Somali Magazine Nov 3 ,2023 – Hon Abdirahman Mohamed Sheikh is an industrious Somalia Member of Parliament who has embarked on a journey to drive good governance in the country.
His contribution to the Somali community in the diaspora, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, is nothing short of significant and commendable. As a humanitarian, he has dedicated his time and effort to ensuring that individuals suffering from various medical conditions are able to receive treatment in medically advanced nations, such as Australia.
Abdirahman’s commitment to helping others is truly inspiring. Leaving behind his comfortable job in Australia, he made the courageous decision to return to war-torn Somalia in 2021. Despite the security risks posed by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab, he was determined to contribute to the rebuilding efforts of his home country. This selflessness demonstrates his genuine desire to give back to the land of his birth.
In addition to his humanitarian efforts, Abdirahman has also made strides in the political arena. Running for public office as a Member of Parliament, he achieved victory in his first attempt. Through his position, he has been able to mobilize the nation and its defense forces in the fight against Al-Shabaab. As a result, significant progress has been made in uprooting the terrorist group from numerous cities and towns within Galmudug and HirShabelle states. Abdirahman’s dedication to national security and the well-being of his fellow Somalis has been instrumental in these successes.
Furthermore, Abdirahman’s commitment to his role as an MP has not gone unnoticed. He has consistently displayed exceptional attendance and punctuality, earning him praise from the Speaker of the Somali Federal Parliament. This recognition has led to his selection as one of the few Somali MPs representing the nation at regional IGAD conferences. Abdirahman’s dedication to his duties and his unwavering patriotism make him a role model for future generations.
Somali Magazine had an exclusive interview with the Member of Parliament who shared his vision for his constituency and Somalia as a whole.
Can you share with us your journey into politics and your motivation for becoming a Member of Parliament?
As a Somali Member of Parliament, I am honored to serve my constituents and the Somali people as a whole. My journey into politics was inspired by my desire to make a difference in the lives of my fellow Somalis. During the civil war in Somalia, I migrated to New Zealand and Australia, as a diaspora, and far from home I decided to make significant contributions to the Somali community in the diaspora, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, As a humanitarian, I dedicated my time and effort to ensuring that individuals suffering from various medical conditions are able to receive treatment in medically advanced nations.
There are a number of socio-economic problems facing your constituency and the people of Somalia at large, what initiative have you applied to solve these problems?
After my return to war-torn Somalia in 2021. Despite the security risks posed by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab, I was determined to contribute to the rebuilding efforts of my home country. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Parliament to address the key issues facing our country, including:
Our country has faced many security challenges over the years, including terrorism, insurgency, and piracy. I am working to strengthen our security forces and promote peace and stability throughout the country.
Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world. I am working to create jobs, grow the economy, and improve the lives of ordinary Somalis.
I am working to improve access to quality education for all Somalis, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Somalia’s healthcare system is weak and underdeveloped. I am working to improve access to healthcare and reduce maternal and child mortality rates.
Do you think your position as a member of parliament has impacted the lives of the locals?
I believe that my role as an MP has made a positive impact on my local community and the nation. I regularly meet with my constituents to hear their concerns and bring their voices to Parliament. I have also worked to secure funding for important projects in my constituency, such as a new school and a healthcare clinic.
I am committed to promoting transparency, accountability, and good governance in Somalia. I have worked to strengthen the oversight role of Parliament and to hold government officials accountable for their actions.
Somalia has faced many challenges over the years. What are your thoughts on the current political and social landscape, and what changes or improvements do you think are necessary?
Somalia is a diverse country with a long history of conflict. I am working to build bridges between different communities and to promote unity and reconciliation. Despite the progress that has been made in recent years, Somalia remains a fragile state facing a number of challenges, including Security, Corruption, Clan divisions and Poverty and unemployment. Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world, and unemployment is high. This creates a breeding ground for extremism and instability.
To address these challenges, I believe that the following changes and improvements are necessary to Strengthen security institutions, Fight corruption, Promote reconciliation and unity and Invest in development. The government needs to invest in development programs that create jobs, reduce poverty, and improve the lives of ordinary Somalis. This includes investing in education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
What are your priorities in terms of legislation or policy changes that you are advocating for in Parliament?
I believe that Parliament plays a vital role in promoting stability and development in Somalia. Parliament is the legislative body of the country and is responsible for passing laws, overseeing the government, and approving the budget. Parliament also plays an important role in holding the government accountable and in promoting transparency and good governance.
What is your daily work schedule like as a member of parliament?
As a Member of Parliament in Somalia, my daily responsibilities and activities are varied and demanding. I typically spend my days attending meetings, both in Parliament and with my constituents. I also spend time reading and researching legislation, drafting bills, and meeting with government officials.
Additionally my commitment to as an MP has not gone unnoticed. I consistently displayed exceptional attendance and punctuality, earning praise from the Speaker of the Somali Federal Parliament. This recognition has led me to be selected as one of the few Somali MPs representing the nation at regional IGAD regional conferences.
Somalia is known for its cultural and ethnic diversity. How do you address issues related to diversity, inclusion, and representation within your constituency?
Somalia is a diverse country with a rich cultural heritage. However, this diversity has also been a source of conflict and division in the past. As a member of parliament in Somalia, I am committed to addressing issues related to diversity, inclusion, and representation within my constituency.
I believe that diversity is a strength, not a weakness. By promoting dialogue, understanding, inclusion, and representation, we can create a more harmonious and prosperous Somalia for all.
In addition to the above, I also make an effort to learn about the diverse cultures and traditions of my constituents. I believe that it is important to understand the unique perspectives of each community in order to effectively represent their interests.In your opinion, what role does Parliament play in promoting stability and development in Somalia?
Parliament also plays an important role in promoting social cohesion and national unity. By bringing together people from all different backgrounds and regions, Parliament can help to build a sense of common identity and purpose among Somalis. This can help to reduce conflict and promote peace and stability.
Overall, Parliament plays a vital role in promoting stability and development in Somalia. By exercising its legislative and oversight powers, Parliament can help to create a more stable and secure environment, promote good governance, and ensure that the government is responsive to the needs of the people.
What message or advice do you have for young Somalis who aspire to enter politics and make a positive impact on their communities and the nation?
To the young Somalis who aspire to enter politics and make a positive impact on their communities and the nation is to get involved, educate themselves, build relationships, and be persistent.
Iam reminding them to not give up on their dreams. It takes time and effort to make a difference in politics. Be patient and persistent, and never give up on your goals. I believe that Somalia has a bright future ahead of it. With the hard work and dedication of its people, Somalia can overcome its challenges and become a peaceful, prosperous, and just country.