Video On Demand

Security in the Horn of Africa: A Discussion with Somalia's Deputy Prime Minister

February 26, 2024 • 9:00 – 10:00 am EST

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Join the CSIS Africa Program for a conversation with H.E. Salah Jama, Somalia's Deputy Prime Minister, as they address current events in Somalia and the Horn of Africa. 

After what seems like a long wait, Somalia has been officially admitted as the eighth and most recent member of the East African Community. While the country celebrates this landmark after years of intensive lobbying, it has faced criticisms from experts who express concern over potential security challenges that could arise within the bloc given Somalia’s long history of conflict. Somalia has long been affected by numerous challenges, ranging from its ongoing fight against the armed group al-Shabab which was responsible for 88% of deaths in 2019 to the recent drought and famine that left nearly 8 million people in dire need of humanitarian assistance. This crisis has in turn resulted in the displacement of over 3 million Somalis; making Somalia the fourth country with the highest number of IDPs in Africa 

Nonetheless, Somalia, which boasts an abundant agricultural production, also holds strategic importance to the bloc, including its long coastline that has the potential to boost trade and new offshore oil and gas reserves. With this unwavering mindset, Somalia has made considerable progress in addressing its challenges and restoring security through its military offensive against al-Shabab. The nation has also made the decision to transition to a direct voting system, with elections slated for every five years for officials, with the first implementation set to commence in 2024. 

This event is made possible with the generous support of Open Society Foundations.

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H.E. Salah Jama

H.E. Salah Jama

Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia