A high-level conference organized to discuss ways of promoting participation of minorities in the affairs of the country has proposed a raft of recommendations aimed at fostering peace and stability.Top on the list is the proposal to include provisions in the constitution to help protect the rights of minorities and bar any form of discrimination. Others are changing the electoral system from the 4.5 clan based system to 5 to pave way for universal suffrage; establishing a social development fund for minorities; setting aside a date to annually honour minority groups; incorporating the history and civilization of the minorities in the education syllabus and setting aside resources for the economic empowerment of minorities.
The recommendations were read by a former deputy minister, Engineer Nadifo Mohamed Osman, at the end of a three-day meeting, held in Mogadishu, Thursday, that brought together Somali scholars, politicians, government officials and local residents. “The government should make provisions in the constitution to safeguard minority groups by empowering them both politically and economically,” Ms. Osman said. She added that the recommendations if implemented would go a long way in strengthening social cohesion and promoting peace and security.
Participants at the conference funded by the Danish government and organized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs with the support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) also adopted a draft National Action Plan, which will be incorporated in the National Development Plan, once finalized. Speaking at the function, the Director of Training in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ismail Moallim Abdullahi, hailed the participants for their contribution in the conference, noting that the government has already launched initiatives, namely vocational training and sensitization campaigns, to address some of the issues raised.