After the first phase of the Urban Road Classification and Road Naming in Hargeisa Project was completed, the process of giving names to selected main roads started in September 2011. A participatory approach was used: district councillors and local representatives from all the districts in Hargeisa were invited to a one-day workshop. Following a suggestion from the mayor, it was agreed that the road names were to have historical, local, or geographical relevance. With assistance from the technical committee set up to lead the work, each district finalized their proposal for the names of roads under their jurisdiction.
For the previous four months, a series of extensive consultations had taken place between the technical committee and district offices in order to assist the offices to understand the purpose of the project and to achieve consensus on the proposed names. Based on the proposals from the districts, the technical committee prepared a final set of proposed names and submitted it to the Hargeisa Municipal Council for approval.
For the final round of discussions and official approval of the names, UN-Habitat helped the Municipality of Hargeisa organize a two-day workshop in February 2012. The mayor, vice mayors, district councillors, district commissioners, and technical committee participated in a lively but structured debate on road names. The names for roads that run through more than one district and names with clan or religious references were carefully reviewed before they were agreed upon, and some changes were made to the initial proposals. On the second day, all the proposed road names were unanimously approved by the Hargeisa Municipal Council.
The workshop also started a discussion on the design of street name signs. Although the design, installation method, and placement of the signs will continue to be discussed between the technical committee and the municipality, it is anticipated that Hargeisa’s centre will have better public geographic and spatial information in the coming months. As the next step in this project, the Municipality of Hargeisa is seriously considering the establishment of a postal system, which would be the first of its kind in Somaliland.