Hormuud proud to support literature and learning, as the 6th annual Mogadishu International Book Fair concludes
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia’s annual Mogadishu International Book Fair concluded on Friday, following the suspension of the event last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event included an array of readings and panels from an array of prominent Somali poets, writers, teachers, literary publishers, and public figures.
Speakers included Colleen Crenwelge, representing the American embassy of Somalia, Abdirahman the chairman of the Hamar Readers Club, and the authors Abdirisaaq Jidhi and Hamse Omar.
The event was made possible by the sponsorship of Hormuud Telecom, Somalia’s largest private employer who has sponsored the Book Fair since 2015, amongst other regional book fairs including fairs in Kismayo, Baidoa, Gedo, Adado.
Hormuud Telecom joined a host of other prominent sponsors, including other major businesses, UNICEF Somalia, USAID Somalia, and IOM Somalia.
Such wholesale national and international support signals the importance of literary heritage to the history of Somalia and its role in providing a path to peace and security.
This sentiment was echoed by Prime Minister Ruble on Twitter, who encouraged the pen and the book to replace arms and tribalism.
A key theme of the three-day festival was how to make reading and writing inclusive for Somali children and how to share with them the rich literary and poetic history of Somalia. Literature and poets and poems hold a great deal of respect among Somali people.
Literature is a way of communicating and transferring wisdom among generations. A particular highlight of the event was the invitation of selected students from Mogadishu schools to the children’s corner, where they enjoyed reading, storytelling, and cultural tales.
Mr. Yasin Hassan, Head of Corporate Affairs at Hormuud Telecom, said: “For Hormuud, the sponsorship of Book Fair is part of a wider investment in Somalia’s youth. Our key mission is to help Somalia’s youth reach their ambitions – whether that be through the financial infrastructure to support entrepreneurialism or education and community activities, which are essential to their fulfillment.”
As Hormuud Telecom celebrates in 20th anniversary next year, its wide-ranging CSR activities are a testament to this commitment. Hormuud has sponsored the Banadir Regional Football league since 2005, as well as the Mogadishu Super Cup since 2013.
The company also established non-profit Hormuud University in 2010 to fill the professional skills gaps in Somalia. Alongside undergraduate degrees in arts and social sciences, the university also offers degrees in engineering, computer science, and IT; economics and management science.
The university provides Master’s degrees and benefits from ties with the University of Malaya, the University of Nairobi, the University of Sudan for Science and Technology, and the University of Khartoum.
Mr. Hassan continues: “Our mission is to enable the whole Somali society to participate in the development and building of their country.”