Dini Khalif, Puntland Sports and Fitness Center, Bosaso

Dini Khalif grew up in Bosaso, Puntland, Somalia where Mr Khalif always thought working a regular job for an employer cannot elevate one from poverty, Dini went to school in Bosaso as soon as he finished studying he started working and he had his fair share of working for employers as he witnessed firsthand what he had feared already that working a job cannot help one find financial freedom.

Yet, Dini discovered that entrepreneurship and starting a private business can really get him financial freedom and that he can help himself and support his family and community through it, But Dini lacked any experience and it was difficult for him to find a place to learn how to start, sustain and scale a business but with all his passion he also faced a bigger problem of finding money to start the business with.

As he was about to start university studies, Dini family could not pay for his university tuition, and soon he will be left to be responsible for his family, With all the pressures up against him he looked for opportunities but came out dry and when he was about to give up he came across Shaqodoon’s lead program which Shaqodoon conducts every year for the youth to provide them with the proper training, business mentorship and find them funding opportunities upon completion, Dini applied for the program with a business idea aiming to learn about business, Dini was lucky enough to be selected to participate in this program he started working with enthusiasm. He learned on various important issues related to starting, growing and financing business during his training.

The two weeks intensive lead program training culminated in a pitching competition in Mogadisho, In 2018 November Dini won the competition with his idea for a Sports and Fitness Center in Bosaso. Not only his idea was under the assessment but the presentation itself that ended with an ask for funding and support. The valuable input he gained through the program helped him eventually win and collect three thousand dollars in seed money from Shaqodoon.

The Sports and fitness center in Bosaso acts as a hub that connects the youth stopping them from crime and also youth mass migration from their country, Dini with the help of the skills and knowledge he gained through the program training started two other businesses in Bosaso a medical training center and a medical clinic, “If I would not receive the business training from Shaqodoon I would never realize the importance of a finding business partners and would not know how to run a business.” says Dini Khalif appreciating how this opportunity has turned his dreams into reality, he have also stated that prior joining the program he was clueless and would never survive running a business or even find the funds to start and achieve the long dream of employing his peers. 

Amal’s Internship that Changed her Life.

“Come with me.” said the head nurse to Amal, rushing from the surgery theatre. “We need you to stitch a patient.” I waited patiently in the waiting area as Amal rushed into serving a patient at Hawo Abdi Hospital in Mogadisho where she is employed as a part-time nurse.

Amal Farah shire was born and raised in Garowe, Puntland Somalia along with seven siblings hailing from a poor family she barely made it to the university in where she has studied Midwifery in the University Of Somalia, in the course of her study she has always showed enthusiasm and a great work ethic for her to pay her tuition and support her family, she has worked hard to find employment but her attempts have always ended in disappointment, Almost every institution required great period of experience. 

Shaqodoon gave her the opportunity to provide internships for 150 students at the University Of Somalia, The students have went through one month training at the hospital. Amal was fortunate enough to take part of this program, Amal was placed in Hawo Abdi Hospital after the training alongside with other 17 students as an intern where she would earn a great amount of experience practically from the health professionals in the hospital making her competent for employment.

She was not only devoted to her duties as a nurse but paid personal interest to motivate other interns as well. She is sweet natured having the quality of mixing with others. Within small time, because of her nature and commitment to the duties, she established very good relations within the group and in the community.

Amal’s positive attitude came to fruition as the hospital awarded her part-time nurse position at the emergency and surgical wards.

Amal expressed her appreciation to Shaqodoon Organization for bridging the gap between academia and job market with the training and finding her an internship. As she could now support her family financially and can serve her community by becoming a valuable asset to the hospital. 

