Two years ago Global Somali Diaspora (GSD) laid the foundations of Somali diaspora cooperation. GSD is in a celebratory mood, but also one of reflection on our people’s past, present and future. Within this context, GSD recognises the contribution of Somali’s around the globe as one of its main creative and productive tools, because their ideals and aspirations consolidate GSD as a democratic, inclusive, and innovative organisation.
After decades of war, many Somalis emigrated to different parts of the globe seeking a better life. Today, there are approximately 2 to 3 million Somalis living in the diaspora in four main areas: Africa, Middle East, Europe and North America. The contribution and support of the Somali diaspora is vital to Somali society, they are active in different sectors including: education, healthcare and politics. The diaspora have a significant influence on the Somali economy and the region as a whole through the remittance system, estimated to be $1.3bn-$2bn a year.
Organising and mobilising Somali diaspora must be a national priority for Somalia, without this it would be difficult to achieve a sustainable national revival. GSD recognises that the reconstruction and development of our nation depends largely on the contribution of the diaspora, and in their cooperation; therefore, we are working hard to provide a platform from which they can bring their skills and abilities together, in a timely and appropriate manner.
Recent security, development and confidence gains made by our homeland population encouraged significant Somali diaspora to return, investing in the country and keen to make promising contributions to society. Yet to date, there is no comprehensive strategy in place to fully utilise Somali diaspora, maximise and take advantage of their skills, resources and social capital in the rebuilding of the country.
Since its inception in Turkey, GSD has been mobilising, engaging and organising diaspora around the world. In doing so, GSD has held conferences, advocacy and public awareness raising events in every country with a Somali community. GSD has also formed a close and effective relationship with the private sector and government institutions.
In August 2015 GSD held a successful conference in Mogadishu called “A showcase of Somali Diaspora Success” where private sector, including small, medium and large companies, diaspora entrepreneurs, professionals and notable change markers were invited to share their stories, ideas and experience to inspire and encourage more diaspora involvement and investment.
The Somali diaspora population is one of the most populous diaspora from Africa. They are also the most educated and enjoy the best levels of prosperity as far as Somali population is concerned. Therefore, it is important for us as a nation to take advantage of this opportunity before it is too late. Otherwise, the goals of reviving the nation could be seriously hampered.
24 months after the first gathering in Istanbul, Turkey, GSD is organising the second Diaspora International Conference as a forum for discussion and reflection on the role of our diaspora in strengthening of not only our communities around the globe but also shaping the future of our nation in the long term.
GSDIC will be an International Conference that aims to bring together key Somali diaspora stakeholders; private sectors, civil society organisations and government institutions, in order to redouble and re-energise Somali diaspora’s contribution to the homeland.
This will be an opportunity for all stakeholders to identify opportunities and challenges in both in the homeland and in the Diaspora. This aims to form an effective and closer collaboration between diaspora, private sector, government institutions and civil society organisations, to work together in the area of national interests such as: job-creation, protecting the remittance and different sectors forging working relationships. This conference will examine effective ways diaspora can play a greater role in the rebuilding of the country, especially important areas of agriculture and livestock, fishing and roads.
This conference’s vision is: to be the biggest and most ambitious diaspora conference, completely owned and lead by Somalis for Somalis and for Somalia. All stakeholders such as private sectors, civil societies and government institutions will attend in order to:
- Bring together diaspora, private sectors and civil society organisations to forge effective and sustainable partnerships
- Provide a platform and opportunities of networking for businesses, government institutions and diaspora
- Develop integrated national strategy that allows Somali diaspora to re-double and make more effective and tangible contributions to the development and rebuilding of the homeland
- Promote national image globally by spreading success stories both in diaspora and the homeland.
- To support national reconciliation and understanding between diaspora and local Somali’s
- GSDIC will be a Somali owned process
- It will take place in Somalia
- It will be inclusive and representative
IV. Implementer Profile
Global Somali Diaspora (GSD) is a non-profit global organisation that aims to advocate, promote, connect and organise Somali diaspora communities.
GSD was established as a result of representatives participating in an international Somali diaspora conference convened in Istanbul, Turkey in June, 2014. Hundreds of representatives from across the world met, to discuss and form an organisation that would unite the Somali people around the world.
GSD has a unique global outreach capacity and has developed a good relationship with Somali diaspora communities, organisations, business and leaders. It has held outreach sessions, launches and conference in 18 countries to develop a working relationship with these global communities. As a result, GSD is well placed to organise an informative, inclusive and productive conference.