The government of Somaliland, which declares itself as a separate nation from the rest of Somalia in 1991, has announced is set to build a national teachers training institute.
This is indicated by Yusuf Osman Garas, the Vice Minister of Education and Higher Studies for the Republic of Somaliland, who is in Addis Ababa for African education ministers meeting.
“With financial assistance from the United States Assistance for International Development (USAID) through Global Partnership for Education (GPE) program, we have opened a bid to construct the national teachers training institute,” he told newBusinessEthiopia.com.
“Currently there are 50,000 students in high schools and elementary schools while another 30,000 are studying in 23 higher education institutions in Somaliland,” he said.
The education ministers are in Addis Ababa for three days meeting, themed, ‘Pan African Symposium on Education, Resilience and Social Cohesion’. The meeting is organized by United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and its partners such as, Association for the Development of Education in Africa, Learning for Peace and the Government of Ethiopia, among others.
“…Education is a means of protection. It keeps children safe and protected from risks such as gender-based violence, recruitment into armed groups, child labour or early marriage. Education can also help to prevent instability. It creates equity and can be used as a tool to counter the intolerance that often underpins tensions by bringing together communities across ethnic and religious divides to teach children how to handle disagreements with respect,” Shiferaw Shigutie, Minister of Education of Ethiopia said opening the meeting on Wednesday.
Globally more than 230 million children in places tense with instability while half the world’s primary-age children that are out of school live in countries affected by crisis.
With the population of 3.5 million, Somaliland has been acting as an independent nation even though no single country officially recognized it.
“We have been pushing for the UN and African Union to recognize our country as peaceful and independent state. Meanwhile because of the absence of support from the main Somalia, we haven’t got the recognition,” said, Mr. Yusuf, stating that his country has been working closely with Ethiopia in areas of Education and security, among others.
Mentioning that livestock trade in the backbone of the Somaliland’s economy, Mr. Yusuf indicated that his government has recently concluded a deal with DP World of Dubai for construction of a new port facility at the Berbera Port with co-investment of $442 million. “When it will be completed, I hope it will serve as additional port for Ethiopia, which is currently using Djibouti Port,” he said.