No internet: Farmers can now access the market through mobile solutions

For long, farmers in East Africa, particularly in Somaliland, faced challenges in getting their produces to the market at a possible price. Additionally, they faced delays in accessing finances timely and affordable matters? How is that true when we are living in the age of Smart technology?
For the past decades and since the decline of Somali’s central government, the only marketing model followed by our farmers was to deal with a middle man, who greatly exploited between the farmers and the market. In this process, the farmers sold their precious produces at a cheaper price to a middle man who then sells at a more profitable price. This left farmers frustrated and quite often discouraged to continue the practice of farming and many times their corps got rotten at the farm.
When we realise these problems, Shaqodoon’s technology for development (T4D) department with support from Spark (a Dutch development company), designed a mobile-based market information system to deal with farmer’s market engagement challenges. The new system  needs no internet. How is this possible with no regular internet connection? It is a simple, mobile solution that negates the need for an internet connection. This is now allowing the farmers to direct and lead their own futures.  The new mobile-based MIS address the following:
  • Provide information to Somali farmers to get a fair price for their produce
  • Diversification of farm produces to reduce exaggeration of the market.
  • Reduce the exploitation of middle man
  • Linking the farmers directly to sellers (market) in an innovative way.
How it works
The market information system or the farmer’s application has two sections, a voice or mobile based section connected to three digit short code, like 315, and web-enabled section administered by operators (Campany, Ministry of agriculture, etc).
The shortcode is a user-friendly telephone number primarily meant for following types of users;
  • Farmers: connecting  to the market information
  • Buyers: connecting  to farmers
  • Price tellers: to update the price of items every day
  • Agricultural product companies: connected to farmers to sell seeds
  • Agricultural experts: give advice to farmers
  • Operators: company that facilitates selling between farmers and buyers
  • Ministry of agriculture:  getting agricultural data for  reporting and planning issues
Calling the shortcode, it gives different options not only to farmers but also to buyers who are looking for information about farmer’s produces. The voice-based system enables farmers to listen to daily prices of their products as buyers would do. Most importantly, without moving to the nearest town, at their farms, the farmers can sell their produces through their mobiles by calling the short code for free at the moments. It was great to gain support from Telesom company, a leading telecommunication company to sponsor the system for two years and let the farmers enjoy the process. Additionally,  the system connects farmers to agricultural companies and experts for tools and advice respectively. On the other hand, buyers can buy farmers products by calling the short code and back-end web Operator Company will facilitate the delivery of goods. Furthermore, the ministry of agricultural development in Somaliland has some levels of access to know more about what type of crops are farmers planting this and the next season which helps them develop a greater understanding of farmers needs in country agricultural development planning.
The mobile/voice-based market information system is now called M-Dalag( Mobile Dalag, Dalag means crop). It was launched last year (2018) November during the commencement of global entrepreneurship week. Since then is accessed by more than 40 farmers and will expand to the rest of Somalia in the coming years to serve the farmers.
The minister of agricultural development on the launching of M-dalag, Nov, 13, 2018
Farmer at the commencement of M-dalag

Bosaso’s lobster star

Abdi Farah Yusuf is the star diver of Guled Fishing Company and the recipient of technical assistance in the fishery sector provided by LEAD Somalia partner Shaqodoon in December last year

The fishing company, based in Bossaso, is one of several SMEs that were assessed by Shaqodoon in 2017 in order to determine its challenges and needs. The needs assessment identified a number of skills that the company’s staff was lacking include particular expertise in diving and catching lobsters.

Abdi, a long-term employee of the company, attended the technical training which focused on different fishing techniques to locate and catch fish and other aquatic animals with diving skills to increase efficiency. Two months after having completed his training, Abdi has made a considerable impact on his company’s fish quota. Not only has there been an increase in the company’s fish quota, but he has since been promoted by the company to specialize in lobster fishing. Lately, the company provided him a diving gear and promised that they will award him 50% share of the lobster he catches.

After participating in the LEAD training, Abdi has shared the knowledge with other employees of the same Company so that they can take his perform his duties while he is away. The company acknowledges that such knowledge sharing has led to the expansion of the Company. Today the company opened an additional retail location in different areas of Bosaso town.

The Local Employment in Africa for Development (LEAD) programme focuses on economic sectors with potential for growth in Somalia, Tunisia and Libya. Read more….

One of the first student from Alpha University who received an internship position.

Hassan is a 25-year-old senior at Alpha University who currently lives in Hargeisa. In his last year, before he graduates while studying accountant and finance he was able to land an internship position with the help of Shaqodoon. Hassan has never had a job neither has he ever worked as an intern. Out of 38 Universities in Somaliland only 1 has an internship program. With hard work and consistency Hassan luckily was able to be the first student from Alpha University to land an internship position.


“Being an intern leads you to a shining future because you get inner strength, confidence and self reliance.” Hassan 2017


Shaqodoon this year is supporting five local universities in Somaliland to place their students as interns in order to prepare for the real world workplace. Hassan was one of the lucky students Shaqodoon is supporting in 2017. In the month of May 2017 he started as an intern in the department of admin and Finance at the Ministry of Housing and Public Transportation.


“My initial plan was to move to another country after I graduate if I’m still unemployed but after gaining experience I changed my mind.” Hassan 2017


Hassan dreamed of an opportunity until it came knocking on his door one day. During his internship he received motivations and practical trainings which than gave him a greater level of understanding of how the admin and finance system functions. He really appreciated the placement and enjoyed his time.


“ The team I worked in was very friendly and welcoming. I felt that my confidence has improved and this placement has equipped me with the right skills I need for further employment in my graduate field. “ Hassan 2017