The creation and transformation of institutions like the Ministry of Expatriate Affairs of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) in 2008 and the Somali Interests Department during the military regime (1969 -1990) in the Somali Democratic Republic underscore a historical acknowledgment of the Diaspora’s significance in Somalia’s national development. These entities have demonstrated adaptability to evolving circumstances and shifting priorities, ultimately leading to the establishment of the Department of Diaspora Affairs in 2013.
The Somali Diaspora plays a multifaceted role in the development of the country. One crucial aspect is the management of financial remittances. Remittances from the Diaspora constitute a significant source of income for many Somali families and contribute significantly to the national economy. The Department of Diaspora Affairs likely plays a pivotal role in ensuring the efficient and secure transfer of these funds, thereby supporting the livelihoods of individuals and fostering economic stability.
Facilitating connections between the Diaspora and both their host and home country is another essential function. This involves creating platforms for dialogue, collaboration, and networking. By fostering these connections, the department can harness the skills, expertise, and resources of the Diaspora for the benefit of Somalia. Additionally, promoting access to international markets and encouraging Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) helps stimulate economic growth and development.
Knowledge transfer is a critical component of the department’s activities. The Somali Diaspora often possesses valuable skills, experiences, and knowledge acquired abroad. By facilitating the transfer of this knowledge back to Somalia, the Department of Diaspora Affairs contributes to capacity building and the enhancement of various sectors, including education, healthcare, technology, and governance.
In overseeing socio-economic development initiatives, the department likely collaborates with both national and international partners. This could involve implementing projects and programs aimed at addressing specific challenges faced by communities in Somalia, leveraging the resources and support of the Diaspora and other stakeholders.