Abdiweli Mohamed Ali
|Abdiweli Mohamed Ali
عبدالولي محمد علي
|President of Puntland|
8 January 2014
|Vice President||Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar|
|Preceded by||Abdirahman Mohamud Farole|
|Prime Minister of Somalia|
19 June 2011 – 17 October 2012
|President||Sharif Sheikh Ahmed
Muse Hassan Abdulle (Acting)
Mohamed Osman Jawari
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
|Preceded by||Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed|
|Succeeded by||Abdi Farah Shirdon|
2 July 1965 |
|Political party||Ururka Dadka Puntland (UDAD)|
|Alma mater||Somali National University
George Mason University
Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (Somali: Cabdiweli Maxamed Cali pronounced [ʕɑbdɪwɛli mɑħɑmɛd ʕɑli]; Arabic: عبدالولي محمد علي; English pronunciation (help·info)), also known as Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gas, is a Somali American economist, professor and politician. He served as the Prime Minister of Somalia from June 2011 to October 2012, and briefly afterwards as an MP in the newly formed Federal Parliament. During his time as Premier, Ali is credited with having devised the formal "Roadmap for the End of Transition", a political process which provided clear benchmarks leading toward the establishment of permanent democratic institutions in the country. On 8 January 2014, he was elected the 5th President of Puntland.
- 1 Background
- 2 Prime Minister of Somalia
- 3 Federal Parliament
- 4 President of Puntland
- 4.1 Election
- 4.2 Inauguration
- 4.3 Cabinet
- 4.4 Puntland biometric fishery database
- 4.5 EU bilateral cooperation
- 4.6 PMPF training
- 4.7 Puntland tax reform
- 4.8 Puntland-Yemen bilateral cooperation
- 4.9 Puntland five-year development plan
- 4.10 Puntland-UAE bilateral cooperation
- 4.11 Transport development
- 5 Awards
- 6 Works
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
Ali is originally from the autonomous Puntland region in northeastern Somalia. He holds both Somali and American citizenship. He is multilingual, being fluent in Somali, Arabic, Italian and English.
Ali was educated in various universities around the world, but initially studied in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital. In 1984, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the Somali National University, graduating with highest honors.
Ali later relocated to the United States for post-graduate studies. In 1988, he obtained a Master's degree from Vanderbilt University as an AFGRAD Fellow of Economics. Between 1994–1995 and 1995–1998, he was a Bradley Fellow in George Mason University's Department of Economics and Center for Study of Public Choice, respectively. In 1998–1999, Ali was a Joel Fellow of Political Economy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he earned a Certificate of Taxation from Harvard Law School in 1999 and a Master's degree in Public administration the same year. In 2000, he also obtained a Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University.
In a professional capacity, Ali served as a Director in the Excise Tax Department of Somalia's federal Ministry of Finance and Revenue in the mid-to-late 1980s. Between 1988 and 1991, he was an Assistant Director in Research and Statistics at the Ministry of Finance and Revenue.
From 1993 to 1998, Ali was an Adjunct Professor of Economics in the Department of Social Science and Public Service of Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Virginia. Between 1998 and 1999, he was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID).
His main academic areas of concentration have been in public finance, public choice and international trade. Ali's current research endeavors have centered around the impact that institutions have on economic growth.
Ali has written articles for many peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Business and Economics Research, International Advances in Economic Research, and the Journal of Public Choice. In 2001, a paper of his titled Political stability, stable economic policies and growth: An empirical investigation that was published in the Atlantic Economic Journal was awarded the year's Best Article Award.
Transitional Federal Government
On June 12, 2010, Ali was appointed the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation as well as one of several Deputy Prime Ministers. Selected for the position by the former Premier Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, he served as an integral part of a technocratic Cabinet.
