The Embassy of Federal Republic of Somalia and the Somali Community in Kuwait celebrate the 59th Independence and unification Days. Perhaps unlike other countries, the government and the Somali people both inside and in diaspora celebrate a week-long Annual Independence Day Festival; this is because three significant events took place during the last few days of colonial history in the Somali territories in the Horn of Africa. First, on 26th June 1960, former British Somaliland got its Independence from Great Britain. Secondly, four days after and on 1st July 1960, the former Italian Somaliland got its Independence from Italy. Thirdly, on the same day on 1st July 1960, the British and Italian Somali colonies have united to form the Republic of Somalia. After 59 years of Independence, the Somali experience shows mixed results of success and challenges concerning state-building endeavors.
The first nine years following Independence, Somalia was one of the first countries in Africa to successfully establish a vibrant multi-party democracy and the rule of law. Unfortunately, the military coup in October 1969 and subsequent years of military rule and dictatorship has resulted in a civil war and state collapse in the country. However, after years of national reconciliation efforts, and to address the grievances of different regions and districts across the country, the Somali people have opted to adopt a federal system of government, and as a result, the country was renamed as Federal Government of Somalia. Furthermore, endowed with the enormous economic potential of untapped natural resources and an essential strategic geopolitical location on the Gulf of Aden, which includes one of the longest coastlines of mainland Africa, and a large population of the Somali diaspora in almost all parts of the world – including North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East and Africa- the future of Somali, is one full of hope and brightness.
The Somali community in Kuwait is one of the oldest community in the country with the first members of the community arriving in the late 1940th and 1950th. However, the majority of the Somali families and experts have arrived in the late 70th. Since then Somali community has been part and partial of the magnificent transformation and development that has been taken places in Kuwait under the leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. It is important to note that two brotherly people of Kuwait and Somalis share many cultural and traditional norms in common, hence Kuwait has become home far from home for many Somalis who are born and educated in Kuwait.
By Abdullahi Mohammed Odowa
Ambassador of Somalia to Kuwait