The Federal Republic of Somalia has joined the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) as its 26th Member States. An agreement in this regard was signed during a ceremony held at COMSATS Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan, on 9th November 2017.
The Minister for Education, Ministry of Education, Culture, and Higher Education, Somalia, His Excellency Mr. Abdi Dahir Osman, and the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Somalia and COMSATS, respectively. The Ambassador of Somalia to Islamabad, Pakistan H. E. Ms. Khadija Almakhzoumi; First Secretary, Embassy of Somalia, Mr. Ali Sheikh; and Advisor to the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Higher Education, Mohammed A. Nur, as well as senior officials from COMSATS also witnessed the signing ceremony.
Briefing the Minister after the signing, Dr. Zaidi thanked the Minister and the Ambassador for making the efforts that led to the signing of the accession agreement. He introduced COMSATS to the Minister as an intergovernmental/international organization. He apprised His Excellency about the organizational structure, the member countries, the network of international S&T Centers of Excellence of COMSATS, as well as its flagship projects. Introducing COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Dr. Zaidi noted that it is the top most higher education institution in Pakistan, and expressed his desire to establish such an institute in Somalia and other Member States of COMSATS.
The Somali delegates were also informed about the benefits as well as obligations of joining COMSATS. It was noted that by signing the agreement, Somalia is not joining a single organization but a group of 25 other countries and a Network of 21 Centers of Excellence, which cooperate and collaborate with one another for Science and Technology led development in the South.
The Minister expressed gratitude and appreciated the Ambassador of Somalia for her efforts. He mentioned that the Ambassador acted as a bridge between COMSATS and Somalia, and helped complete all the requirements for joining COMSATS. Earlier the Ambassador of Somalia had visited COMSATS Secretariat upon invitation from Executive Director COMSATS. During that meeting, Dr. Zaidi had discussed with her avenues of cooperation as well as the benefits and obligations of joining COMSATS as a member state. The Ambassador was also presented with a letter for accession, marked to the Minister of Education, Culture and Higher Education, which was followed up and led to the signing of the accession agreement.
In addition to the newly acquired COMSATS’ membership, Somalia currently holds membership in African Development Bank (ADB), Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), G-77, IDA, IDB, IFAD, NAM, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, WTFU, WHO, and WTO. Somalia will now be represented at the Heads-of-State level Commission and the ministerial-level Consultative Committee of COMSATS by virtue of its State membership. The Minister of Education, Culture, and Higher Education, Somalia has been designated as the focal person of COMSATS in the country and was asked to nominate a liaison officer for communication with the organization.