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Somalia’s youth: A generation spent dreaming of unity

By Mohamed Sheikh Nor
Posted on Saturday, 3 July 2021 11:23, updated on Sunday, 4 July 2021 23:37

Youth at Somalia's 61st Independence Day 28 June - 1 July 2021. Photo by: Mohamed Sheikh Nor

This year, Somalia’s 61st independence day was celebrated over six days. First to commemorate its independence in the northern region from Britain on 26 June, and then again on 1 July to mark the reunification of the Somali republic. The younger generation – people under 30 – make up about 70% of the population today, and they have only ever known a country marked by its scars from war. Do they see a future for Somali?  

This year’s independence celebration was nearly marred by the continued delay of the national elections. But with a new timetable in place, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

No matter who wins the vote, though, there are major challenges like taking on the Al-Shaabab Islamist rebels, providing security so that millions of refugees and internally displaced people can return home and supporting the economy to create jobs and deliver on development.

Back on track?