Prime Minister of Somalia
On June 19, 2011, Ali was appointed the Acting Premier of Somalia after Prime Minister Mohamed abruptly resigned from office as part of a controversial agreement signed in Kampala between the President and the Parliament Speaker. A few days later, on June 23, 2011, Ali was named permanent Prime Minister.
Lawmakers welcomed Ali's nomination and reaffirmed their opposition to and intention of repealing the Kampala Accord.
In a session held on June 28, 2011, Members of Parliament overwhelmingly approved Ali's appointment as Prime Minister. 337 of the MPs endorsed the selection, while 2 voted against it and 2 abstained.
On July 23, 2011, Parliament unanimously endorsed Prime Minister Ali's selection of new Cabinet officials. The ministerial posts were expanded to include an additional 9 state ministers and 26 deputy ministers, bringing a total of 53 federal ministers.
On July 4, 2011, in one of his first policy initiatives, Prime Minister Ali appointed a national committee to tackle the severe drought that was then affecting large parts of the country and the larger East Africa region. The committee consisted of several federal-level members of government, including the Ministers of Defense, Health, Interior, Finance, Public Works, Women's Affairs and Information. It was tasked with assessing and addressing the needs of the drought-impacted segments of the population.
In August 2011, Prime Minister Ali announced the creation of a new Special Force (SP) division of the Somali National Army (SNA). Consisting of 300 trained soldiers, the unit was initially mandated with protecting relief shipments and distribution centers in Mogadishu. Besides helping to stabilize the city, the new protection force was also tasked with combating banditry and other vices.
In October 2011, a coordinated operation between the Somalian military and the Kenyan military referred to as Linda Nchi began, with Kenyan troops crossing the border into southern Somalia in pursuit of Al-Shabaab militants that are alleged to have kidnapped several foreign tourists and workers inside Kenya. Prime Minister Ali along with President of Somalia Sharif Ahmed initially opposed the deployment of Kenyan troops into the country, as they felt it was a breach of an earlier joint defence pact reached with the Kenyan government that limited Kenya's support to logistical activities. On October 31, a Somalian delegation led by Prime Minister Ali met in Nairobi with the Kenyan Premier Raila Odinga and other government officials to iron out differences and to outline a joint strategy vis-a-vis Operation Linda Nchi. After lengthy talks, the delegations issued a joint communique pledging coordinated military, political and diplomatic support for the mission, requesting that AMISOM peacekeepers police areas captured from Al-Shabaab, and that the International Criminal Court (ICC) begin formal investigations against the group's commanders. In addition, Prime Minister Ali urged the international community to support the joint operation, and stated that the mission "would be led by Somali forces with support of Kenyan forces". The two delegations also formed a joint high-level co-ordinating committee to maintain regular contacts between their respective governments.
In early June 2012, Kenyan forces were formally integrated into AMISOM. Analysts expect the additional AU troop reinforcements to help the Somali authorities gradually expand their territorial control.
On August 7, 2012, Prime Minister Ali announced that his government was set to re-establish the Somali Navy, which had disbanded shortly after the outbreak of the civil war in the early 1990s. Speaking to reporters in the capital, the Premier indicated that his administration wanted to create a well-trained national marine force capable of efficiently patrolling Somalia's territorial waters and putting an end to the illegal plunder of the country's resources by foreign companies and nations. He also indicated that he had asked the international community to support the Somali government's extant efforts aimed at developing its maritime defensive capacity, including the possibility of acquiring speed boats and warships to more effectively secure the country's extensive seaboard.
Prime Minister Ali has been credited with devising the formal "Roadmap for the End of Transition", a political process which provided clear benchmarks leading toward the establishment of permanent democratic institutions in Somalia by mid-2012, when the Transitional Federal Government's mandate expired.
