The occasion was hosted by Prof. Suleiman Ahmed Gulaid, President, Amoud University (AU) and graced by the presence of H. E. Muse Biihi Abdi, President, Republic of Somaliland. Prof. Suleiman was accompanied by Prof. Ahmed Abdillahi Boqore, Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance, AU, Prof. Mohamed Mohamoud Jama "Derie", Vice President, Public Relations and Community Outreach, AU, Dr. Said Ahmed Walhad, Principal, Amoud College of Health Sciences (ACHS), with the Master of ceremonies being Hassan Rabiye, Associate Dean, Faculty of Education, AU, assisted by Abdinasir Dahir Egeh, Assistant Dean, Office of Students' Affairs and Saed Hassan Habaneh, Director, Human Resource Department, AU. Other University Officials present included various Deans of faculties and schools.
Among the guests who attended the ceremony were various national government ministers, regional government officials including the mayor of Borama City and governor of Awdal region, community leaders, parents and the graduating class of 2020. The ceremony was held at Amoud University, Main Campus, Borama, Somaliland.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Suleiman congratulated all graduands of Amoud University class of 2020 for having achieved the various milestones in their lives. He conferred various qualifications to those who attained Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Degrees, and wished all of them well in their future endeavours. A total of 945 students graduated in the 2020 cohort, out of whom 808 were undergraduate students and the other 137 were postgraduate students. The rector urged all graduates to remain true to the spirit of Amoud University as "A Vehicle for Peace and Development" and to ensure they act as window for the world to see the quality of Amoud University being the oldest, most prestigious university in Somaliland. Secondly, he thanked all those individuals and organizations that have been instrumental in not only helping establish Amoud University but also walking with the university over the years through support in partnerships on development projects. In this regard he mentioned Amoud Foundation in it's huge role for always contributing to Amoud University infrastructure projects and King's College London, who have helped a great deal in building capacities for Amoud College of Health Sciences (ACHS) in terms of training of various cadres of health care providers hence building capacities for human resource experts for medical field. He also mentioned United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) who have supported various projects at Amoud University including establishment of the first Masters degree programme in Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability among other major projects implemented in collaboration with Faculty of Agriculture and Rural Development, AU. The president thanked H. E. Muse Biihi, President of Somaliland and the line ministries of government of Somaliland for all the support his government has given for various projects including construction of Qoorgab bridge, several buildings located at main campus, Amoud University in Borama.
Furthermore, Prof. Suleiman reminisced the effect of covid 19 on university education worldwide and went ahead to thank Dr. Mohamed M. Jibril, the vice president academic affairs, AU, in particular in collaboration with all deans of faculties and directors comprising the academic division, for working tirelessly to ensure a smooth and almost seamless adoption of online education platforms for all classes immediately following the lockdown of Somaliland by the government as part of containment measures to mitigate negative effects of corona virus pandemic from March 2020 to July 2020. This effort, he said, enabled Amoud University to continue undeterred with it's academic calendar for the second semester of the academic year September 2019/ July 2020 without much disruption and picked up immediately into the new academic year September 2020/ January 2021. Additionally Prof. Suleiman recognized the enormous role played by Dr. Said Ahmed Walhad for the progress made at Amoud College of Health which even enable the academic unit to emerge top among various universities in the currently in training of medical experts through evaluation of an independent team earlier in the academic year September 2020/ January 2021.
In concluding his speech, Prof. Suleiman expressed his desire and intention to proceed to retirement from Amoud University as rector and for this reason, invited the local community leadership, university management and the government of Somaliland to start engaging in the process of looking for his successor, for the position of President, Amoud University. He thanked the entire Amoud family and all other players and actors for supporting him during all the years he has served the institution since it's inception and pledged to see a smooth transition for the next leadership. He then ushered the Minister for Higher Education to speak.
The minister spoke briefly about plans to streamline standards in universities and ensure quality education among any institutions that are establish with intention to produce graduates in the various fields of specialization and noted the concerns raised by Prof. Suleiman about institutions that do not seem to meet basic requirements needed for higher academic learning, further promising to look into such cases more closely through such bodies as commission for higher education. The minister then invited H. E. Muse Biihi who delivered a key note address before being re-joined by Prof. Suleiman A. Gulaid in conferring various degrees to the graduands.
In his speech, the president of Somaliland started off by congratulating all graduating students in the class of 2020. He thanked Prof. Suleiman for all the years of service he had contributed to Amoud University, Awdal region in terms of development and Somaliland in general in the higher education sector. He stated how grateful he was for the mentorship and selfless service Prof. Suleiman had shown steadily throughout his career as a teacher and an astute administrator. Moreover, he requested for the great people of Awdal to allow him to take Prof. Suleiman with him after he retires from Amoud University to come into the national level to help him in areas where the state might need his wisdom and contributions. Secondly he urged universities to invest more in establishment of leadership institutes and training of future leaders in order to fill the leadership gaps that exist. Moreover he decried the many land cases which seem to have created conflicts lately among various communities in the country and urged universities to invest in education and research on conflict resolution expertise to help indetify root causes of such problems so as to avert such further conflicts in future. In conclusion, he expressed joy and satisfaction at the quality of graduates produced at Amoud University as the oldest institution of higher education in Somaliland, recognizing how Prof. Suleiman Ahmed Gulaid has fitted perfectly in the title of "Father of Higher Education in Somaliland" and urged the entire team to be motivated to move on as his government would continue to fully support Amoud University, during the entire period of his government's tenure.