The autonomous territory of Somaliland is one of the most strategically located areas in Africa. It sits near a global shipping chokepoint, is just across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen, and neighbors Djibouti which hosts, among others, the U.S.’s only permanent military base in Africa and China’s first permanent overseas military base. Over the last three decades, Somaliland has built a still-consolidating but tenacious democracy while also serving as a bastion of relative stability in the tumultuous East Africa region that is increasingly resistant to U.S. influence. In 2020, it established diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Yet no country, including the U.S., recognizes Somaliland as independent despite its three decades-long practice of independence. By resting its policy for that region in part on the myth that Somaliland is functionally part of the rest of Somalia, the U.S. misses the opportunity to reward a home-grown, pro-American democracy, shore up its position in a strategic part of Africa, and honor the consistent aspirations for independence of millions of Somalilanders.

Please join The Heritage Foundation as it hosts H.E. Muse Bihi Abdi, President of the Republic of Somaliland, as he kicks off his visit to the U.S. with a keynote address that will highlight the great potential that exists in stronger ties between the U.S. and Somaliland.


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