Nov 14, 2012

Somaliland: Sustainable Media Development

The Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) has established fully functional regional offices sponsored by National Endowment for Development (NED).

Below is an article published by Somaliland Sun:

SOLJA has thanked the USA based National Endowment for Development for its financial support that has enabled the reporter's welfare association to establish sustainable operations nationwide.

In an interview with Somaliland Sun the SOLJA Secretary General Mr. Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah revealed that NED is providing operational costs for his organization as pertains to office rent, stationery, utilities etc.

"Due to the NED funds we have managed to establish fully functional regional offices as well as enhancement of other internal activities" Said Mohamed-Rashid

SOLJA which hopes that NED which started subsiding its operational costs earlier this year shall extend the contract thus facilitate the associations continued activities geared towards sustainability, an occurrence that has been a thorn in the flesh of SOLJA since it used to rely on members contribution that were mostly not timely.

The Secretary General further revealed that this year’s National Press Freedom day that were commemorated nationwide on the 10th of this month [November 2012] were made possible by financial contribution of NED.

Mr. Mohamed-Rashid says journalists need a resource centre association that has a total membership of 288 journalists says that NED sponsorship has enable it to concentrate on other objectives of its strategic plan of import being training on media ethics, establishment of Media centre and recruitment of full time legal services.

Said he, "we are determined to ensure that our members who are mostly constrained by lack of working tools are availed them on as 'when needed basis' as well as a conducive environment for working with internet connection "

[…] As for the need of legal services Mohamed-Rashid claims that SOLJA is deep in debt that emanate from legal services it has contracted this year following the 79 arrests affected on members.

The body's chairperson Mr. Hasan Mohamed Yusuf who acknowledge on the imperative need for dialogue with the administration said that he is intent on ensuring that all members of SOLJA and relevant government authorities are endowed with media Ethics skills.

Said he, "Once all our members and government obtain this skills it is possible that most arrests will diminish".