This is only based on my personal observations in the country since I had returned home from diaspora existence. It could be an international phenomenon as the world population is getting younger with the aging or passing away of older generations, that race, clan and tribe slowly lose relevance in societies worldwide.
Somalia is no different with 75% of its population under 35 years of age. Clan identification, though still strong with youth above 35, is definitely on the wane, particularly in South Central Somalia and Puntland with more inter-marriages and business joint ventures.
In the Northeast Regions (Puntland), not only clan identity is steadily disappearing, but also Puntland State identity among the youth. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your personal perspective, this is happening due to the fact that the State had not invested in youth programs and development since its creation in 1998. Absence of Puntland State ideology had smoothed up the way for youthful transition to more development of peer relationships than clan allegiance.
While in Northwest Regions (Somaliland), the new phenomenon was catching up lately to slowly replace nearly three decades of indoctrination, feeding youth with delusional misinformation and false propaganda for an independent “Somaliland Republic”, which accompanied a strong traditional tribal adherence particular to those Regions.
That is why nowdays you hear some Somaliland youth being arrested because they wore sports suits with Somali flag iscriptions and singers and poets sent to long-term prison after they performed in Mogadishu.
I believe, however, the decisive factor in shaping up Somali youth world outlook is the inter-connectivity through the social media, Facebook and YouTube, in particular. Social media has become a game changer in the life and thought of the new Somali youth.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
View all posts by Ismail Warsame