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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Rethinking State-building in Somalia

On 6 December 2012, the RVI's Nairobi Forum hosted a seminar on ‘Rethinking state-building in Somalia: Negotiated statehood and hybrid governance’. The first discussion was led by Dr Marleen Renders, author of Consider Somaliland: State-Building with Traditional Leaders and Institutions, who said: ‘There can be no equitable or sustainable state-building in the region until policy-makers accept and understand the interactions between formal and informal institutions, and state and non-state actors.’ Subsequent panels included representatives from Somali Peace Line, the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA), Pact Kenya, Somaliland Focus UK, the Max Planck Institute, and the European Union. Mohamed Nur Mohamud of the National Democratic Institute Somalia said: ‘For Somalis, real statehood in the twenty-first century means more than a hybrid mix of local and formal institutions, and must include law and order, citizens’ rights and competitive politics.’

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