EDITORIAL: SOMALIA NEEDS MORE IMMIGRANTS IN

Garowe, May 29, 2019

To catch-up its neighbors, over-take them, compete and prosper, Somalia needs to allow more immigrants into the country and create the environment to keep them. Immigrant help in Somalia’s labor market is so important that a Somali lady-refugee in Kenya hires several local Kenyans to help her sustain livelihood in a refugee camp.

In Somalia, growing agricultural, construction and hospitality sectors badly need more workers now than ever before, both skilled and unskilled help to grow and expand these sectors throughout the country. These migrant workers do jobs that Somalis don’t want, don’t have skills for or too lazy to do. Education Sector greatly benefits from teachers hired from Kenya. Even goats and camels herders have been taking advantage of migrant workers from Ethiopia too. Nowadays it is hard to imagine a household in Puntland or Somaliland without domestic workers from Ethiopia.

The fear-mongering by some people that the country is going to be swallowed by Ethiopia doesn’t hold any waters. No country I know has even been taken over by immigrants, certainly not an Arab country, European or North American.

Historically, Europe and North America had been entirely built by hands of immigrants from all over the world. Arab workers had built Israel and turned it into what it is today, despite their severe conflicts in the Middle East. Petro-dollars of Gulf States had enabled them to bring in and hire hundreds of thousands of Asian migrant workers, skilled workers and professionals from advanced countries of Europe and North America.

Today, the World is what it is because of migrant workers.

Take a look at most recent statistics on Puntland alone.
Ethiopia migrant stories: 35,107 migrants have entered Puntland last year, 98% of them Ethiopians; there were 161 unaccompanied children; 17 migrants died in traffic accidents. The number of people who departed for Yemen were 32,586, of those 81% were Ethiopians, 19% Somalis.

(Image and statistics credits: Somaliaonline.com)

Author: Warsame Digital Media WDM

About the blogger: This blog is associated with the former Chief of Staff in Puntland State Presidency, 1998-2005. He also worked with the UN and World Bank Joint Secretariat for Somalia’s Re-construction and Development Program (RDP), 2005-2006, as a Zonal Technical Coordinator for Puntland and later as National Aid Technical Coordinator with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and European Union. He is now an independent political analyst and commentator on current issues and occasionally gives historical perspective on modern Somalia’s politics. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada. He can be reached at: ismailwarsame@gmail.com

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