouti and Somaliland, Somaliland and Ethiopia, SNM veterans and the Egal regime, House of Representatives and Egals government. Spent a period abroad giving talks and addressing the Somaliland communities in the disapora in Europe and the United States raising awareness on the achievements and developments of the country. On return to the country, mounted a campaign to resolve a national crisis between the Egal regime and the opposition forces, which came close to starting a fresh round of fighting in the country.

2002- Present: Chairman of The Kulmiye Party

The youngest political organization in the country established in early 2002. Within a short period of time, it emerged as one of the most active and prominent political organizations in the country. It initiated carrying the campaign to the countryside and the rural areas. It pursued a no smear campaign policy towards other political parties, public education on the merits of the multiparty system and the democratic process, as well as the vital importance of conducting a peaceful election. The only party, which appointed a woman Vice-Chair. It was rewarded for this overall policy by being voted second overall nationally after the incumbent government party.