District council formation in Galkayo, Somalia completed with improved representation of youth and women

An elected district council member casts her vote to elect the Mayor of Galkayo.

The district formation process is implemented under the European Union (EU) funded project that aims to strengthen local governance structures. The inclusion of women and youth was essential in empowering the district council’s decision-making process.

South Galkayo district in Somalia reached a significant milestone on 24th of October by electing its mayor and his deputy.

Abdirahman Sheikh Hassan Jimale and Mohamed Abdi Elmi were elected as mayor and deputy mayor of the district respectively for the coming four years in a fair and inclusive process that saw 5 women and 17 youth elected in the newly formed district council. The successful process, funded by the European Union as part of its support to local governance structures, advances the government’s decentralization plan as well as the Wadajir National Framework on Local Governance.

The event was attended by Galmudug’s Minister of Interior and local government Mr Abdi Mohamed Jamac (Abdi Wayel), other state ministers and deputy ministers, members of parliament from the state, and various community stakeholders such as elders, youth and women groups.

Speaking at the event, the state’s assistant minister Ahmed Hassan Ali reminded the newly elected council members that they have an enormous task ahead in ensuring that the district gets access to services that it did not have before.

“The newly elected mayor and his deputy have to ensure the district is united under a noble cause by not forgetting that you will be held accountable after your four-year tenure comes to an end”, he said.

The Delegation of the European Union to Somalia congratulated the new local leaders and expressed its conviction that local reconciliation efforts are the basis for stability and prosperity in Somalia.

Women and youth active participants in the election

For the past five months, significant foundations were laid down in promoting a democratic and inclusive process. The process was highlighted by the increase in dialogues and interface mechanisms between state and non-state actors and among different community groups. Youth and women groups participated actively, and the top leadership of the state’s government showed strong commitment throughout the process.

Even though the elected council members fell short of the desired 30 per cent quorum for women representation, it is greater than before. Five of the 27 council members are women, which translates into a 19 per cent representation of women. Similarly, the process saw a significant increase in youth representation with 17 youth being elected, which translates to a 63 per cent representation. The inclusion of women and youth was essential in empowering the district council’s decision-making process.

The formation of the district council in Galkayo is taking place under the local governance law approved by the Galmudug authority in January 2018. The principle of the devolution of powers is enshrined in chapter five of Somalia’s provisional federal constitution of 2012.

The district formation process is funded by the European Union (EU) through a project that aims to strengthen local governance structures for more accountable and inclusive federal member states in support of the Wadajir National Framework. It is implemented by FCA and its two consortium members, CRD and EISA, in close partnership with the Ministries of Interior and Local Government of Galmudug and other federal member states across Somalia.