Here are some news stories that made headlines in Somaliland this week.

Tuesday, 3 March

The Khartoum-based Arabic daily Al-Intibaha this week reported that the government of Sudan expressed deep concerns about a recent trip to South Sudan by Somaliland’s former civil aviation minister, Mr. Ali Mohamed ‘Waran Adde”. The newspaper quoted one of the senior officials in Omar Al Bashir’s cabinet saying the visit was to strengthen bilateral ties between Somaliland and South Sudan. He also claimed the two states were planning to have trade, defence and military ties.

Omar Al Bashir and number of Arab leaders have long maintained they would block any international recognition for Somaliland. They claim Somaliland was part of Somalia and that they would not tolerate foreign interference in an Arab League member nation.

To read about Waran Adde’s trip to South Sudan visit Former Somaliland minister visits South Sudan.

Wednesday, 9 March

Noradin Schools graduation ceremony - Baadiya

A colorful graduation ceremony was held in Mansor hotel for more than 1,200 students graduating from Noradin School. This was the largest number of students to graduate from a single school in Somaliland and Noradin’s largest class ever . Over 40 percent of the graduates were girls. In recent years the number of girls enrolling at schools has almost doubled nation wide. Studies also support that girls have an edge over their coed peers when it comes to examination results often scoring in the top ten.

Noradin School currently has 14,000 students enrolled full time and is said to be the largest private school in Somaliland. The school provides free education to over 28 per cent of the students who are from poor families.

Osman Ibrahim Isse, the Principal of Noradin congratulated the students for their hardwork and urged parents with low income to enroll in their children for free. He added the school will open two new facilities; one in Hargeisa’s Hawadle district and another in Somaliland’s second city of Burao.

The school offers English, Arabic, mathematics, information technology and science classes in three different levels (primary, secondary and tertiary levels for adults). It is ranked one of the top schools for languages.

This is huge development in Somaliland considering in 1995 shortly after departing from Somalia, there were only 8,667 students in Somaliland. In the same period, the of primary schools were 159. Today, more than 200,000 are enrolled in 392 primary schools alone reaching 40 percent of Somaliland children. The literacy levels have also been lifted from 25 percent under Somalia to 45 percent. Somaliland plans to reach 75 percent by 2015. In early February, the new government of Ahmed Silanyo announced it was making education free for all Somaliland children. Experts in the region are predicting more than 70 per cent of Somaliland students will have access to education but the system was putting pressure on the shortage of teachers. There are only 2,367 teachers for primary schools.

Friday, 11 March

Somaliland’s representative to Kenya Mr. Mohamed Ahmed “Indhabur” received a Danish delegation consisting of ten members in his office. Also present were Parliment speaker Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi (Irro) and Deputy minister of education Mr. Ali Hamoud Jabril.

The Danish delegation was from the ministry of defence, foreign affairs and Justice. It was led by Mr. Anders Tang Friborg, the Deputy chairman of Africa Commission, an organization affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Somaliland and Denmark meet over security and development

The two sides discussed security, education and development. Denmark said it would assist Somaliland coast guards directly to combat pirates. The Scandinavian nation is funding a prison and regional court in Hargeisa to prosecute captured pirates as well.

Earlier, the Somaliland delegation met with officials from the American embassy in Nairobi. The two sides agreed to work together on the areas of development, security and humanitarian reliefs.

Saturday, 12 March

Somaliland lawmakers approved two new ministers after February cabinet reshuffle by President Ahmed Silanyo. The speaker of the house, Mr. Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi said Mr. Ahmed Abdi Habsade, information minister and Dr. Abdi Aw-Dahir, minister for livestock welfare both received 53 votes from the 54 seat parliament. He was the only one that did not vote.

Saturday, 12 March

Dr Essa Kayd and Dr. Sisay Gizaw (East Africa's leading neurologist)

Essa Kayd, a chief neurodiagnostic specialist of Somaliland origin based in Boston, U.S. announced he will be opening a state of the art Clinic for neurophysiology in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa.

The clinic will be a joint investment between Kayd and Ethiopia’s leading neurologist Dr. Sisay Gizaw from Addis Ababa Medical School. Kayd received his education in Ottawa University and Harvard Medical School. Mr. Kayd is the chief Neurodiagnostic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School in Boston. He occasionally travels to Africa to offer his time; gives training to leading doctors in the continent. He is also trains physicians at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Medical School. Brigham and Women’s Medical Hospital is ranked one of the top hospitals in the US by U.S. News & World Report Top Hospitals. He has been helping Addis Ababa’s main hospital for the past several months, where he noticed most of their patients were Somalis who had travelled miles for the treatment. He opened his first clinic in Addis Ababa early this year and plans to open one in Hargeisa in early April.

Before they open their clinic, the two doctors will be offering three day neurodiagnostics training at Edna Adan Hospital in Hargeisa. Interested individuals are advised to call Edna Hospital or contact Dr Essa Kayd Email: Kayd_1@hotmail.com.

Somalilandpress | 13 March 2011