Somaliland: The Experiment in Democracy

Somaliland: The Experiment in Democracy takes a close look at how democracy functions and how difficult it can be to popularize it as a governing ideology. Focusing on a 2012 election in Somaliland, the documentary could give an insight into why so many countries fail in their attempts to have a system based on popular representation.

In 1991 the northern section of Somalia declared itself an independent democratic state, since then Somaliland has struggled on its path to find international recognition while the rest of Somalia has become infamous for anarchy and violence.

Bringing democracy to Somaliland is a powderkeg of trouble. As seen in the documentary, the difficulties to of running an election in an undeveloped country with a fragile infrastructure are vast. While threats from outside (including terrorism and piracy) and inside (such as factionalism and vote rigging) loom over the process, one man is tasked with keeping the election fair.

We follow Ali – an ex-investment banker from Toronto – who gave up his old life to run the electoral commission, and it is through him that we see the scale of the challenge facing Somaliland’s nascent democracy.

Will Ali and those who believe in democracy be enough to change Somaliland’s ideology? Travel with us to Somaliland in Africa and find out.

Somaliland: The Experiment in Democracy
  • Info
  • Release date2015
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Tom Calvile, Mohammed Ahmed