Click below and listen to this article
Ali Sharif Ahmed has been Somalia’s ambassador to the United States since September of 2019. Before his appointment, Ambassador Ahmed had served as the Somali ambassador to Ethiopia and France. He has also served as the Somali representative to the African Union and UNECA.
For decades, Somalia has been ravaged by nationwide war as it has struggled to establish a strong federal government and terrorism has grown rampant.
However, Ambassador Ali Sharif Ahmed seems to be optimistic about recovering from years of destruction and building toward a better future in Somalia. “Somalia is resilient and its people’s commitment to rebuilding their homeland and preserving its territorial integrity is limitless,” said the ambassador.
He has also asserted that support from key allies is a fundamental component to Somalia achieving progress, saying, “Our nation’s stability continues to strengthen with the support of the international community and the United States government.”
Ambassador Ali Sharif has also held additional positions such as senior policy advisor to the Office of the President and Vice Chairman to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Before he entered the public sector, Ali Sharif Ahmed was a business executive, entrepreneur, and consultant.
He has a bachelor’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from London Metropolitan University and a master’s degree in Geopolitics and Grand Strategy from the University of Sussex.
There is much work to be done in Somalia, which is one of the most impoverished, dangerous, and corrupt nations in the world.
In 2021, 5.6 million people in Somalia were food insecure and 2.8 million people were not meeting their daily food requirements. A combination of violent conflict, the covid-19 pandemic, and the nation’s worst drought in decades have left millions of people in need of aid.
In its 2021 corruption perception index, Transparency International ranked Somalia as the second most corrupt government in the world. In Freedom House’s 2022 freedom index, Somalia received just a 7 out of 100 overall freedom score.
The government of Somalia has come to be known as repressive, corrupt, harsh, and undemocratic.
Conflict has engulfed Somalia for decades as insecurity has been a pervasive issue. In 2021, Somalia ranked third on Vision of Humanity’s list of nations most impacted by terrorism. Entire areas of the country are controlled by jihadist extremist group al-Shaba.
The relationship between Somalia and the United States has the potential to be incredibly impactful as Somalia faces a battling of ideas between democracy and oppression as well as between human rights and chaos.