The horn of Africa’s self-declared state of Somaliland may get its first foreign university by mid-2013, if plans by a private university in Kenya to open a branch campus there come to fruition.


The rapidly expanding though relatively new Mount Kenya University, headquartered in Thika in central Kenya, is planning to open a campus in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa.

Mount Kenya has been on an ambitious regional expansion trajectory barely 10 years after being founded, and has in the past year opened campuses in Kigali, Rwanda, and in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. The university also has a virtual campus in Nairobi.

“Our goal is to take higher education to all those who need it in this region and beyond. Somaliland is part of our expansion programme,” said University Chair Simon Gicharu.

He said Somaliland – a stable region in turbulent Somalia – was an attractive investment destination, including in the field of higher education.

“This is one place where we think we can succeed greatly if we open a campus of Mount Kenya, because the administration there is receptive to investment ideas and the thirst for education is very high,” Gicharu added.

Somaliland broke away from Somalia after chaos erupted in the country 21 years ago, establishing its own thriving democracy and economy.

But it has faced major hurdles in getting official recognition from the African Union, the United Nations and regional governments, which fear that recognising Somaliland as an independent state could spur breakaways of various Somalia regions and breed chaos. Currently, Somaliland is internationally recognised only as an autonomous region.

Somaliland boasts of 14 tertiary institutions, many of them private and some offering degree courses.

A fairly liberal state that holds regular elections, Somaliland actively encourages the education of girls under a moderate version of Islam and in the absence of the hardline Islamists that hold sway in the rest of Somalia.

Mount Kenya University has been targeting areas that other Kenyan universities have shied away from, and recently opened a campus in the remote northern Kenyan town of Lodwar in Turkana, where there is a strong presence of South Sudanese refugees.

Simon Gicharu said the campus targeted both the pastoralist community and the hundreds of refugees and aid workers operating from Kakuma refugee camp.

Experts said the bold move into Somaliland was due to stiff competition in the East Africa region, mainly from Ugandan universities.

“The Ugandan universities continue to be the most aggressive and attractive to students and parents throughout the region due, among other factors, to low fees,” said Dr Patrick Mbataru of Kenyatta University.

“The room for expansion in East Africa is getting even more squeezed and universities must look further afield if they wish to grow,” he told University World News.

Ugandan institutions such as Kampala International University and the universities of Busoga, Makerere and Kampala have emerged as regional expansion giants, establishing campuses across the entire region and partnering with local colleges.

They have particularly taken advantage of the high cost of postgraduate studies to offer masters and PhD courses at affordable prices, attracting thousands of students who had abandoned hopes of pursuing their dreams because of the high fees charged by many institutions.

With the region now “flooded” with post-secondary institutions, Mabatau said the new frontiers for expansion had become the new state of South Sudan, the stable Somalian states of Somaliland and Puntland – and Somalia itself, if it emerges from turmoil.

University World News
Sunday, January 06, 2013
By: Maina Waruru


  1. We need to address the deficits in the DEMAND and SUPPLY equilibrium of university graduates.

    Insha'allah the next 10years will be spent on Job creation.

  2. KKK, mount kenya university it's low level education institute in kenya, why not joma kenyanta university.

  3. An additional higher education institute is an important factor that Somaliland will certainly benefit from. As more people get access to a higher ed. as more people get educated.
    I hope the N.M.K.U. not only brings an affordable education but also it brings a high quality education to Somaliland so it's future graduates will become productive citizens and contribute to the Somaliland's economy for the long haul.

    The literacy rate is one of the vital items an international firm would look at before it considers in investing a business on any given country. A number of companies have showed an interest in Somaliland recently by counting on a huge number of West educated returnees.

  4. Wow look at these people they want a united Somali people and then talk like this and you wonder why Somalilanders dont want anything to do with yall.

    Atleast Somaliland is doing something, universities are not built in a day Cambridge University has already done outreach with Hargeisa University etc.

    Please refer to bixii and the replys he gets namely kayse and Somalia.

    They Hate While We Grind! Saqachasnimo wa waax ledinku oga

  5. Some separatists will think this major progresss for their grieving mission because they live delusional world of their own makin but this not any different to the dozens of franchised useless “universities” already there. The Daadab refugeee camp is getting Kenya’s leading university. Look at the naive widows party over this…

      • It's bad for a man specially Somali man to use word candho. Back home we would call a man like kaboon nimoo naagees and he wouldn't have legs to stand which would force him not set foot outside of his home for eternity people we have come a long way it's a called progress.

