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Somaliland: Empowering Women through ICT



Women’s underrepresentation and lack of access in the ICT Sector is a global issue and it is no different in Somaliland, a conference on this issue has been organized in Hargeisa by Hayaan Haween, a platform designed to address issues that directly and indirectly affect women’s lives.

Attended by a number of intellectuals, women’s organizations, independent local researchers and others, the event focused on challenges facing women in the new technologies and the potential to improve women’s livelihood through ICT and how that impacts the economy in Somaliland.

Khadra Mohamed, host and graduate from Malaysia mentioned the state of technology in Somalilland and explained about the freedom to use the internet with regards to some restrictions on the Social Media platforms. She highlighted how those platforms are blocked or made inaccessible in many countries in Africa and the third world in general.

“I remember in the late 90s seeing broken computers being sent from Jigjiga or Mogadishu to be fixed in Hargeisa” Says Abdirashid I Ibrahim, Founder of Somali Jobs and Co-Founder of Maroodijeeh International University. “In 2000 there was a boom in the establishment of institutions offering technology courses with the first IT degree initiated in 2007” he added.

Abdirashid explained about the rapid development of technology related services in Somaliland potential to improve women’s livelihood through ICT which will have a huge positive impact in the economy. He spoke about the story of Njeri Rionge, a co-founder of the Multi-million Dollar Wananchi Online and her first business where she was selling yoghurt from a car trunk to high school students.

“This is a good example of the power of technology to help shift women from working in the informal sector to formal sectors” said Abdirashid, “You are all here because of technology, a Facebook post or a WhatsApp message is how you learned about this session tonight, right?” he concluded.

Abdulaziz Jama Oumer, a Master of Science in IT (Msc.IT) holder and a PhD candidate cited global statistics from International Telecommunication Union (ITU) depicting unequal access to technology between men and women. “There are no statistics for Somaliland or Somalia” He said highlighting that lack of information exacerbates this problem.

“Not everyone in Hargeisa owns a smartphone, not everyone uses The Internet” said Abdulaziz highlighting the Digital Divide and its limitations. Speaking about the limitless opportunities for women in the digital world, he said people can work from home, create new connections and can also enter the field of technology as professionals. “Sky is the limit” he said.

As for increasing technical knowledge and experience among professional women, he insisted that the only way to tackle the language barrier – perceived as one of the main barriers for young women to enter the ICT sector – is to start with improving the English Language first.

During the event, the panelists agreed that in order to move forward, a National ICT Policy must be developed, a policy that familiarizes girls with ICT.

At the end of the event, networking and mentorship connections were created, also job offers were made by some of the attendees who were previously lacking information about women in ICT. A number of women got an employment opportunity during the session.

From the huge turnout to the event and the comments from the Q&A session, it was evident that this was a topic of great interest for all.

Hayaan Haween “Journey of Women” is a platform founded in Hargeisa, Somaliland to highlight topics that affect women’s lives through raising awareness on critical issues. Previous topics featured on Hayaan Haween include Maternity Health, Literature of Somali Women, Breast Cancer and Mental Health Awareness and The Legend of Queen Arraweelo.  At these monthly events, a panel of experts discuss the topic followed by a Q&A session.

“Founded in May, 2017 this platform has proven to be popular with a growing following of young men and women” said Khadija Abdillahi Sheikh, a Banker, Social Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Hayaan Haween


You can follow Hayaan Haween on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for videos of this session and previous ones @HayaanHaween



PRESS STATEMENT: Passage of the Somaliland National Procurement Bill





Passage of the Procurement Bill




We are delighted to announce that, on Sunday the 6th May 2018, the Somaliland Parliament approved the passage of the Procurement Bill. This was the last remaining PFM Bill to be passed by Parliament and, with the President’s signature, will mean that all the PFM Bills will become the law of the land.

The new Procurement Act will reform the public procurement systems of Somaliland to bring them to modern national and international standards that embrace best practices whilst reducing the scope for corruption. The Bill seeks to organize public procurement management in Somaliland to ensure that it (public procurement) is not done in a discretionary manner but in a structured manner that ensures (goals) economy (value for money), efficiency, transparency, equal opportunity (to all candidates, particularly to Somaliland businesses), and professionalism.

The rules and procedures in the Bill will be applicable for use of all public funds (regardless of the source) and by all public entities that have been provided with budget and responsibility for public service delivery.

In short, the bill will ensure application of common rules/procedure and standards across all public entities, i.e. Central Government Ministries and their Departments and Agencies, Local Authorities, public institutions, public corporations and state enterprises. It will therefore be easy to compare performance of various public entities and to audits procurement transactions.

The Government of Somaliland will implement this Act as soon as possible and are looking forward to the expansion and successful continuation of PFM reforms in the Procurement Pillar of the program.



PFM Reform Coordination Unit

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PRESS RELEASE: Fathi Initiative Publishes an Open Letter




Fathi Initiative has issued an open letter to government bodies asking them to evidence their commitment to delivering the United Nation’s  Sustainable Development Goals in Somaliland. The letter was sent to Somaliland political parties, parliamentary committees, the Somaliland Cabinet and all Somaliland’s local authorities.

The letter calls on these key decision makers and institutions to show their commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Somaliland by publishing the specific actions they are taking that relate to the 17 critical areas reflected in the SDGs.

The purpose of the letter is to raise awareness of the SDGs at strategic level and encourage a sense of responsibility from institutions and key individuals.

Fathi Initiative Founder, Fathi Bashe said:

“This letter presents an opening for civil society, government bodies, youth and businesses to come together and make the Global Goals a reality in Somaliland”


All the responses to the letter will be published in September 2018 on


To sign the letter follow the below link:

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Academic Researches

Somaliland: First 100 Days of President Muse Bihi Abdi




As Somaliland held its latest and strongly contested Presidential Elections in November 2017, the new President marked his first 100 days in the office last week. This paper examines President Bihi’s first 100 days in the office and the issues surrounding him from Politics, Economy, Development, International Relations and many others. It gives a detailed background of the situation in Somaliland and analyses the current circumstances through intellectual and legal perspectives.

Click the below link to download the paper for free


Click Here to Download the Paper

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