For many people, the terms “Somalia” and “failed state” has become synonymous and that is understandable considering the challenges in the country for the last two decades. Famine, droughts, terrorists, and many other bywords created during the civil war. But if that’s all you have about Somalia then you’re not following the country’s latest developments.
The youth of Somalia seem like they have finally understood that the country’s development is in their hands. Youth-led initiatives are being unveiled day-in, day-out. And it doesn’t look its stopping, at least for now. Technology-related initiatives are taking the biggest pie of youth inventions. Innovation hubs have started to appear in Somalia. Remember Africa has over 400 tech innovation hubs, and Somalia has only THREE (but it’s a wonderful beginning considering the country has been in turmoil for more than two decades).
In 2016, Dr. Sadiyo Siad, a Somali woman who has five university degrees which include a Ph.D. has left everything behind in the UK and came back to Somalia to establish Hano Academy. Hano Academy is the first accredited Academic Progression and Polytechnic Academy in Somalia which offers a range skill training opportunities and academic courses. One opportunity the academy offers is called Social Innovation Hub. The hub offers an incubation center for Somali entrepreneurs. It’s also a training and mentoring center for e-commerce, digital marketing, and digital creative media, part of our job creation programs.
In late 2017, another Somali innovation hub, iRise Hub, was launched by a group of Somali youth who want to create a new future for their people. The introduction of this tech center has allowed Somali entrepreneurs access to incubation and training programs, as well as resources to develop their ideas.
Somali Innovation Hub (siHUB) was also launched recently in the northern part of Somalia, expanding the new culture of Somali youth: bring your own initiative to your community. siHUB is a “unique social innovation and technology Centre that fosters innovation, entrepreneurial development, and the good economy through enabling students, fresh-graduates’ entrepreneurs, and innovators”.
That’s the new youth culture in Somalia. Somali youth are no longer being exploited by terrorist organizations. They know their responsibilities and they want to play their roles to develop their country.