Somali Development Conference Recap-Marist College, NY (June 8th-June 9th)
SLPA was present for the Leadership in “Somali Education and Development Conference” held at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The conference was incredibly successful and attracted attendees from schools such as Harvard University, Columbia University, Macalester College, and organizations including the International Finance Corporation, American Enterprise Institute, and Morgan Stanley. Among the honored guests were activist Edna Adan, founder of the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Somaliland and Bashir Goth, Somaliland Ambassador to the United States” as highlighted on the Marist College website. Roughly 30 SLPA members participated in the conference, traveling from different parts of the U.S. including the Bay Area, Seattle, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Minnesota and D.C. SLPA members benefited greatly from the conference expressing that the event was reenergizing and renewed the sense of possibility for the region and our contributions. During the event, like minded individuals across the US were able to get together and begin these crucial conversations on development and the progression of Somaliland. The SLPA committee members also participated in five panels throughout the two-day event, giving their insight on topics such as public health in Somaliland, the contributing role of the diaspora, the role of building a robust financial sector in Somaliland, IT solutions in technological advancements, and the current battle against Female Genital Mutilation in Somaliland. The conference was also the first time all SLPA committee members were able to meet since our launch in March. We currently have had coffee meet ups in 5 US cities. Many members urged the need to expand the coffee meet ups to their local cities. If you are interested in leading one in your respective areas, please send us an email. We are also excited to begin planning a SLPA conference for the year to come. If you have any ideas on what topics/subjects you would like discussed please let us know.
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