District Council formation lays foundation for good governance in Galkacyo district, Somalia

South Galkacyo reached a colossal landmark on the 22nd of December 2020 as the district hosted high profile delegates at the inauguration of the recently concluded District Council Formation. The event took place in Hotel Village, Galkacyo.

The event was attended by representatives of the European Union, FCA, and the UN together with Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, Galmudug State President Ahmed Abdi Karie (Qoor qoor), and other top officials from the state administration.

Other federal and state dignitaries included federal Ministers for Security, Higher Education, Social Affairs and Galmudug State Minister for Interior and Security, the Governor of Puntland’s Mudug, and the Mayor of Galkacyo North DCF.

The 27 council members were elected on the 22nd of October 2020 followed by a heated contest for mayor and Deputy mayor’s positions on the 24th of October 2020. The democratic free and fair election process laid the foundation for good governance in Galkacyo district and demonstrated community ownership by involving all the major Galkacyo stakeholders. The election saw unprecedented participation of elders, women and youth groups in the decision-making process.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony on the 22nd of December in South Galkacyo, the Prime Minister of Somalia, H.E Mohamed Hussein Roble pledged full support for the newly formed district council. “The federal government is fully committed to supporting the newly elected district council in Galkacyo. We commend the international community for supporting the Galmudug State DCF activities” the Somali Prime Minister stated during his speech.

Galmudug State President, H.E Ahmed Abdi Kariye (Qoor Qoor) emphasized the need for bringing services closer to the community at the district level. “My administration is very committed to decentralizing the administration. People elect their district representatives, village leaders and mayors” H. E President Ahmed Abdi Kariye said at the ceremony.

Two men sitting on arm chair discussing.

The Prime Minister of Somalia, H.E Mohamed Hussein Roble and Galmudug State President, H.E Ahmed Abdi Kariye (Qoor Qoor) at the inaugurations ceremony.

The newly elected mayor also stated his administration’s immediate priorities. “The newly elected council will focus on good governance, council capacity building, enhancing security, community-based priorities, local revenue location, management, infrastructure and community ownership over the next four years”, Mayor Abdirahman Sheikh Hassan said.

“Primary service will have to be arranged through the Local Governance Institute, and this is an urgent priority to make it fully functional. Representation and democracy are a culture – elected officials have duties at all times and not just at elections.  Every citizen has a duty, and only when taxes are paid will local governments work in reality”, said Paul Simkin, Senior Programme Manager for JPLG while attending the ceremony via Zoom.

The elected district council is expected to deliver essential services in the district and improve community well-being by promoting community cohesion to usher new development projects. The council members will receive capacity building to efficiently run the district business in the course of their mandate.

The process led by the Galmudug Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation received goodwill and support from the state’s top administration and the local people, with the youth and women playing a pivotal role.

The election strengthened women’s representation compared to the previous care-taker administration following the election of five women in the new council. However, it fell short of the targeted 30% quota. Similarly, the process saw an enormous increase in youth representation. The inclusion of youth and women was essential for inclusivity and empowering the district council’s decision-making process as youth constitute a majority of the district population.

The district council formation process is funded by the European Union (EU). It aims to strengthen local governance structures for more accountable and inclusive federal member states in support of the Wadajir National Framework.

The project is led by FCA and its consortium members, CRD and EISA, in close partnership of the Federal Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs and reconciliation, and Federal Member State counterpart ministries in the target locations.