In February 2012, the Premier and other Somali government officials met in the northeastern town of Garowe to discuss post-transition political arrangements. After extensive deliberations attended by regional actors and international observers, the conference ended in a signed agreement between Prime Minister Ali, TFG President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Speaker of Parliament Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamud Farole, Galmudug President Mohamed Ahmed Alim and Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a representative Khalif Abdulkadir Noor stipulating that: a) a new 225 member bicameral parliament would be formed, with a lower house and an upper house seating 54 Senators; b) 30% of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) is earmarked for women; c) the President is to be appointed via a constitutional election; and d) the Prime Minister is selected by the President and he/she then names his/her Cabinet.
On June 23, 2012, the Somali federal and regional leaders met again and approved a draft constitution after several days of deliberation. The National Constituent Assembly overwhelmingly passed the new constitution on August 1, with 96% voting for it, 2% against it, and 2% abstaining.
2012 presidential elections
In early August 2012, Prime Minister Ali officially announced his intention to present himself as a presidential candidate in Somalia's upcoming 2012 elections. Speaking before a gathering of hundreds of supporters in Mogadishu, Ali highlighted his administration's various achievements during its brief tenure, saying that "if you appreciate all the hard work and the national obligations done by my government then you will be giving me your votes."
Ali was among the four contestants that made it to the second round of voting. However, he and another candidate subsequently dropped out, leaving former TFG president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to contest the presidency with the eventual winner, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
End of term
President of Puntland
In August 2013, Ali launched a campaign to run for President of the autonomous Puntland state in the northeastern region's 2014 elections. After meeting with Puntland leaders in the UAE, opposition groups agreed that he would make a viable compromise candidate. He later arrived in Puntland to confer with political and clan leaders in Galkayo and Qardho so as to strengthen ties with the opposition and secure new supporters. On 8 January 2014, the first and second rounds of voting saw 9 of the 11 presidential contenders eliminated from the running, with Ali and incumbent Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamud Farole left to face off in the third round. Farole initially led the final round with 31 votes, with Ali receiving 18 votes. However, a late rally by Ali saw him eventually win the election, narrowly defeating Farole by 33 votes to 32. The victory officially makes Ali the 5th President of Puntland.
In his acceptance speech, Ali expressed gratitude for the opportunity as well as the work of the Farole administration. He also pledged to defend and adhere to the Puntland Constitution, and called for collaboration in the development and security sectors. For his part, Farole indicated that he accepted the outcome of the election, and felicitated Ali on his victory. Farole also reminded Ali of the responsibility now bestowed upon him as leader, urging the new President-elect to prioritize Puntland's interests and calling on all government officials, workers and security forces to cooperate with the region's new leadership.
On 14 January 2014, former Puntland President Farole officially handed over power to his successor Ali. The transfer ceremony was held at the Puntland State House in Garowe, with incumbent Puntland Vice President Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar, former Puntland Vice President Abdisamad Ali Shire, outgoing and erstwhile Puntland cabinet ministers, the Ethiopian consul-general in the region, UNSOM officials and other international representatives in attendance. During his hand over speech, Farole recapped the accomplishments of his administration, and noted a number of infrastructural development projects in the region that were scheduled for implementation. He also thanked all members of government for having worked for the greater communal good, and pledged to assist the incoming leadership with any advice and consultations should it require them. President Ali in turn thanked the outgoing Puntland administration for its achievements, and vowed to continue and build on them. Wishing Farole well in his future endeavors, Ali also noted that his administration would benefit going forward from Farole's advice and support as a statesman.
On 25 January 2014, Puntland President Ali and Vice President Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar were officially inaugurated into office at a ceremony at the state capital Garowe. The event was attended by a number of dignitaries, including former Puntland Presidents Abdirahman Mohamed Farole and Mohamud Muse Hersi, Jubaland President Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Madobe), Galmudug President Abdi Hasan Awale Qeybdiid, former Prime Minister of Somalia Ali Mohammed Ghedi, federal MPs, ambassadors from Djibouti, Ethiopia and Turkey, UN Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay, members of the Somali expatriate community and Puntland public, and US, AU and IGAD representatives. In his inaugural speech, Ali outlined his intention to prioritize the security sector in order to create an environment conducive for investment. He also indicated that his administration would facilitate commercial development and trade by renovating and growing the region's existing transport infrastructure, and would seek to tap into Puntland's natural resources through inclusive cooperation. Additionally, Ali pledged to deliver social services in the areas of free education, health and women's development, and highlighted the importance of strengthening relations with the federal government. He likewise gave a 100 day window for the unity conference for Puntland's various constituencies, vowing to revive the "spirit of 1998" when Puntland state was established.
