Mustafa Duhulow, the Minister of Information of Somalia was a keynote speaker of today’s Global Communications Expo in Abu Dhabi, that brings diverse experts to collaborate in developing and implementing innovative Counter Violent Extremists communications activities. The Minister said “We need to fully empower our young people, so that they can take part the political and democratization process in Somalia.”
The Minister of Information during his stay in Abu Dhabi he had a meeting with H.E. Ambassador Faris Al-Mazoui, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Defense & Security of the United Arab Emirates. Both ministers discussed bi-lateral relations of Somalia and the UAE.
Minister Duhulow thanked the UAE’s unwavering support to Somalia and stated that Somalia is now moving forward and asked UAE’s continual support in order to bring peace and stability.
The Minister speaking at the conference said “I am pleased to see that emphasis has now shifted to communications in countering violent extremism. It has been known for some time that the information
component is critical in both counter terrorism and counter insurgency. In Somalia, we have actually put information in the lead:
we are not just saying it, we are actually doing it. Our approach is population centric, as we are engaging with the narratives of al-Shabaab head on by deconstructing their narratives pillar by pillar while concurrently building up our own capabilities both in reality but, more importantly, in public perception.”
The Minister continued to say “In Somalia the reason we are focusing on the information war is to win the hearts and minds of Somali people. When the people believe the government is delivering basic services, then we can truly win the hearts and minds of the people.
No one country can defeat an ideological challenge on their own because these challenges do not recognize borders. In Somalia, we know partnering with other governments who also have an interest in a stable and democratic Somalia can geometrically increase our efforts.”
The Ministry of Information, is leading the strategic communications for the Federal Government of Somalia. We have at our disposal a number of organic capabilities: Somali National Television (SNTV),
Radio Mogadishu, the Somali National News Agency (SONNA) and a major web presence. We dedicate whole sections of our output to the Somali National Army to publicise their successes on the battlefield but also
their growing capacity. I deliver a weekly update to the media across a range of topics to show how the government is progressing. A typical update might cover progresses on the ground in terms of service delivery, progress on education, health, implementing federalism, reconciliations and negotiations in the regions, developments and the latest security forces’ recovery of a town from al-Shabaab. We also share social issues, such as a singing competition and entertainment news – Somalis, like anyone, like to be entertained.”
The Minister continued to say “We also understand the importance of youth, and we fully engage with them in public awareness campaigns. We need to provide jobs, vocational training and education to our young people. We need to fully empower our young people, so that they can take part the political and democratization process in Somalia.”
The Minister concluded: “We are also doing a lot to develop the capabilities of our private media. We also engage with civil society groups, religious groups and women groups in order to win the hearts and minds of the people.
The Ministry of Information not only encourages civil society groups but also works with them in partnership.”