Chargé d'Affaires Dixon Remarks at Somalia’s Centennial Vision 2060 Launch
As Prepared for Delivery
Mr. President, Honorable Ministers and Members of Parliament, friends, and colleagues,
Thank you for inviting me to speak today. As we kick off Somalia’s Centennial Vision 2060, we stand in a significant moment of challenge and change. From here, we look back to Somalia’s independence to see how far you have come and the challenges you have faced. And we also look forward toward the future, where I predict the resilience and resolve of the Somali people will shine brightly.
The United States firmly believes in the future of Somalia, a future where conflict is consigned to the pages of history, and social and economic growth is a reality for all. This belief is rooted in the relentless spirit of the Somali people and their unwavering will to write a new narrative for their nation. The United States wants to be a part of this journey, and to help you write this new narrative.
Our support for Somalia is steadfast and substantial. Over the past two years, the United States has contributed over $1.5 billion in humanitarian assistance. This aid has been vital in mitigating the damage from the catastrophic once-in-a-century flooding.
Moreover, the United States has been a staunch supporter of Somalia’s security efforts as we focus on defeating al-Shabaab, and I would especially like to highlight the courageous efforts of your young men and women in uniform. They are Somali heroes, and you can be proud of them.
But gathered here today, we can truly say that neither environmental disaster nor the threat of terrorism is going to dictate the future of the Somali people. In fact, today’s event is a reminder of what we are fighting for. It is to ring in the stability that will allow Somalia to prosper. That will allow Somali entrepreneurship to thrive here at home, just like it does in the United States, in Europe, and across East Africa. And that will open the eyes of investors around the world who will see the economic potential that awaits them here in your country.
Somalia is already making tremendous advances in the right direction. You’ve just achieved accession into the East African Community, and you are on the verge of reaching the completion point under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. This will increase Somalia’s standing not only in the region, but globally, as the world learns what Somalia has to offer.
Let me end by saying congratulations to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the National Economic Council for kicking off not only today’s event, but this tremendous undertaking. Vision and ambition are always good qualities in a government, provided they are harnessed by thoughtful, realistic, and collaborative planning. The United States is here to help you do this, and I’m grateful to be a part of Somalia’s march toward prosperity.