On 15 January 2014, President Ali appointed Dr. Deeq Sulaiman Yusuf as the new Director of the Presidential Palace of Puntland. Yusuf previously served as a good governance consultant to the Somali central government during Ali's term as Prime Minister of Somalia.
Ali concurrently held his first press conference as Puntland President, during which he announced that he was in the process of forming a lean cabinet. He indicated that he would consult with the electorate before unveiling the new council of ministers. Ali also pledged to include more women in the incoming cabinet, and vowed to strengthen the security sector. Additionally, he asked for input and cooperation from the general public.
On 15 January 2014, President Ali engaged in a question and answer session with over 100 members of the public at the Puntland Development Research Center (PDRC) in Garowe. The event included politicians, former cabinet ministers, members of the diaspora, and women and youth. During his 20-minute speech, Ali touched on his development plan for the region, which he indicated would focus on institution building, good governance, security, justice, economy and reconciliation. While commending previous Puntland administrations for having established an effective state security structure, he avered to further strengthen the sector by ensuring that all regional security processes were government-led. Ali also indicated that he intended to tap into existing institutional capacity building initiatives and opportunities, including sending government staff abroad for special skills training. Additionally, Ali pledged to prioritize administrative transparency, as well as launch social campaigns on justice. With regard to the commercial sector, Ali noted the importance of tax revenue, reminding the local business community to fulfill its tax obligations. He also indicated that effective policies were scheduled for the payment of civil service salaries. Ali likewise announced that he would hold a reconciliation conference for Puntland's various constituencies, describing the initiative as the first step in his administration's action plan and a priority for his government.
On 27 January 2014, ahead of the announcement of a new Cabinet, President Ali hosted a luncheon for Members of the Puntland Parliament at the state capital Garowe. The meeting was held at the national assembly building and was also attended by Puntland Vice President Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar and Parliament Speaker Said Hassan Shire. President Ali briefed the gathered legislators about his government program, reiterating his focus on commercial development, security, reconciliation and institutional capacity building.
On 28 January 2014, the Chief of Cabinet at the Presidential office, Deeq Suleiman Yusuf, announced President Ali's new Council of Ministers at a press conference at the Puntland State House in Garowe. The new ministerial line-up consisted of 47 officials, including returning politicians, opposition figures, diaspora members and business leaders. Two former Presidents of the Khatumo State administration, Ahmed Elmi Osman (Karaash) and Abdinur Elmi Qaaje (Biindho), were named Puntland Minister of Interior and Minister of Fisheries, respectively. Ali Haji Warsame and Shire Haji Farah, two candidates who had participated in the just concluded Puntland presidential elections, were also appointed to the Cabinet, with Warsame assigned the Ministry of Education portfolio and Farah the Ministry of Finance office. The erstwhile Chairman of the Midnimo political association, Saadiq Enow, was in turn named Minister of Health. Additionally, Hassan Osman Mohamud Aloore, the former Minister of Petroleum under the Hersi administration, was given the Ministry of Security portfolio. The new Minister of Women, Anisa Abdulkadir Haji Mumin, and Minister of Constitution, Sahra Saed Nour, were likewise among five women in the new Cabinet, which included three other female Deputy ministers.
