45 law graduates in Puntland: 'Feel proud, Somalia’s future depends on you'

May 24, 2017

Zuhur Mohamed Khalif, 23, obtained a Law degree at Puntland State University. She is among the 45 students, who graduated in Garowe in May 2017 ©UNDP Somalia/2017

Supported by the UN Rule of Law programme, 45 scholarship recipients, including 15 women, this year graduated with a Bachelor in Law from the Faculty of Law of Puntland State University.

Launched in 2008, the Puntland State University scholarship programme aims to increase the number of qualified lawyers, prosecutors and judges to strengthen the capacity and service delivery of justice institutions.

The graduation ceremony was presided by the Minister of Education, H.E. Abshir Aw Yusuf, who congratulated the graduates, their parents and the communities. The Minister said that the “graduates raise the status and reputation of Puntland State University and their triumphs beyond today will brighten Puntland’s future”.

Additionally, Puntland’s Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Ahmed Ali Hashi, congratulated and advised students: “You have a future here in Somalia, Somalia’s future also depends on you. Your opportunities, your pride lies here not abroad. Bring ideas and innovations for this country and be proud and remember your roots."  

Investment in legal education in Puntland has produced impressive results with 71% of scholarship recipient graduates having secured employment and currently serving in various capacities in the government.

All students enrolled in the scholarship programme through a fair selection process based on gender equality, school grades and family poverty. 

Encouraging women to become lawyers

Scholarship graduates were in high spirits and 23-year-old Zuhur Mohamed Khalif’s words reflected this at the ceremony: “I cannot measure my happiness today in reaching this milestone. Today I have realized my dream in becoming a qualified lawyer."

She added: "I had a lot of opportunities working as a community advisor helping refugees and working as a community policing volunteer and UNDP supported intern at police stations providing legal aid."

"There is a gap of women in this profession and I hope that my experience will encourage and inspire other women to become lawyers. I hope to contribute and elevate the standard of legal services to the people of Somalia, particularly services provided to women and the most vulnerable in society."  

Contact

Hawo Idil Omar, National Justice Specialist, UNDP ROL Project Puntland