Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed
عبدالولي الشيخ أحمد

History Pages: Somalia
Somali Prime Minister:
Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed | عبدالولي الشيخ أحمد

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Prime Minister of Somalia

Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed (Somali: Cabdiweli Sheekh Axmed, Arabic: عبدالولي الشيخ أحمد‎; born 1959), also known as Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed Mohammad, is a Somali economist, diplomat and politician. He is the current Prime Minister of Somalia.

  • FullName: Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed: عبدالولي الشيخ أحمد
  • Incumbent: Assumed office 21 December 2013
  • President: Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
  • Preceded by: Abdi Farah Shirdon

Personal details

  • Born: 1959 (age 54–55) Bardera, Somalia
  • Political party: Independent
  • Alma mater: Somali National University, Algonquin College University of Ottawa
  • Religion: Islam

Personal life

Ahmed was born in 1959 in Bardera, situated in the southern Gedo region of Somalia. He hails from the Marehan Darod clan. Ahmed later moved to Canada when the civil war broke out in 1991. He has dual Somali and Canadian citizenship. Additionally, Ahmed has lived and worked in a number of other countries, including:

  • Ethiopia,
  • Djibouti,
  • Egypt,
  • Yemen,
  • Saudi Arabia,
  • the United Arab Emirates,
  • Zambia,
  • Kenya and
  • Malaysia.

He is multilingual, speaking Somali, Arabic, Italian and English fluently. He also has a good command of French. Ahmed is married, and has children.

Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed 1


For his post-secondary education, Ahmed earned a Lauria in Economics from the Somali National University (SNU) in Mogadishu. He later studied at the Algonquin College in Ottawa, where he was presented with a diploma in Computer Programming.

Ahmed subsequently matriculated at the University of Ottawa. There, he earned an M.A. in Economics. He was also a Ph.D. Candidate in International Trade and Development at the same institution.

Additionally, Ahmed has several professional diplomas from U.S. and other government agencies. Among these are a Diploma in Project Management from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a Diploma in Project Planning and Appraisal from SIDAM, and a Diploma in Animal Health Management from the USDA and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Early career

Ahmed is an economist by training. He has over two decades of experience in development and trade economics, specializing in resource mobilization; building partnerships and alliances; negotiating and forging agreements; and formulating and implementing development strategies, programs and policies at both national and regional levels.

Ahmed has worked in mainly leadership positions with a number of international organizations, including the World Bank, USAID, African Union/IBAR and the European Union.

He has also collaborated with:

  • The Arab League’s Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD),
  • United Nations specialized agencies,
  • Economic Commission for Africa (ECA),
  • Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC),
  • Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD),
  • African Development Bank (AfDB),
  • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB),
  • Global Dry land Alliance Initiative,
  • Inter Agency Donor Group (IADG),
  • OPEC, and
  • Arab Funds for Development (Saudi Fund, Kuwait Fund, Qatar Foundation).

Additionally, he has undertaken many international work and diplomatic missions. From 1984 to 1990, Ahmed was the Director-General of the Livestock Marketing and Health Agency in Mogadishu.

Between 1991 and 1998, he served as Chief Executive Officer at MISK Enterprises, a livestock exporting firm with offices in Djibouti, Sana’a and Nairobi.

Ahmed later worked as an International Development and Trade Economics Analyst at the Bank of Canada and Ottawa University from 1998 to 2003.

In 2003-2006, he was also a Program Manager at the African Union’s Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (IBAR) – Red Sea Livestock Trade Commission.

Ahmed subsequently acted as a Senior Livestock and Pastoralism Advisor to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in Lusaka between 2007 and 2009.

From 2010 to 2013, Ahmed served as a Senior Agriculture and Rural Development Officer for the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah. He was part of the organization’s Department of Agriculture and Livestock Development.

Ahmed has no previous political background.

Prime Minister of Somalia | Appointment

On 12 December 2013, incumbent President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud announced to the Federal Parliament that he had appointed Ahmed as the new national Prime Minister in place of Abdi Farah Shirdon. Ahmed reportedly beat out former Finance Minister Hussein Abdi Halane and former Transporation Minister Abdiwahid Elmi Gonjeh for the position.

On 21 December, legislators endorsed the selection, with 239 of the present 243 MPs voting in favor of Ahmed as Premier, two lawmakers voting against, and two abstaining. UN Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay congratulated Prime Minister Ahmed on his appointment and pledged to continue supporting the Federal Government’s peace and state-building efforts.


Ahmed subsequently began consultations to name a new Cabinet, which would then be put before parliament for approval. In early January 2014, he sought a 10-day extension of the deadline to form a new Council of Ministers, a request that the federal legislature unanimously voted in favor of on 11 January.