  6. Abaarso Tech is already in Somaliland and hopefully we can have more of its like but why are you soo against anyone investing.

    I bet you said the same sh ytze when Abaarso was getting started, like why is this white man investing here blah blah blah etc Now bc its a success you want to ride its coattails!

    I wonder what tune you will be singing if and when this also becomes an outstanding school?

    Anyways Buuxiye is right we as Somalilanders overseas need to start investing back home and hiring these young people into a workforce, lets start my manufacturing and producing what we can inside the country.

    Hire our young engineers etc to build our roads and use Landers as the labor force, it will give them experience and give all Landers better roads. This can be implemented in many different niches!

  7. Also I want to remind my fellow and beloved Landers that what folks like Kayse want to do is distract us from our mission to make this country great!

    So lets focus extra hard on how we can make this Republic stronger we owe that much to our those who sacrificed so much for this day!

    Every time they post a hateful comment, I want a Lander to put a comment with a solution to any problem we face in our nation. Every time they post some rubbish I want a Lander to post a new angle, a new idea of making what we currently have even stronger.

    Lets use their hate to our advantage! Lets make it a challenge whoever can come up with the most gets a free $100 ( or whatever) gift card to the shop of their choosing etc….

  8. Keyse (DABOOLE or Kinsi CANDHO),

    You are suffering from some form of inferiority complexity. You contribution to this site are absolutely useless. You make this site a playground for useless sheepshaggers like you.

    You NEVER say anything positive about anything. I am sure you have some of desperation that you don’t even recognize that it is consuming.

      • Layal….. Actually, is not true that he doesn't say anything positive about anything. If anything he is more positive than you or the likes of you who seem to accuse others of tribalism and having hate in them, while they are the ones that support one clan country where by the President, the police, the judges, the party leaders etc all hail from the same tribe. Pleas do seek help as soon as possible.

  9. Faqshpress team assumes Kinsi Candho (Keyse) is useful to them. But they are kidding themselves.

  10. I aslo Challenge Fa q@ @shawipress that instead of giving our enemies a voice on our media platforms that it once and for all prove its allegiance to Somaliland and its people by holding a online contest to its readers on how to make Somalilander better! Challenge our young and old from home and the diaspora to contribute meaningful ideas and then reward with acknowledgement on your site, perhaps even an interview! I DARE YOU! CAAARRRRR!

    • I learnt a long time ago the people of Somalia are not at all interested in:

      – Midnimo!
      – Sinaan!
      – Cadaalad!
      – Xaq
      – Quwad wadaag!
      – Horumar Wadaag!

      These people have a single objective to destroy the AIMS and ASPIRATIONS of SOMALILANDERS by any means necessary.

      A real Unionist will have the decency to match her aspiration, a real unionist would express love and debate with kindness, a real unionist would maintain a health balanced perspective of pulling differing groups together however what we have witnessed for the last 22years is a reflection of diseased hearts with no intention of real union, no intention of equality or peace and progress. They have a single objective and that is to spread falsehood and condescending remarks about the only Democracy in the Horn of Africa.

      22Years They have been rewarded with everything they have wished upon Somaliland YET they have not learnt from their errors.

      P.S This site is not owned by nor is in anyway related to the Somaliland Republic. The Owner is Mr Culusow and is the Same guy who owns Wagacusub and everyone knows Daahir Culosow(Keyse) is a Jareer from the Bantu-Somali minority who were originally Slaves of the Italians and left behind by the Italians. His hate for Somaliland is similar to the Barawani hate for Somaliland. They feel that Somalilanders are responsible for the failure of the Kacaan that used to protect them from all the atrocitie4s they experienced after Siyad barre ran away to the slums of Nigeria.

  11. Thanks for posting the progress of Somaliland – please do not die once and for all like Ahmed – formerly known as

  12. we need to create anti somaliland task force and get morgan and etc then the story of united somalia is done period.

  13. I didnt know the rabbi (Keyse) was jareer lmao. I literally knew something was wrong with him………………. He was always in hurry to poke his big jareer bantu nose into other people's business whatever it is puntland, somaliland or even in kismoya where he mentioned once about his bantus jareer relatives being squished together by the mighty Ogadens.