On 29 January 2014, Puntland's new Cabinet held its first meeting at the State House in Garowe. The Council of Ministers was officially sworn into office at the same venue on 1 February. The swearing-in function was attended by a number of public figures from the state, including the Vice President, Parliament Speaker, chairman of the Supreme Court and Islamic scholars. On 4 February 2014, Puntland lawmakers approved the new state Cabinet during a session at the parliament hall in Garowe. Moments before the vote of confidence took place, President Ali briefed the present legislators on his government's plans and priorities. All 55 MPs present in the 66-seat chamber subsequently voted in favor of the new Council of Ministers. Ali thanked the parliament for the endorsement, and reiterated his administration's commitment to good governance.
Puntland biometric fishery database
On 27 March 2014, Puntland President Ali in conjunction with representatives from the EU and FAO officially launched a new database for registering local fishermen. Referred to as the Fishermen Identification Database System, it is a $400,000 project financed by a Trust Fund from seven EU Member States. The database will provide fishermen in the region with a unique identification card. It uses biometric data, which can differentiate between the identities of individuals. Registering fishermen will allow the Puntland government to identify who fishes in its waters, and to ensure efficacious management of fisheries and sustainable resource use through the gathering of vital data. President Ali indicated that the system is also expected to help the authorities more easily distinguish legitimate fishermen from possible pirate suspects. In addition, FAO representative to Somalia Luca Alinovi noted that the database will enable fishermen to work in a secure environment. According to the New York Anti-Piracy Trust Fund, more than 3,100 fishermen already registered in the new biometric database over the previous 12 months.
EU bilateral cooperation
On 27 March 2014, President Ali discussed bilateral cooperation with a European Union delegation led by EU Envoy to Somalia Michele Cervone d'Uso. The meeting concluded with an agreement by the EU officials to assist the new Puntland administration in strengthening its security sector. Additionally, the representatives indicated that the EU would start allocating directly to Puntland its share of development funds earmarked for Somalia.
On 27 March 2014, a Puntland government delegation including President Ali and cabinet ministers met with EU representatives aboard a NATO ship. The meeting concluded with an announcement by the European Union officials that the EU would begin training Puntland Maritime Police Force units in Djibouti. The new training schedule is intended to help the Puntland authorities strengthen their marine defense capabilities in keeping with the New Deal Compact's Somali Maritime and Resources Strategy. President Ali welcomed the initiative, noting that marine cooperation with national and international stakeholders would impact activities on both sea and land, including coastal development projects.
On 28 March 2014, Ali met in Bosaso with the UAE Ambassador to Somalia Mohamed Al Osmani to discuss bilateral relations. Al Osmani asserted that his government would continue supporting progress by Puntland's new leadership. A Puntland presidential office representative also indicated that both parties had reached an agreement stipulating that the UAE government would continue supporting the Puntland Maritime Police Force. The Emirati authorities have funded the PMPF's official training program since the force's formation in 2010.
Puntland tax reform
In April 2014, the Puntland Ministry of Finance announced that the Puntland government would start taxation of UN and international organizations working in the regional state. According to the head of the Nugal tax department Abdiwahab Farah Ali, this is the first such initiative undertaken in Puntland, and is expected to raise available revenue for local development projects by the new Puntland authorities. The decision is part of a pledge by Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali to increase the government's development funding in part through higher taxation. Toward this end, the Puntland authorities already increased taxes on commercial firms operating in the state in order to meet regional financing benchmarks.
Puntland-Yemen bilateral cooperation
In May 2014, Puntland President Ali made an official visit to Yemen to discuss bilateral cooperation between the Puntland and Yemeni governments with President of Yemen Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The meeting was held at the presidential palace in Sana'a, and was also attended by a number of ministers from the Puntland regional administration. The delegations touched on bilateral trade, economic investments, security and international issues. According to the Presidential Office, the gathering concluded with an agreement by the Puntland authorities to open a consulate in Sana'a, with the Yemeni government likewise agreeing to open its own consulate in the Puntland region.
