Manager for Somaliland, Hassan is a testimony to the transformative power of education. He grew up herding camels in Somalia and didn’t begin his education until he was 15 years old. Within the next 15 years, he had graduated from the Somalia Faculty of Education and earned an MBA from California State University, Fresno, hosted by the Somalia Institute for Development and Administration Management (SIDAM) in Mogadishu.
Hassan has had a distinguished career in the public and NGO sector. Key highlights include serving at the highest level in the civil service within the Ministry of Finance, including as the Director for the Ministry of Finance in Somaliland; teaching Business Studies at SIDAM and English and Somali at Lofle College of Education; and serving as the NGO Liaison officer for ODA (now DIFD). He was also both a producer and presenter on Radio Mogadishu, running some of the first ever radio programmes on Female Genital Mutilation and sexually transmitted disease, at a time when discussing these topics was still taboo.
Hassan has not been unaffected by the conflict in his country. He has been a refugee, having fled Hargeisa in 1991 through the dangerous and difficult path via Ethiopia. But he remains committed to advancing education, and even earned himself the lifelong nickname of ‘Embassy’ due to his dedication to reading materials in the American Library in Mogadishu when it was not safe for students to go and read books in Western countries’ embassies.
Hassan started AET Somaliland in 1996, and has particular interests in advancing non-formal education for rural and nomadic people, promoting girls’ education, and supporting the development of national examinations systems.