Horn Of Africa Bulletin Vol 29 No. 1 January-February 2017

This January-February issue focuses on the elections in Somalia and their impact on the future of Somalia. This issue also addresses the interface between the elections in Somalia and their impact on ‘Somaliland. Faduma Abukar’s article is particularly insightful in this regard being based on direct reportage of events just before and after the elections. Her article captures the unrestrained joy and hope that greeted the news of Farmaajo’s victory and provides a very interesting overview of the outsized role of social media in the Somalia elections. The article by Najum Mushtaq explores this overarching theme in detail and provides an overview of the challenges facing the new president of Somalia. Najum’s article ends on an optimistic note and suggests the possibility that the new president’s thinking and priorities augur well for the future. The article by Mohamed Amin focuses on issues of gender and politics and sounds a sombre note in underlining the continuing obstacles to political participation by Somali women which are exacerbated in the constricted spaces allowed for in the existing political system in Somalia.Peter Chonka’s panoramic and analytic take on the complex political manoeuvring and tensions between the Somali Federal Government and authorities in Somaliland in the context of the elections in south central Somalia is a riveting and necessary read for all those interested in the recent elections and what they portend for the future of Somalia.The article by Aly Verjee discusses the often-mentioned but seldom adequately studied topic of electoral finances and the impact of financial resources in Somaliland elections. Aly’s article highlights some of the salient effects of electoral spending by parties and political entrepreneurs and how this has affected the electoral system. The article underlines the gaps in approaches that reify elections and electoral processes while at the same time ignoring larger socio-economic dynamics.