Abdi Farah Shirdon

Abdi Farah Shirdon is a Somali businessman, economist and politician.

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Country of ResidenceSomalia
Date of Birth1958
TitleHead of Government

Abdi Farah Shirdon (Somali: Cabdi Faarax Shirdoon, Arabic: عبدي فارح شردون‎) (born in 1958) is a Somali businessman, economist and politician. He is the Prime Minister of Somalia.[1]

Background

Personal life

Shirdon was born in 1958 in the town of Dhusamareb, situated in the central Galguduud region of Somalia.[2][3] He comes from a middle class background,[3] and belongs to the Marehan Darod clan.[4]

Shirdon is married to Asha Haji Elmi, a prominent peace activist and Member of the Federal Parliament of Somalia.[5][6] The couple have four children.[3]

He is also multilingual, speaking Somali, Italian and English.[3]

Education

After finishing high school, Shirdon relocated to Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, to attend college. He studied at the Somali National University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics, graduating with honours in 1983.[3]

Early career

In a professional capacity, Shirdon briefly worked as an economist in the national Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Agriculture from 1983 to 1985,[3] during the Siad Barre administration.[2] He subsequently left government to pursue an entrepreneurial career. He established Shirdon International, serving as the company's CEO.[3]

After the civil war broke out in Somalia in 1991,[6] Shirdon moved to Nairobi, Kenya. There, he opened up another business, running a prominent import-export firm.[2][4]

In March 2012, Shirdon was also named Chairman of the Rajo Forum, a Somali civil society institution he co-founded composed of professionals, intellectuals, businesspeople and politicians.[3][7]

Prime Minister of Somalia

On 6 October 2012, Shirdon was appointed the new Prime Minister of Somalia by incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.[5] He succeeded Abdiweli Mohamed Ali in office. A close ally of President Mohamud,[4] Shirdon was reportedly chosen for the position due in part to his academic background.[6]

His selection was greeted with rallies of support in several cities across the country, including his hometown of Dhusamareb and Buuhoodle. The autonomous Puntland regional administration in northeastern Somalia also welcomed Shirdon's appointment and indicated that it would partner with the central government to uphold the new federal system of governance.[3]

If endorsed, Shirdon pledged that he would name a competent and cohesive Cabinet with no tolerance for corruption.[6] He also vowed in a statement that he would perform his duties in accordance with the national Constitution.[2]

On 17 October 2012, the Federal Parliament approved Shirdon as Prime Minister by a large majority, with 215 of 275 legislators endorsing his nomination.[1] UN Special Representative for Somalia Augustine Mahiga welcomed the development, describing it as "further incontrovertible evidence of progress in Somalia". Mahiga also pledged to collaborate with the new Somali government in the post-conflict reconstruction process.[8]

On 4 November 2012, Shirdon named a new 10 member Cabinet after extensive consultations with local stakeholders. The council of ministers consists of many newcomers, including two women: Fowsiyo Yussuf Haji Aadan as the nation's first female Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Maryam Kassim as Minister of Social Development.[9] The new Cabinet was later endorsed by the legislature on 13 November 2012, with 219 MPs approving the selection, 3 voting against it, and 3 abstaining.[10]

References

  1. "Somali lawmakers approve new prime minister". CNN. 17 October 2012. http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/17/world/africa/somalia-prime-minister/index.html. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  2. Ibrahim, Mohammed (6 October 2012). "New Somalian President Picks a Businessman, a Political Newcomer, as Prime Minister". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/world/africa/somalian-president-picks-businessman-abdi-farah-shirdon-saaid-as-prime-minister.html?_r=1. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  3. "Somalis welcome new prime minister but see difficult road ahead". Sabahi. 8 October 2012. http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/features/2012/10/08/feature-01. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  4. "Somali president names new prime minister". Daily Nation. Agence France-Presse. 6 October 2012. http://www.nation.co.ke/News/africa/Somali+president+names+new+prime+minister/-/1066/1526730/-/w2tweo/-/index.html. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  5. "Somali president names political newcomer as PM - diplomats". Reuters Africa. 6 October 2012. http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL6E8L60GZ20121006. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  6. "Somalia president appoints a new prime minister". Albany Democrat Herald. 6 October 2012. http://democratherald.com/news/world/africa/somalia-president-appoints-a-new-prime-minister/article_371fb478-d2f5-5ff3-80a2-369a411c77f1.html. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  7. "Somalia MPs approve Shirdon as the new prime minister". BBC News. 17 October 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19979371. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  8. "Somali Parliament Confirms Abdi Farah Shirdon As New PM". RTTNews. 17 October 2012. http://www.rttnews.com/1985413/somali-parliament-confirms-abdi-farah-shirdon-as-new-pm.aspx?type=gn&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=sitemap. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  9. "Somalia: Prime Minister Unveils His New Cabinet". Shabelle Media Network. 4 November 2012. http://allafrica.com/stories/201211050009.html. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  10. Guled, Abdi (13 November 2012). "Somali parliament endorses downsized Cabinet". Associated Press. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121113/af-somalia-cabinet/. Retrieved 13 November 2012.