SOMALIA: Aid to Somalia “the World’s Disastrous Business”
Aid to Somalia: the World’s Disastrous Business
Abdiqani Y. Farah
March 13 2014
History recorded a nation known in the Literature as “Ad.” This nation was, by far, the most powerful and materialistic nation the world known of their time. Yet, this nation was drifted by painful draughts and repeated famines. So one day, what looked like a helpful rain cloud appeared in the sky, heading right toward their dwellings. Because they were in great despair and consistent despondency, they rejoiced delightfully for the coming water.
But as it turned out, the cloud was yet another greater punishment, destroying homes and everything on its way. Indeed, the cloud, which they thought was a glimpse of hope, saw the demise of this great nation. Immediately after the cloud passed, the only footprints left there was their territorial geography. The whole nation vanished in a short time.
The moral of this story is that, like any other creature, humans go through cycles dictated by change. Many mighty powers disappeared for variety of reasons. Contrarily, others emptied their territory because of their incompetence. They undervalued their power and hoped for a free lunch. And here is Somalia for you. Somalia routed out its system of governance 20-some years ago, succumbing to an empty and yet disastrous aid.
Today, from family to state level, we are expecting others to feed us. In fact, we seem to behave as though aids and other forms of assistants are coming as an obligation. Everybody is saying that the international community should do this and that for us. We became total dependents on the non-securable—the conditional aid. Dambisa Moyo, a western aid critic, wrote in her book, Stop the Dead Aid to Africa, that Africa is being ridiculed by the conditional aid.
As Moyo testified in her book, our mind grew fatty out of proportion to the extent that it got so lazy to produce creative ideas and solutions. In fact, our mindset has changed to something that is more awkward than that of Ad. (The whole nation is in a race for foreign aid.) In a phrase, we cannot repair our toilets without sending a funding proposal to the UN. Call it lack of confidence if you are willing.
But despite the toughness of the situation, we can do something about it. We can decide on a right course now and, in so doing, save our existence and that of the coming generations in the process.
The first thing we need to do is to recognize we are in grave situation of our choice. We also need to acknowledge that others traveled on this road before us. Once we admit this, a sign of recovery will take shape of its own—a new identity will begin to emerge.
The second thing is to behave in a manner that is consistent with the new identity. We need to divorce the logic that democracy is going to solve all our problems; that our leaders are going to be ethical species; and that diplomatic respect will play its fair game. This is so because as Thomas Friedman pronounced in his book, First Law of Petropolitics, that natural resources and the pace of democracy always move in opposite directions. Disassociating with democracy necessitates the annulment of aid.
We may also want to consider federalism. It already produced a downright failure in Somalia. In fact, the country is not ready for federalism yet.
The third thing we need to do is to know what we are buying. Yes, the concept of the free market holds true that the streets of supply and demand do intersect. This is where the danger lies. We may want to monitor who imports which products and who buys which product. I submit that some people will dismiss me as naive and unrealistic, but my argument is that we have power to choose what we consume.
Concisely, I hold the view that Somalia was misled by other nations whose rationalization to understand our own situation was desperately poor. Without giving any care as to what we really need, these nations are ripping us off future opportunities. According to Michael W. McLaughlin of Principal, MindShare Consulting LLC, we are sold to “solutions we may not need, systems that may not work, at a price we shouldn’t pay, in a language we don’t understand.” This is exactly what is happening on our soil. On daily basis, our people are sold to systems and justifiably misleading programs that take us down wrong path. Or what do you think?
Abdiqani Y. Farah