Background

Speak Up forum was the first of its kind to commence in Mogadishu, the forum facilitated and sponsored by UC and ForumSYD respectively; it was participated by all community groups with especial regard for young Mogadishu generation. Over 300 participants from different neighborhoods in Mogadishu have participated the event. The event was also broadcasted live by local TV stations in Mogadishu through UC strategic online campaign messaging narratives.

 

Objectives of the forum

  1. Sensitize Mogadishu public on common moral obligation
  2. To establish a space for youths and other community groups to voice their social, economical and political concern
  3. Promote gender equality and inclusive participation of women and minority groups
  4. Strengthen public knowledge and understanding on democratic social rights and self responsibilities
  5. Develop space for public debate and dialogue
  6. Strengthen rights-share-holders and duty bearers in public offices engagements and collaborations
  7. Promote democracy through freedom of speech, information sharing and inclusive participation
  8.  Encourage and promote shared responsibilities to address common social, economical and political threats

Forum methodology

  • Brainstorming
  • Participatory and inclusive discussions
  • Debate
  • Dialogue
  • Panel discussions
  • Group work
  • Q and A

Target Participants 

Youths and women in Mogadishu capital city, Somalia were the main target groups for the Speak Up Forum, women and girls participation were prioritized during the initial event planning stages thus increasing the number of female participants above males.

Among the target groups include

  • Girls
  • Boys
  • Students
  • Police
  • Women
  • Government representatives

Speak Up Forum Program

The forum was officially opened by the UC Executive Director, Hon Mohamed Hussein Hassan, who gave an overview of the Speak Up Forum and explained the importance of the forum in the continuous improvement of the inclusive participation of all Mogadishu citizens in making of decisions that directly affects their ways of living. In his opening remarks, Mohamed emphasized the role of active women in state building and sustainable peace in Mogadishu; this is achievable only, if women are equally given opportunities to voice their ideas, view and interests in social, economical and political development fronts like men.

 Speak Up Forum content  

The following topics were discussed during the Forum sessions: _

  • Qualities of good citizen (self responsibility and common moral obligation.)
  • Community and social advantages of inclusivity and women participation in developments.
  • Principles and values of successful democracy
  • Debate on freedom of expression
  • Panel discussions on the roles of youths and women in state and peace building programs
  • Police and public workforce collaborations
  • Rights of citizens in democracy

Forum evaluation

By the end of the forum, participants understanding of the contents and what they have learned was evaluated so us to measure the overall feedback and success of the forum objectives and goals. The participants feedback from the evaluation were;-

  • Active participation
  • The participants requested more Speak Forums in Mogadishu
  • Participants equally contributed to a heated debate on freedom of expression
  • Girls and women participation showed their eagerness to participate and contribute ideas equally like men during participatory community owned and led social forum