Hon. Abdirahman Abdishakur was appointed as the Federal Government of Somalia’s Special Presidential Envoy for Drought Response by the President of Somalia in May 2022.
Born in 1968, the Special Envoy spent his childhood in Buuloburte, southern Somalia. Traveling to Sudan for his third-level education, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Law from the International University of Africa in 1997. He then went on to achieve a master’s degree in Comparative Federalism from the National University in Malaysia and he completed several courses on planning, leadership, peacebuilding, and strategic relations from the Harvard Kennedy School and the Leadership and Management Institute in London.
Before venturing into politics, the Special Envoy lived in the United Kingdom where he was an active member of the Somali Diaspora. He advocated for peacebuilding at home by founding the Somali Concern Group and the Somali Diaspora Conference with other Somali activists. From 2004 and 2007, he was the Executive Director of the North London Muslim Welfare House, the third-largest center in the United Kingdom, providing a variety of support related to outreach, integration, civic engagement, and youth. He was also Editor in Chief of Goobjoog News Online and Deputy Chief Editor for the Hiral Magazine.
In 2008, the Special Envoy took on the role of Chief Negotiator for the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) at the Djibouti Conference which led to the formation of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. He then became a Member of the Somali Parliament in 2019 and served as Minister for Planning and International Cooperation in the Transitional Federal Government until 2011.
When the first post-transitional government was set up in 2012, he was appointed as a Senior Policy Advisor to the President of the Federal Republic. In this capacity, he led the Government’s engagement in the London Somalia Conference. In 2014, the Special Envoy joined the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia as Special Advisor to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG). He was instrumental in the UN’s support of state formation processes in various parts of the country, laying the foundations for a credible electoral process in 2016. It was at this time that he and like-minded colleagues founded the Wadajir Party which he still leads today. The Special Envoy ran for President of Somalia in 2017 and 2022.