Why Do We Say Ethio-Somali Region is on The Move?
By Dr. Nimaan Abdullahi Hamarrie
If one were to have a flashback of the region’s state of affairs prior to 2009, all that comes to mind is a grim picture that vividly shows stagnant socio-economic reality that had not changed so much since the downfall of the dergue regime. Many believed that the Ethiopian Somali Regional State would fare better once it shrugged the yolks of oppression off its shoulders but the political leadership that held grips of power in the region for 18 years failed to move the regional state forward up until the advent of the current visionary leadership barely 7 years ago.
The political clique that led the region for 18 years after the downfall of the Dergue regime did little to improve the already shattered livelihoods of pastoral people of the region under previous oppressive governments.
The Ethiopian Somali People Democratic Party(ESPDP) has radically changed the status qou when competent leadership capable of delivering the social,economic and political programmes of the party came to power back in 2009.The new leadership has worked diligently to bring about swift socio-economic progress in unprecedented scale by implementing robust institutional and structural changes with attainable policy frameworks in collaboration with the Federal government. Today,there are more social service facilities and infrastructure of every sort than ever. Progress and improvement in livelihoods of the region’s people is palpable in every dimension. Jigjiga city, for instance, has transformed from a mere dusty town that had very poor infrastructure into grade-1 vibrant city by Ethiopian standards within just the last 7 years while other towns such as Qabridahar,Dhagahbour and Gode have also been growing in amazing speed and pace with an ongoing mass development projects to be completed soon. The regional government has made huge strides in road infrastructure which is evident in the increasingly vast rural road networks across the region.Large swathes of the region that were once inaccessible due to lack of road infrastructure are connected by roads of various grades.in short;
• The people of the region has suffered insecurity so much that most of the administrative zones were virtually no-go areas due to threats and atrocities posed by anti-peace elements just 6 years ago.Today, thanks to the heroic commitment and bravery of Liyyu police and EDF,the anti-peace elements that stifled the development of the region are now annihilated.
• The regional government has done a lot in agricalture and pastoral development,especially basin development and voluntary ressetlement of pastoralists along the riverine areas.
• The current government has achieved a glorious success story in water sector that many areas of the region have now access to clean water and many projects are in pipeline.
• Manufucturing sector is looming,oil processing plants,flour mills ,milk processing plants and modern export abattoirs have already began production in Jigjiga.
• The region has a comparative advantage in livestock,sesame farming,onion farming,sugarcane plantation and a conducive climate has been created for investors to venture bussiness in these sectors.
• The region is clearly on the move in every dimensions while it continues to register many more success stories that would set an illusterous example to the rest emerging regions of our country.As such,It won’t be out of a stretch if I say,our region is catching up with the developed corriders/regions of the country.
This progress is because of the people’s lust for peace and development and the vigorous determination of the current ESPDP leadership to serve their people