The breakaway territory of Somaliland cannot access foreign aid because it has not yet been recognised internationally as a state, and that suits it just fine.
"That is a blessing in disguise. Aid never developed anything," Hussein Abdi Dualeh, Somaliland’s minister of energy and minerals, told Reuters on the sidelines of an African mining conference.
"Aid is not a panacea, we’d rather not have it … How many African countries do you know that developed because of a lot of aid? It’s a curse. The ones that get the most aid are the ones with the problems," he said.
Dualeh said Somaliland, which broke away from Somalia in 1991, showed that an African country could fend for itself with no outside help. Somaliland has enjoyed relative stability compared with the rest of Somalia, which has been racked by decades of civil war, and has held a series of peaceful elections.
"We’ve been left to our own devices. We are our own people and our own guys. We pull ourselves up by our own boot straps," said the US-educated minister who speaks English with an American accent.
He also said that while the country could not access international capital markets it also had no debt as a result, adding to its narrative of self-reliance.
"We owe absolutely nothing to anybody. We would not change hands with Greece today. We have zero debt," he said.
He said the country’s national budget was around $250m, funded completely by its own resources. Its economy is largely based on selling livestock - goats and cattle - to Arab countries, while it also relies heavily on the remittances of its diaspora community.
"Remittances from overseas prop up the economy to the tune of about a billion dollars a year," Dualeh said.
In other news, Hargeisa City installs its first streetlights, which are solar powered, http://somalilandsun.com/index.php/politics/government/5127-somaliland-first-street-light-s-launched-in-hargeisa-city