From 1-3 June 2015, Berghof staff members organized and attended the general preparatory workshop in Mogadishu, Somalia for the Building Federalism through Local Government Dialogue project. The workshop was attended by individuals from both the Office of the President and the Ministry of the Interior and Federal Affairs, as well as representatives from the regional administration in Middle Shabelle, the region in which the project activities and dialogue initiatives will mainly be carried out. Representatives from several Somali NGOs as well as from the three Somali partner universities for the project actively participated as well. The German Deputy Ambassador to Somalia also attended several workshop sessions.
The objective of the workshop was to discuss the project’s aims, methodology, and timeline with the main Somali stakeholders of the project and of the federalization process in Somalia in general. Lively and productive discussions took place on topics such as the theoretical and operational concept of federalism; the importance of local voices and interests in the federalism/decentralization process; and the need for conflict resolution and reconciliation in Somalia. These open discussions created an atmosphere of collaboration and enthusiasm about the project which was welcomed by all participants.