Canadian citizens living in Somalia held a ceremony on Sunday to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary at a well-organized ceremony in Mogadishu.
The Canadian Ambassador to Somalia, Sara Hradecky, hosted the event at Halane. Among the guest-list were prominent Somali-Canadians including three Somali cabinet ministers, Shukri Aden Mohamed, Senator in Somalia’s Upper House Chamber of Federal Parliament and civic leaders.
Speaking at the event, Hradecky lauded the success stories of Somali-Canadians in attendance and those prospering in Canada.
The ambassador also commended the relations between the Somali and Canadian governments.
Somalia’s foreign minister, Ahmed Issa Awad who is a Canadian citizen has appreciated the government of Canada’s decision to welcome Somali refugees in its country.
Awad said the Canadian government supported Somalia in the process to rebuild the country after over two decades civil war.
Among other Somali ministers attended the event are, Jamal Mohamed Hassan and Mohamed Abdullahi Salad who head the ministries of Planning and Transportation Civil Aviation respectively.
Canada formally established diplomatic relations with Somalia in 1968. Relations between the two countries was temporarily severed following the collapse of Siad’s Barre’s military dictatorship in 1991. Canada resumed diplomatic relations with the Somali government in May 2013.
Canada now hosts one of the largest Somali populations in the Western world. A 2011 Census reported 44,995 people in Canada who identified as Somali but that community leaders say that number could easily be as high as 150,000 by some conservative estimates.