First Workshop on Federalism for the Somali Boundaries and Federation Commission

The Foundation commenced capacity building workshops to assist the Somali Boundaries and Federation Commission (BFC)

On 16 September 2015, MPFPR Somali technical advisors delivered the first capacity building workshop to members of the newly established BFC in Mogadishu, Somalia. The capacity building workshops are part of a wider project to assist the Somali federalisation process through capacity building and the continuous provision of technical assistance on legal issues of significance to the Ministry of Interior and Federalism Affairs (MoIFA) and the BFC, the two entities spearheading the transformation of Somalia from a centralised unitary into a decentralised federal country. The project is financed by the German Federal Foreign Office and implemented by the MPFPR.

In line with the training-of-trainers workshop, MPFPR technical advisors embedded in the BFC conducted the first workshop to eight of the nine members of the BFC, including the Chairman Mr. Khalif Abdikarim Mohamed, who officially opened the workshop. A legal advisor to the Speaker of the House of the People and a member of civil society also attended the workshop.

In addition to introducing important concepts in federalism and decentralisation, the first workshop addressed a number of emerging issues concerning the ongoing formation of federal constituent units in Somalia. The participants were able to compare and contrast the state structures established in previous constitutions of Somalia with that provided for in the 2012 Provisional Constitution. In particular, the participants were able to examine the potential role and influence of the people, and the respective roles of regional administrations and the Somali Federal Government in deciding on internal boundaries of constituent units, in readjusting such boundaries as may become necessary, in establishing new constituent units, and in authoritatively resolving boundary disputes. The members of the BFC welcomed and drew useful lessons from the comparative examples based on the laws and experiences of federal countries in Africa and beyond.