Fiscal Federalism in Somalia: Constitutional Ambiguity, Political Economy and Options for a Workable Arrangement

Somalia adopted a federal system in 2004 when the Transitional Federal Charter was adopted in Kenya. Since then, it has evolved into a provisional constitution, which was temporarily approved by the over 800-member constitutional assembly in Mogadishu in 2012. The devolution of power has exposed Somalia to recurrent disputes between the FGS and its constituent units over power and resource distribution. At the heart of a bitter and draining schism and bone of contention between the levels of government is fiscal federalism. This results from ambiguity inherent in the Somalia Provisional Constitution over this and other crucial matters. As this problem grows, this study sheds light on the state of fiscal federalism in Somalia, and the challenges that stand in the way of a workable agreement. However, it also proposes practical models and recommendations in resolving the existing disputes over fiscal federalism.

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After the disagreements over the delayed elections were settled, Somalia is to hold indirect parliamentary and presidential elections. The first phase of elections, Upper House elections, is scheduled to take place in late July 2021 while the House of the People and presidential elections will follow respectively.

Consequently, to watch, observe and report on the transparency, probity and integrity of the electoral processes, Creative Associates International through Bringing Unity, Integrity, and Legitimacy to Democracy (BUILD) Program, initiated and advertised National Election Observation Missions bid by civil society organizations in the five Federal Member States and Benadir region.

SPA, reckoning on its extensive writing on Somalia elections, applied for the bid and won it later. As part of its performance obligations, SPA recruits ten (10) qualified observers to be trained and engage in the election observation in the Benadir region during the election phases.

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Personal Reflection on My Internship at SPA

My three-month internship with the Somali Public Agenda (SPA) has come to an end. The internship was a great opportunity for me to acquire various skills and experiences. I am grateful for this opportunity at SPA. A few of the things that I learned while working with the SPA were discipline, respect and time management. Read more