Somali reconstruction and local initiative: Amoud University

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No one could have predicted Somalia's disintegration into "clan" fiefdoms. The country was thought to be one of the most homogenous nation-states in Africa. Many observers stridently insist that clan structures are necessary for Somalia's rehabilitation. All international sponsored reconciliation conferences premised on the centrality of the clan failed. I argue that Somalia's shared cultural values were necessary, but an insufficient basis for national cohesion. Public institutions are key to sustaining shared values and foraging an inclusive identity. Local initiatives like Amoud University, a community-owned institution, is the forerunner of a new type of Somali institution that caters to common, rather than sectarian, interests. If initial steps are sustained, this local initiative could mark the birth of a new Somalia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-656
Number of pages16
JournalWorld Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Amoud University
  • Public institutions
  • Sectarian entrepreneurs
  • Shared values
  • Social capital
  • Somalia


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