Somaliland’s politicians would probably not complain if the West did throw money at them. Most likely they would learn to squirrel it into Swiss accounts like other African elites do. Yet lack of international recognition means no aid, and guess what: no aid doesn’t mean disaster. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Hussein Abdi Dualeh, Somaliland’s minister of energy and minerals, told Reuters during a conference this month that it was the lack of aid, coupled with the related inability to borrow money on international markets, that had instilled in Somaliland’s economy both discipline and self-reliance.
What Somaliland does rely upon is remittances from its diaspora in the West. Which goes to show that sometimes the best development aid policy – the one that gets money where it is most needed, involves the least waste and is by far the most practical to enact without the intermediation of the state – is to hire an immigrant.