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I had the good fortune to visit the Somaliland Republic in August and attend the Hargeysa International Book Fair there.

My photographs from the trip are available here on Facebook.

My article on it for Chatham’s House new magazine The World Today is available on that publication’s site  or here on mine. I also did a post on the Hargeysa book fair — a truly extraordinary event – for Baobab, the Economist’s Africa blog and it’s available here or here.

 The visit to this extraordinary country convinced me more than ever that Somaliland should be recognized by the international community as an independent state (it has enjoyed de facto independence for 23 years).

I also got to see first hand that remittances are in many ways a more benign source of outside income for a poor, under-developed country than official development aid. 

That said, if the agencies that are working in Somaliland combined their funds to build a new road from the Ethiopian border to Hargeis and then to the port at Berbera, it might do enormous good for the country’s economy and its remarkably entrepreneurial people. 

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