The conference was widely adjudged a success; both in terms of substantive outcomes and the willingness of the business community to heed appeals for participation as well as to air their own concerns. The participants responded positively and with enthusiasm to the questions, evincing a willingness to take on more responsibility during and after the process of establishing a new government.
Participants were also keen to voice their caution about the peace process and its imminent outcome, as well as their fears concerning the surrender of their own weapons and militias. The latter, they claimed, were formed only in response to the threat posed to their safety and their interests by warring clan leaders and freelance militias.
One of the businessmen at the conference stated emphatically "We took weapons to defend ourselves and property from the armed faction leaders who have been recalcitrant to every effort towards peace for Somalia. Should we, the business community, surrender our weapons to the very armed faction leaders, who may form together a government for Somalia, when we are not sure of their true commitment?" He concluded, "We have no problem to give the new government the benefit of the doubt but until we see tangible signs that our businesses and lives will not be jeopardized, we will remain reluctant to surrender our weapons."
Noteworthy also, was the readiness of assembled businesspeople to acknowledge the need for a government and the benefits that would accrue to them following installation of a new administration. It might be expected that some businesspeople, having profited in part from the instability and chaos in Somalia, would be resistant to the idea of oversight and taxation. However, there was virtual consensus that the benefits of good government would outweigh the drawbacks. Lastly, the businesspeople present expressed their desire for a transitional national authority that would promote a free-market economy and stronger regional economic integration.
The Contact Group, with Sharif Ahmed as chairman, has already begun to work more closely with the international community and is readying a delegation to visit Nairobi and support the Mbagathi peace conference. To prepare for the arrival of the Contact Group, an advance team has been dispatched to Nairobi.