The inaugural Somali STEM Summit, a groundbreaking event dedicated to fostering education and innovation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), took place from the 7th to the 9th of November, 2023 at Hangar, Mogadishu International Airport.
The summit was organized by the Somali STEM Society, Hano Technical University, and Hano Academy in collaboration with the Somalia Federal Government. It was an unprecedented gathering of experts, educators, entrepreneurs, and students passionate about STEM disciplines.
Under the theme “Fostering a ‘Learning Culture Through Practical and Research Mindset’ for Sustainable STEM Development,” the Somali STEM Summit aimed to inspire, educate, and connect individuals interested in STEM from diverse backgrounds. The event featured a range of activities, including keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities.
Esteemed keynote speakers, distinguished for their prominence, shared invaluable insights, experiences, and visions for the future. Discussions encompassed vital topics such as STEM education, innovation, and the pivotal role of technology in addressing both local and global challenges. Notable speakers included Acting Deputy US Ambassador – Taylor Tinney, Ambassador Carsten J. Hveem Carlsen of Norwegian Embassy to Somalia. and Ambassadors FEI Shengchao – Chinese Ambassador to Somalia, State Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation – Ali Omar (Ali Balcad), MP and Minister of Youth and Sports – Mohamed Bare Mohamud, MP H.E. Abdirahman Mohamed Sheikh, and Amb. MP. Dr. Ali S. Faqi, among others.
Notable Features of the Somali STEM Summit:
1. Innovative Workshops: Hands-on workshops aimed at nurturing practical skills and problem-solving abilities among STEM enthusiasts.
2. Keynote Speeches and Interactive Panels: Engage with leading experts in STEM through interactive panel discussions on pressing issues and emerging trends.
3. Career Development: Explore career opportunities in STEM fields through guidance and mentoring sessions.
4. Exhibition: Showcasing cutting-edge projects and ideas presented by young innovators and established organizations.
5. Networking Opportunities: Connect with like-minded individuals and forge collaborations that can advance STEM initiatives.
6. Women and Girls in STEM: Empowering women and girls in STE, through inspiring stories, talks, mentorship, panel discussions, and “Women in Industry” and Skills Expo (Exhibition).
Apart from these activities, the summit highlighted the “She for the Future” Initiative: Empowering Tomorrow’s Women in Industry Leaders. This initiative aims to empower Somali women in various industries by providing them with a comprehensive support ecosystem to foster professional growth and enable them to thrive in their respective fields.
Additionally, the summit concluded with the inauguration of graduates from the Diploma in Digital Creative Media (Digital Storytelling Diploma Course) through the Hodan Nalayeh Scholarship, funded by the Somali STEM Society through Hano Academy’s eLearningX.
The Somali STEM Summit welcomes attendees of all backgrounds and levels of expertise, promoting diversity and inclusivity within STEM. The organizers believe that everyone should have the opportunity to explore, learn, and innovate in these fields. “Somali STEM Summit serves as a catalyst for innovation and progress in our nation. By fostering a culture of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, we are igniting the flames of opportunity, curiosity, and excellence. Together, we envision a brighter future where STEM plays a pivotal role in shaping our society and empowering our youth to become tomorrow’s leaders.” – Dr. Sadiyo Siad.