Somaliland: Change of guard at Burao University


By: Yusuf M Hasan

BURAO (Somalilandsun) – The uncertainty over Burao university management is at an end following the appointment of a Vice chancellor.

At a grand ceremony held at Burao University hall Prof Suleiman Dirir Abdi was officially handed over the keys to the university’s Vice Chancellor’s office.

The ascension to the office was termed by various speakers, as milestone for the university which has operated devoid of a vice chancellor for almost a year.

The new VC who takes over from Sheikh Ismail Arale, holds a double master with a specialty in education from a European university attended his primary school in Ainabo and Burao towns before proceeding to Sheikh secondary school for his “O” levels.

On completion of his studies, Prof Suleiman Dirir worked in various capacities for Siyad Barre’s ministry of Education before absconding to join the Somaliland National Liberation Movement-SNM where he served with distinction until the country’s liberation in 1991.

The new Vice Chancellor who is furthered skilled with University management promised not only to maintain prevalent standards but enhance them as well thus place the institution of higher learning at Burao among the Top 3 not only in Somaliland but within the region.

Sheikh Ismail Arale who has been acting Vice Chancellor is the deputy chairperson of the university’s board of trustees as well as a prominent member of the Togdheer Regional Development Committee-TDC which is credited with making the local university and other important developments in the region a reality.

The office handover ceremony that saw a diversified witness, heard promise after promise for cooperation and support to the new VC as a prelude to making his new duties as successful as possible.

The promises were made by the chairman of the TDC Mahmoud Aden Deria, Togdheer Regional Governor Abdoo Ahmed Aiyre, and Deputy Burao Mayor Ahmed Abdi Fly, Telesom & Somtel companies, the VC Nugaal University Prof Abdirazak Lafole, VC Sanaag University Prof Hasan Bulsho in addition to several traditional, religious and political leaders.

The Burao local council which revealed that it contributes 5% of its earnings to the University said that it will continue to ensure that the figure though meager is availed the institution regularly at the end of every month.

Prof Abdirazak Lafole the Vice Chancellor of Nugaal University which is situated in Las anod town revealed that the new Burao university vice chancellor will head the Eastern region’s universities Association that is currently made up of three institutions namely Burao, Nugaal and Sanaag universities.

Prof Lafole said that it is with confidence in the abilities of Prof Suleiman that they hand him the leadership of the association whose major objective is the enhancement of education thus procure locally trained specialists who will spearhead multi-sectored development in the neglected eastern regions of Somaliland.

Now that the Burao University has finally anointed a skilled and qualified chief operating officer it is hoped that he will put relevant strategies in place that will help see the institution attract students in large numbers especially in its faculty of sciences which is the only one to provide 1st degree in Veterinary medicines.

On the other hand it is imperative that Prof Suleiman Dirir distinguish himself from Dr Abdirahman Jama Duale who on assumption of the office failed to provide any meaningful direction to the institution despite full support of the Board of Trustees.

The failure of Dr Abdirahman Jama who held the VC’s office for two and a half years was not due academic deficiencies but managerial paucities. The former VC, who is one of the top experts on plant breeding in Somaliland, spent his tenure at the university managing the Hargeisa based Modern Agricultural Development Organization-MADO a local NGO he owns.

It is also hoped that the new VC will be spared the fate that befell Prof Abdisalam Yasin Mohamed who handed over to the fateful administration of Dr Abdirahman after failure to operate within the limits said to have been imposed on him by the universities Board of Trustees that incidentally doubles as the Togdheer regional committee.

Prof Abdisalam Yasin, who is one of the six founders of SNM, is a 30 years veteran educationist with massive experience similar to Prof Suleiman’s, having worked in Riyadh and Jeddah University’s after graduating from London school of Oriental studies and Vermont University in the USA.

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