Following a period of consultation, CSEE was formally established in September 2016. The opening ceremonies were held in Mogadishu (Somalia) and Manchester (UK), respectively. The Executive Director, Mr Abdirisak Adam, detailed the role CSEE intends to play in Somali society. He reminded the participants the core values of the Centre and its main mission which is “to be a voice for the voiceless, whilst fostering dialogue, civic engagement and research-informed policies through rigorous and high quality research and policy analysis”. He called on all stakeholders, including NGOs, students, academics, policymakers, and activists to double their efforts in order to lessen the suffering of Somali society. This is our objective, he added.

In the Manchester meeting, Dr Abdi Ali who is an Associate Director of CSEE explored the main challenges the country faces and how CSEE and other similar initiatives can empower and re-energise the Somali nation. He argued that “CSEE must endeavour to end the sense of despair, hopelessness and dependence readily seen in Somalia. It must invite all segments of Somali society to participate in its programme of social and economic empowerment. All throughout our history, Somalis have been relying on others to do things for them. We must work towards the mantra of ‘by Somalis, for Somalis’. With this, I mean a new era where we try to understand and solve our own issues. No society, past or present, has ever progressed by waiting for others to help solve their problems. Success largely comes from personal sacrifices and hard work”.