'There is a renewed spirit in Somalia. We have a new government, a new constitution and we are all committed to effective and democratic ways of serving all our people.' This was said by Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan, the new Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Somalia, at the UK centre for Initiatives of Change (IofC) in London, on Thursday, 3 January.
Pointing out that Somalia was a nation rich in natural resources, she said: 'We have over eight million hectares of arable land and the largest number of livestock per head in Africa. We need talent and skills to tap these resources.
'Building peace and reconciliation is one of the six pillars of action that the new government is committed to. We need to create trust, unity and integrity. These efforts must go hand in hand with our development objectives to eradicate poverty. Here, the role of women is vital.'
The Deputy Prime Minister urged SIDD and IofC-UK to set up initiatives to foster trust building, reconciliation and unity in Somalia.
'Those in the Somali Diaspora have something to contribute. There are conversations and new relationships that can be built. The perspectives and skills that we gain in our adopted countries can be of benefit to our homeland,' he added.
Photos by Peter Riddell