Kenya’s former Prime Minister and African Union special envoy, Raila Odinga is one of the top leaders here who have shown total support to “free Somaliland.” Odinga has been leading calls for the recognition of Somaliland as an independent state and we see him as a valuable partner in the quest for independence of Somaliland.
His appointment as the Africa Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa was well received in Hargeisa. Raila is quite aware of the role Somaliland plays not only in the economy of Kenya but also in this region.
Somaliland is home to the largest number of Kenyans living and working in the Horn of Africa region. The Kenyans in Somaliland work in the education industry as teachers and lecturers, in the hotel industry, while others are working as doctors and nurses and in the Information Technology sector.
A more intense cooperation can see trade between the two countries grow. They are in the process of expanding the Port of Berbera which once complete will be one of the most modern in the region.
With Kenya also expanding the Lamu Port, the two countries can supplement each other in trade between the two ports and beyond.
According to Bashe Awil Omar, Somaliland representative to Kenya, his nation’s economy is booming, yet has had to import most agricultural commodities from the Middle East. An interesting fact is most of the produce like fruits and vegetables that is imported from the Middle East are originally from Kenya.
With a more solid partnership, promote education and health tourism. As things stand now, our people are forced to seek further education and medical attention in Europe and the middle east yet they can access the same facilities in Kenya.
Bashe Awil Omar claims that Kenya is respected across the continent and beyond for its democracy and strong international policy. Should Kenya recognize Somaliland, the rest of Africa and especially the African Union will have no alternative. He claims that a recognized Somaliland will play an even bigger role in promoting peace in the Horn of Africa.