Attendants were selected members of the Legislative Assembly of South-West State.
After the successful implementation of two rounds of workshops in Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Puntland, and Jubaland, the Max Planck Foundation has now organised the same workshops on Introduction to Political Decentralisation and Federalism and Federal Member State Constitutions in South-West State. All workshops were implemented within the framework of the project entitled Capacity Building and Legal Advice for the Federal Member State Legislative Assemblies in Somalia funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.
The workshop on the first topic, Introduction to Political Decentralisation and Federalism was formally opened by the First Deputy and Acting Speaker of South-West State on 23 February 2023. The materials for this workshop had been prepared by the Foundation in consultation with Somali Legal Advisors. After a general introduction to the topic, the participants exchanged their ideas on the current situation and varying perspectives on federalism in Somalia. The ensuing group exercise provided a look at possible advantages and disadvantages of a) a decentralized unitary state structure, b) a decentralized federal system, and c) of a confederal state structure in a fictitious country.
With a similar approach, the workshop on the second topic, Federal Member State Constitutions, took place on 25 February 2023. The workshop also started with welcoming remarks by the First Deputy and Acting Speaker of the South-West State Assembly. The presentation then focused on questions surrounding federal member state constitutions, and was guided by two main points of interest: Whether member states in a federal system have state constitutions and if yes, why. Further, the presentation outlined available mechanisms to ensure the compatibility between the constitutions of federal member states and a national federal constitution. The workshop concluded with practical scenarios on such compatibility questions and lively discussions.
The members of the South-West State Assembly welcomed the start of the legal capacity building workshop series in Baidoa, and expressed their appreciation for both workshops, as they provided them with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge for their day-to-day work.