HIRDA celebrates its 15th anniversary!
Looking back to move forward: innovating Diaspora
On Friday the 17th of May, HIRDA celebrated its 15th anniversary by organising the conference ‘Looking back to move forwad: innovating Diaspora’ in Utrecht. HIRDA was very pleased to welcome over 120 attendants, and the keynote speakers Farah Karimi, General Director of Oxfam Novib, and Mohamed Diini, motivational speaker in Columbus, Ohio (US). HIRDA is especially honored by the presence of Abdiwelli M. Ali, former Prime Minister of Somalia.
Vice President of HIRDA, Mr. Ismael Ali, opened the conference with a warm welcome to all the attendants, journalists, special guests, and everybody who supports HIRDA, ending with the inspiring words: ‘We need to shift from talking the talk, to walking the walk!’, which formed a leading thread running through the day’s programme.
(Click here to read the full coverage of the day with highlights of the speeches of the different keynote speakers, the debate with a.o. the former Prime Minister of Somalia and the workshops.)
Former Somali Prime Minister
Farah Karimi, director of HIRDA’s alliance partner Oxfam Novib, expressed to be very satisfied about the constructive collaboration between HIRDA and Oxfam and the progression made in Somalia. After these positive words, HIRDA was very proud to announce Mr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, former Prime Minister of Somalia. He congratulated HIRDA with its great work during the passed 15 years. "I hope HIRDA will stay involved with the development of Somalia in the future." Furthermore, he explained how NGOs can contribute to the development of Somalia, by shifting from remittances to stimulating foreign direct investments, by focusing more on attracting Diaspora entrepreneurs to invest in the country.
A panel discussion took place, with six inspiring politicians, and members of NGOs, followed by entertaining performances of cartoonist Mr. Amin Amiir and comedian Malique Mohamed. During the second part of the conference people attended 1 of 4 workshops that were organized in cooperation with BiD Network, Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa, Butterfly Works, and African Foundation for Development. Afterwards, HIRDA received many inspiring ideas and input from the participants on how to involve Diaspora in further development of Somalia, and how to convince the Dutch government of the significance of Diaspora involvement in developing aid policies for Somalia.
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