Somali Ambassador in Uganda Receives Warm Welcome at IUEA

IUEA welcomes the Somali Ambassador in Uganda with open arms during a welcoming ceremony.

On April 17, 2024, the International University of East Africa had the privilege of hosting the Somali Ambassador in Uganda, Ambassador Abdiladif Mohamud Ali. The event was graced by the presence of our esteemed Dean of Students, Madam Natasha Sonnet, and our Quality Assurance Officer, Mr. Alamin Hamid, alongside other dignitaries. This gathering not only celebrated Somali pride but also exemplified cross-cultural unity, reminiscent of visits from previous esteemed guests such as Minister Minister Mohamed Bare Mohamud, the Minister of Sports and Youth of Somalia.

The Ambassador and his attaché join IUEA staff and students for a commemorative photo in the technologically advanced IUEA smart-classroom.

Why did IUEA invite the Somali ambassador? 

The event provided a unique opportunity for our Somali students to connect with their ambassador, fostering a sense of belonging within our diverse community. Recognising the challenges of adapting to a foreign environment, we are committed to ensuring all our students feel supported and comfortable throughout their academic journey. 

Additionally, the event facilitated an open dialogue for Somali students to address any concerns or grievances they may have encountered in their interactions with the embassy, promoting effective communication and problem-solving.

Moreover, it served as a gesture of respect and collaboration with the embassy, marking the beginning of a strong relationship between IUEA and the Somali diplomatic mission.

Mr. Alamin, the Quality Assurance officer of IUEA, extends a warm welcome to the Ambassador upon his arrival at the campus, setting the tone for a fruitful visit.

What happened during the event?

Upon his arrival, the Somali ambassador was warmly greeted by Madam Ililta Masalab, Miss IUEA, symbolising the hospitality extended to our distinguished guests. The tour of our campus facilities showcased our commitment to academic excellence and innovation, including visits to:

The speeches, held in our state-of-the-art smart classrooms, were a blend of formality and cultural homage, with Somali music setting the ambiance for the occasion. Ambassador Abdiladif Mohamud Ali addressed the audience in both English and Somali, emphasising his role as a supportive figure for Somali students in Uganda.

The Somali ambassador was struck by the vibrant and sizable Somali Community at IUEA. Upon his visit, he expressed his admiration for the significant presence of Somali students. However, he was pleasantly surprised to learn from the university’s Quality Assurance Officer that the community’s size far exceeds the number that was in attendance. Due to ongoing exams, many community members were occupied with revision, further emphasising its breadth. In response, the ambassador committed to revisiting when all members could participate, ensuring inclusivity for everyone.

Seated amidst the large IUEA Somali student community, the Somali Ambassador shares a memorable moment captured in a photograph.

What Advice did the Ambassador have for students?

During his address, the Somali ambassador emphasised the pivotal role education plays in national development. He urged students to approach their studies with dedication, recognising its direct impact on the advancement of their homeland. Specifically, he highlighted the importance of IUEA’s Higher Education Certificate programmes. These programmes serve as essential pathways for students who may not meet the academic prerequisites, facilitating a seamless transition into their chosen degree programmes. While acknowledging that some may perceive these programs as obstacles, the ambassador underscored their significance and encouraged students to embrace them positively.

Addressing the aspirations and concerns of Somali students, the Ambassador delivers a speech laden with valuable insights during his visit to IUEA.

Moreover, he encouraged students to consider pursuing studies in the sciences, noting the scarcity of professionals in this field. By leveraging the knowledge gained from IUEA’s programmes, students could contribute significantly to the betterment of the country and the global community. In essence, the ambassador’s message resonated with the university’s mission of fostering academic excellence and societal impact among its diverse student body.

Mr. Farhan Muhamud, an esteemed IUEA student, proudly presents Certificates of Excellence, recognising the outstanding performances of the IUEA Somali community at the cultural gala, to the Ambassador.

What challenges have IUEA students faced at the embassy?

During an interactive session, a student shared concerns about delays in passport issuance from the embassy, underscoring the need for a closer collaboration between our university and the embassy to streamline administrative procedures for students, ensuring smoother processes.

Opening the floor for dialogue, Mr. Farhan invites fellow IUEA students to express their concerns and grievances regarding immigration matters in the presence of the Ambassador.

Additionally, some students recounted instances of encountering poor customer service at the embassy, particularly citing challenges with communication due to language barriers. Regrettably, some staff members reportedly dismissed students without adequately addressing their needs. In response, the ambassador offered apologies and committed to investigating the matter. Furthermore, he pledged to designate a dedicated liaison to handle cases concerning the Somali IUEA community, aiming to improve service delivery and enhance the community’s experience.

Does IUEA assist students in matters related to immigration?

Mr. Liban Hussein Derow, the Education and Culture Attaché of the Somali Embassy in Uganda, commended the remarkable dedication of IUEA staff, singling out the exemplary efforts of Abdulshakur Elmi, a marketing personnel and MBA student at IUEA, and Muhammed Garad, the assistant to the IUEA Human Resource Manager. Their proactive assistance has significantly contributed to resolving various issues faced by members of the community, especially those related to immigration matters. This acknowledgment stands as a testament to the unwavering care and commitment demonstrated by IUEA staff in supporting students.

Mr. Liban Hussein Derow, Education and Culture Attaché of the Somali Embassy in Uganda, commends the dedicated efforts of IUEA staff in supporting the Somali community with immigration affairs.

The success of this event reflects our ongoing commitment to fostering inclusivity and support for all members of the IUEA community. As evidenced by the recent establishment of the IUEA French club, we are continuously striving to create spaces where students from diverse backgrounds can thrive and express themselves freely.

The Somali community holds a significant place within our institution, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to their academic and social well-being. We welcome individuals of all backgrounds to join us in our mission to promote unity and advance knowledge and technology for a better world.

The Somali Ambassador takes a commemorative picture with IUEA staff and students at the end of the welcoming ceremony.

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