Having interacted with young Africans from Somaliland, I must confess that I fell in love with this breakaway, semi-desert territory on the coast of the Gulf of Aden.
From the rich ancient cultural practices that are still practiced by the locals to the warm nutritious glass of camel milk. My love for their nutritious camel milk increases by day I tell you.
Ahmed M. Musa grew up in Somaliland and still remembers how the war in Somalia in 1990 played a huge part as an enemy to progress. It also led to the separation of Somaliland from Somalia.
His family was dependent on his grandfather as the sole bread winner and when he passed away in 1991, things fell apart.
Most Somalis fled Somaliland and became refugees in other countries.
I remember we survived on bitter tree leaves for a month. I hated it and I can still taste that bitterness in my mouth today. It was devastating being forced to eat them.
When Hargeisa stabilized in 1992,his mother became the sole bread winner hawking second hand clothes and trading livestock.
Ahmed made a vow to himself to work extremely hard and take over from her.
I wanted to further my education but my Somali passport was rejected in almost all countries I applied to.
Through persistence and countless trials, Musa finally made it to Kampala International University in Uganda to pursue a BA in Human Resources Management.
He had to learn English in first year to be at par with others.
Not only did he learn English, he also became the minister of finance in the university and was awarded as one of the best to have sat in that chair.
After graduation,he pursued a Masters degree in Public Administration in the same university.
He faced serious difficulty upon going back home as he faced serious unemployment. One not to loose focus, he made countless applications and built his networks.
This led to getting employed as a lecturer, becoming the training manager of the Somaliland National Electoral Commission to working with Action Aid as a project manager among other various positions.
When he got selected for YALI 2015, he was ecstatic. He confesses that the program opened his eyes to a positive Africa, connected him to various people across the globe and taught him to become a great leader.
My vision is to inspire and influence young people. I am currently building my business and impact acumen.
I look forward to working and influencing the youth through organizations like the African Union, The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) among others.
I always encourage young African leaders to gain knowledge and keep developing their skills.
What do you have in your hands? How can you use it? Forget your past, any current distractions and focus on your vision. Have a crazy mad desire!
Ahmed’s dream is also to become part of the team growing and taking Somali land to the next level.
After constantly applying for scholarships to pursue his PHD, he was considered for Chevening, GOVSEA, Princeton and School of African oriental studies.
It was a hard choice. I chose the one that came first, GOVSEA and I am currently pursuing my PHD at the University of Nairobi.
Fun? I am trying to adjust to fun activities. My child hood was beyond hard and I never had fun. I love meeting people and building networks and creating relationships. This has helped me be at ease.
Keep soaring like the eagle you are Ahmed, success comes from loads of determination and smart hard work!