MOGADISHU (Kaab TV) – In a milestone ceremony in Mogadishu on Wednesday, 10,616 Somali adolescent girls and young women celebrated their graduation from an 11-month non-formal education course.
The program, aimed at enhancing literacy, numeracy, and life leadership skills, was funded by the United States and the United Kingdom.
Access to education in Somalia remains a significant challenge, particularly for girls and young women, with only 25 percent of primary school-aged girls attending school.
“Education is the cornerstone of Somalia’s progress, fostering critical thinking and empowering women for economic development. Thanks to USAID and the UK, these young women are equipped with vital skills, setting the foundation for a brighter future where informed, educated women contribute significantly to health, nutrition, and societal well-being,” said Somalia’s State Minister for Education Hirsi Jama.
The Adolescent Girls’ Education in Somalia (AGES) program, jointly funded by USAID and the British Embassy Mogadishu, is addressing this gap by supporting over 80,000 out-of-school adolescent girls and young women.
The program provides foundational reading and numeracy skills, leadership opportunities, and financial literacy. AGES aims to empower girls to lead healthier and more productive lives, reducing the likelihood of early marriage and enabling them to contribute to their communities.
Taylor Tinney, the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu, expressed pride in the collaborative efforts with the Government of Somalia and the UK: “This ceremony is a testament to the potential within each graduate, and we remain committed to fostering opportunities that empower girls and elevate communities.”
UK’s Deputy Ambassador Nick Jaques emphasized the importance of unlocking talents and skills: “The girls graduating today are an important reminder of the millions of girls across the country seeking a decent education. Unlocking their talents and skills is crucial to building a safer and stronger Somalia tomorrow.”
Nuura Mustaf, State Minister of Education, Culture, and Higher Education, congratulated the graduates and expressed gratitude to all involved in the transformative initiative: “Education is the key to empowering our youth and building a brighter future for Somalia.”
Ummy Dubow, CARE Somalia Country Director, highlighted the impact of the AGES program in empowering vulnerable girls: “This graduation marks the achievements of these girls, underscoring the impact of USAID and FCDO’s support in realizing their life aspirations.”
The AGES project, jointly funded by USAID ($15.5m) and the UK (£10.8m) and implemented by CARE International, seeks to increase access to education for over 80,000 ultra-vulnerable girls in Somalia. The graduation ceremony stands as a testament to the success of collaborative efforts in shaping a more empowered and educated future for Somalia.