On 14 January, parliament also dismissed a motion to disqualify officials from former Prime Minister Shirdon’s Cabinet from being eligible to join Ahmed’s upcoming Council of Ministers. Both Prime Minister Ahmed and President Mohamud had campaigned among legislators to reject the motion. 113 MPs voted in favor of not conducting a vote on the motion, while 99 voted in favor of voting on the motion, and 6 abstained.

On 17 January 2014, after conferring with President Mohamud and agreeing on a Cabinet composition, Ahmed named a new, larger Council of Ministers consisting of 25 officials. Only two cabinet members were retained from the previous Shirdon administration.

Professional memberships

Ahmed is a member of several professional associations and networks. Among these are:

  • Arab-African International Development Professionals (AAIDP)
  • Canadian Economics Society
  • Inter-Agency Donor Group (IADG)
  • International Livestock and Pastoralism Development Network (ILPN)

Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed 2


Somali Prime Minister announcing his new cabinet.

Friday, January 17, 2014

After more than 15 hours of what seemed to be the ‘last and the most prolonged’ consultations at the presidential palace in Mogadishu, the prime minister of the federal government of Somalia Abdiweli Sheik Ahmed has disclosed his cabinet which is three times more than the ousted government of Abdi Farah Shirdon.

The new cabinet which is composed of 25 ministers, 25 deputy ministers and 5 state ministers has just been displayed by the Prime minister Abdiweli Sheik Ahmed during a ceremony at the presidential palace.

“Since the Somali president appointed me as the prime minister of the federal government of Somalia on 12th of December 2013, you have been waiting from me to unveil my cabinet—I took such long time as I have been making consultations in a bid to be able to present qualified cabined who are capable of doing the giant tasks ahead of us” the Somali Prime minister told the ceremony before announcing the names of his cabinet members.

Some key figures of the former government like the foreign minister and deputy Prime Minister Fawsia Yusuf Hajji, the minister for civil service development Mariam Qasim and the former defence minister Abdulhakim Mahmud Haji have not been included into the new cabinet while some others changes positions.

Former minister of interior and national security Abdulkarim Hussein Guled who is currently in Turkey for Somalia-Somaliland talks is now appointed as the minister of national security, while Abdullahi Godah Barre is the new the minister of Interior and Federalism.

Mustafa Sheik Ali Dhuhulow has been appointed as the minister of information, whilst Mayor of Somali capital Mahmoud Ahmed Nur becomes the deputy minister for youth and sports.

“Here is the complete list of my new cabined and I request the Somali parliament to endorse” the Prime minister said at the end of his cabinet announcement. The president of the federal republic of Somalia Hassan Sheik Mahmoud and the parliament speaker didn’t attend the cabinet announcement ceremony.

Full List of Cabinet Ministers

Somali Prime Minister Unveiled His 55-Member Cabinet (Full List)

  1. Ridwan Hirsi Mohamed – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Religious Affairs
  2. Abdullahi Godah Barre – Minister of Interior and Federalism
  3. Hussein Abdi Halane – Minister of Finance
  4. Mohamed Sheikh Hassan – Minister of Defence
  5. Abdirahman Duale Beyle – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
  6. Abdikarim Hussein Guled – Minister of National Security
  7. Ahmed Mohamed Gurase – Minister of Education
  8. Yusuf Moalin Amin – Minister of Ports and Marine Transport
  9. Said Abdullahi Mohamed – Minister of Planning
  10. Farah Sh. Abdulkadir Mohamed – Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
  11. Jama Ahmed Mohamed – Minister of Energy and Water
  12. Mustaf Ali Duhulow – Minister of Information
  13. Said Jama Mohamed – Minister of Air & Land Transport
  14. Lugman Ismail Ali – Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
  15. Mohamud Ibrihim Adan – Minister of Post and Telecommunications
  16. Abdi Ahmed Hussein – Minister of Agriculture
  17. Khalid Omar Ali – Minister of Sports and Youth
  18. Duale Adan Mohamed – Minister of Culture and Higher Education
  19. Adan Mohamed Nur – Minister of Industry and Commerce
  20. Eng. Nadifo Mohamed Osman – Minister of Public Works and Reconstruction
  21. Khadijo Mohamed Diriye – Minister of Women and Human Rights
  22. Mohamed Olow Barrow – Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources
  23. Daud Mohamed Omar – Minister of Mineral Resources
  24. Salim Aliyow Ibrow – Minister of Environment and Livestock
  25. General Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud – Minister of Health

State Ministers

  1. Mohamud Moalin Yahya – State Minister of Interior and Federalism
  2. Abdullahi Ahmed Nur – State Minister of Finance
  3. Hamza Mohamed Buri – State Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation
  4. Mohamed Ali Haga – State Minister of Defence.

Source: Office of the Prime Minister.