Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is Somalia’s current president; he took office in September 2012. Born in central Hiran province, he grew up in a middle-class neighborhood of Mogadishu and graduated from the Somali National University with a diploma in technology. He then returned to Somalia and worked with various NGOs and UN bureaus during the civil war, after earning a master’s degree in technical education from Bhopal University (now known as Barkatullah University) in India. Unlike many other Somali intellectuals, he remained in Somalia throughout the 21-year civil war, working as an educational campaigner and peace activist. Meanwhile, he earned respect for his work in civil society and education, and was a co-founder of Mogadishu’s Simad University, where he served as a lecturer and dean for ten years. He entered politics after resigning as dean and founding the independent Peace and Development Party (PDP). In 2012, in the country’s first presidential election in over 40 years, this former academic and university president was elected as Somalia’s eighth President, a position he currently holds.
Childhood & Adolescence
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was born in Jalalaqsi, Trust Territory of Somaliland, on November 29, 1955, to a middle-class family of the Abgaal Hawiye clan. He attended primary and secondary schools in his hometown.
In 1978, he moved to Somalia’s capital Mogadishu and enrolled at the Somali National University, where he earned an undergraduate diploma in technology in 1981.
He traveled to India in 1986 and enrolled at Bhopal University, earning a master’s degree in technical education there in 1988.
He is also a graduate of Eastern Mennonite University’s ‘Summer Peacebuilding Institute’ (SPI) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. In 2001, he completed three intensive courses offered by the SPI, including mediation, trauma healing, and designing learner-centered trainings.
Career of Hassan
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud began his career at the Lafole Technical Secondary School as an instructor and trainer. He joined the Technical Teachers’ Training College affiliated with Somali National University in 1984 and was appointed head of the department two years later.
Mohamud worked as a consultant for various NGOs, UN bureaus, and peace and development projects in the early 1990s, when the civil war began.
Between 1993 and 1995, he worked for UNICEF in central and southern Somalia as an education officer. He co-founded the Somali Institute of Management and Administration (SIMAD) in 1999, which later became SIMAD University, with Mohamud serving as dean until 2010.
He entered Somali politics in 2011 with the establishment of the independent Peace and Development Party (PDP). In April 2011, PDP members unanimously elected him chairman, appointing him to serve as the party’s leader for the next three years.
He was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the newly formed Federal Parliament of Somalia in August 2012.
On September 10, 2012, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was unanimously elected President of the Republic by the Somali parliament.
He officially assumed the office six days later, becoming the first head of state following the end of the transitional phase.
President Mohamud and his cabinet resumed talks to end Somalia’s 21-year-old UN arms embargo upon taking office. He reasoned that lifting the arms embargo would aid the Somali authorities in their efforts to strengthen the Somali Armed Forces.
He has initiated bilateral cooperation discussions with a number of countries, including the US, Japan, Egypt, Turkey, and Palestine.
He has also been successful in his efforts to obtain membership in the Cotonou agreement, which promotes sustainable development and the eventual abolition of poverty in ACP member countries.
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has also worked for a number of non-governmental organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF, the Life and Peace Institute, the Center for Research and Dialogue (CRD), and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.
Significant Works of Hassan
In 2013, he reopened national reconciliation talks between Mogadishu’s central government and Hargeisa’s regional authorities. He announced a number of new development projects aimed at Somalia’s youth the following year.
He signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on behalf of the Federal Republic of Somalia in January 2015. Following the pact’s signing, the Federal Government is now expected to adopt child-friendly systems and policies, as well as to take steps to ensure the development, survival, and protection of children.
Awards and Accomplishments
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was named to TIME magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people in April 2013 for his efforts to advance national reconciliation, anti-corruption measures, and socioeconomic and security sector reforms in Somalia.
Personal History and Legacies
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is married to two women and the father of a large number of children. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is affiliated with Al-Islah, Somalia’s Muslim Brotherhood chapter, and has contributed to the organization’s various philanthropic endeavors, including the construction of schools and research hospitals throughout the country.
Estimated Net Worth
Hassan is one of the wealthiest politicians and is ranked among the most popular. According to our analysis, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s net worth is between $1-5 million, as reported by Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.