Puntland five-year development plan
On 21 May 2014, Ali chaired a one-day roundtable meeting on the Puntland regional state's development priorities and targets at the Puntland Development Research Center (PDRC) in Garowe. The gathering was attended by officials from various national and international bodies as well as key partners, including representatives from the Somali Federal Government, Turkey, Sweden, World Bank, United Nations, European Union, African Union and IGAD. Ali opened the conference with a briefing of his administration's development goals for the next five years, which would be centered on economic growth, health, education and security. Ambassador Mahamet Saleh Annadif, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, also commended Puntland on its democratization process and emphasized the importance of the region's stability as well as its position as a role model for other federal states in Somalia. The roundtable meeting concluded with a joint press conference including EU Envoy to Somalia Ambassador Michele Cervone D'urso, during which President Ali announced that the international representatives had agreed to support the Puntland administration's five-year development plan.
Puntland-UAE bilateral cooperation
In August 2014, Ali met with a United Arab Emirates delegation at the Puntland Maritime Police Force base on the outskirts of Bosaso, including UAE Ambassador to Somalia Mohamed Al-Othman and senior heads of the Dubai Port Wall (DP). The representatives discussed a number of bilateral issues such as the ongoing renovations and expansion of the Port of Bosaso and maritime security. Additionally, the officials touched on investments in Puntland's constituent provinces, which the UAE government pledged it would make.
In August 2014, Puntland Transport and Seaports Minister Abdullahi Jama Salah announced ongoing efforts by the Puntland government under President Ali to establish new seaports in the region. The initiative is part of a campaign pledge by Ali to focus on tapping into Puntland's commercial potential through various development projects. According to Salah, he met in Djibouti with representatives from an international construction firm headquartered in China, who are scheduled to soon conduct a project evaluation for a new international seaport in Puntland. The government of Djibouti will provide facilitation during the assessment. Other transportation projects in Puntland that are concurrently in development include the construction of an international airport in the commercial hub of Bosaso.
- 2005–2006 Excellence in Research Award, College of Business Administration, Niagara University, May 2006.
- Best Paper Award, European Applied Business Research Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, June 2004.
- 2003–2004 Excellence in Research Award, College of Business Administration, Niagara University, May 2004.
- 2001 Best Article Award, Atlantic Economic Journal, October 2002.
- "How robust is the effect of foreign aid on growth" with (Hodan Isse and Bill Peek), Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 20, pp. 4–14, Fall 2009 (Lead Article).
- "The determinants of crime in Virginia: An empirical analysis" (with Bill Peek), forthcoming in Contemporary Issues in Educational Research, Vol. 2 (4), pp. 1–11, 2009 (Lead Article).
- "Is democracy a prerequisite for political stability?", International Business and Economics Research Journal, October 2004, Vol. 3 (10), pp. 39–47, Won the Best Paper Award.
- "Determinants of economic corruption: A cross-country comparison" (with Hodan Isse), Cato Journal, Winter Issue 2003, Vol. 22 (3), pp. 449–64. Cited by 58.
- "Institutional distortions, economic freedom and growth" (with Mark Crain), Cato Journal, Winter Issue 2002, Vol. 21 (3), pp. 415–26. Cited by 63.
- "Political regimes, economic freedom, institutions and growth" (with Mark Crain), Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, 2001, Vol. XIX (1), pp. 3–22, Lead Article. Cited by 13.
- "Political stability, stable economic policies and growth: an empirical investigation", Atlantic Economic Journal, March Issue 2001, Vol. 29, pp. 87–106. Won the 2001 Best Article Award. Cited by 13
- "Economic freedom, democracy and growth", Journal of Private Enterprise, 1997, vol. 13, pp. 1–20, Lead Article. Cited by 30.
Refereed conference proceedings
- "Is Democracy a Prerequisite for Political Stability?" (Won the Best Paper Award), European Applied Business Research Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, June 14–18, 2004.
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