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Students rally for Niagara U Prof, Prime Minister of Somalia

9/21/2011, 4:25 p.m.
Students rally for Niagara U Prof, Prime Minister of Somalia

Sept. 20 (GIN)--Dr. Abdiweli Ali, head of the Somali government and an associate professor of economics at Niagara University in Buffalo, N.Y., was welcomed back to campus this week, where he will promote awareness of the evolving situation in Somalia.

Dr. Brian Murphy, chair of the communications studies department, said, "It's not every day that a university has a prime minister of a nation."

Ali's primary challenge will be to improve the security of the nation. Through political outreach, he hopes to bring back law and order and reconcile the community. Another challenge is the humanitarian crisis. Six states have been declared famine states, affecting up to 4 million people, half of the population of Somalia.

"We cannot take this journey alone," Ali told the students. Meanwhile, with the rainy season just around the corner, the UN's refugee agency has scaled up its presence in Mogadishu and Somalia's border regions, providing food and medical assistance.

Ali holds a master of public administration from Harvard University, a certificate of taxation from Harvard Law School and a master of economics from Vanderbilt University. He completed his Ph.D. in economics at George Mason University and, in 1998 and 1999, was a Joel Leff Fellow of Political Economy at the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.