Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud “Silanyo” (Somali: Axmed Maxamed Maxamuud Siilaanyo, Arabic: احمد محمد محمود سيلانيو) (born 1936) is a Somaliland politician who was President of Somaliland from 2010 – 2017. He is a longtime member of government, having served as Minister of Commerce of Somalia, among other Cabinet positions. During the 1980s, he also acted as Chairman of the Somali National Movement.
Standing as an opposition candidate, he was elected as President of Somaliland in Somaliland’s 2010 presidential election.
Mohamoud was born in 1938 in the mideastern town of Burco, situated in what was then the former British Somaliland protectorate. Nicknamed “Silanyo”, he hails from the Habar Jeclo (Aaden Madoobe) clan of the Isaaq. Ahmed M. Mohamoud Silanyo is the third child of four. His father was a merchant marine, so the family lived a half-nomadic, half-settled lifestyle. He was the only child in the family to attend a formal education, fostered by an uncle who was a strong influence on his early life. His brothers followed their father’s footsteps as merchant marines. He is Muslim.
He met his wife, Amina-Weris Sh. Mohamed, in the late 1960s. Like him, she completed her education as a registered nurse and midwife in England. She is one of the pioneers of the Somali’s educated women. They married in Mogadishu in 1968. She has been a strong partner, by his side throughout the long and turbulent times of his political career. They have five children and seven grandchildren.
Between 1946 and 1957, Mohamoud studied at schools in Sheekh and Amud, where he completed his secondary levels.
Upon graduation, he moved to England to pursue higher studies. From 1958 to 1960, Mohamoud enrolled in London University and obtained an advanced General Certificate of Education (GCE). He then studied at University of Manchester, where he earned both a Bachelor’s Degree (1960–63) and a Master’s Degree (1960–63) in Economics.
In a professional capacity, between 1965 and 1969, Mohamoud served as an official at the Ministry of Planning and Coordination in Mogadishu during Somalia’s early civilian administration. He was also the national Minister of Planning and Coordination (1969–1973), Minister of Commerce (1973–1978 and 1980–1982), and the Chairman of the National Economic Board (1978–1980) in the succeeding socialist government.
From 1982 to 1990, Mohamoud was the Chairman of the Somali National Movement (SNM), serving as the liberation group’s longest-serving chairman. In March 1991, he proposed a power-sharing framework between the SNM and the Mogadishu-based United Somali Congress (USC) under a new transitional national government, but the USC unilaterally established a government of its own in Mogadishu, thus cutting the reestablishment of Somaliland and Somalia Union.
Between 1993 and 1997, Mohamoud was a member of the House of Representatives of Somaliland. He also worked as the Somaliland Minister of Finance from 1997 to 1999, in which position he initiated a program of fiscal reform. Between 1999 and 2000, Mohamoud served as Somaliland’s Minister of Planning and Coordination, a position from which he resigned in 2001.
Prominent Seminars, Symposia, Conferences
During his years of public service, Mohamoud participated in a broad array of forums relating to a variety of developmental aspects of the world. Notably, utilizing training programs under the auspices of the United Nations (United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the Economic Commission of Africa (ECA)), as well as benefiting from a Leadership Grant organized by the African-American Institute that related to developmental fields including visits to various regional state and federal governmental bodies throughout the United States.
- Conferences attended
- United Nations, Organization of African Union(OAU)
- The Arab League
- Islamic and Non-Aligned Movement Conferences
- Somalia congress in diaspora on behalf of Somalia government
- Leader of Somalia delegation
- UN Special Sessions, New York, NY, USA
- OAU, Arab League, European Economic Commission (EEC), and the ministerial meetings of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).
- The 1976 Non-Aligned Conference, Lima, Peru
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Nairobi, Kenya, 1977 
Roles during the Somaliland Nationhood Government
1982-1984: Chairman of Somali National Movement (SNM), UK Branch
During the earlier years of the SNM, Mohamoud established offices and organized SNM committees throughout Europe, North America, and the Arab world to raise international awareness of the liberation movement and the brutality of Somalia’s Siyad Barre regime against its own people through presentations to international human rights groups, the press media, various European government bodies, including the British Parliament and the European Inter-Parliamentary Union, and relevant organizations in the Arab and Islamic world.
To further accomplish this, Mohamoud embarked on a program of recruitment of important personalities and groups in southern Somalia to join the SNM movement—a 1982 through 1991 Somali liberation faction founded and led predominantly by Isaaq members to protect the national interests of the Somalilanders against the oppressive Siyad Barre regime. Having successfully toppled the Siyad Barre regime in 1991, the SNM had been pivotal in reconstituting the Republic of Somaliland that on July 1, 1960, united with Somalia. Presently, Somaliland is a sovereign democratic country, but is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.
1984-1990: Chairman of Somali National Movement (SNM)
During the following years Mohamoud would become the SNM’s longest-serving Chairman, in command throughout the most tumultuous, expansive, and decisive period of the liberation movement. In 1984, the SNM was in its infancy, having been established only two years earlier. The struggle was nebulous. This period was being steered through its most trying times. Its most momentous events occurred on October 1984 with the first major, simultaneous and coordinated invasion of the SNM troops into the mountainous regions of Somaliland and its major expansion of SNM fronts in the southern and northwest regions of Awdal and the Northwest.
With tensions rising, a 1986 accord negotiated in Jabuuti between the Siyad Barre regime of Somalia and Mengistu Haile Miriam of Ethiopia to end the support of the respective rebellions against their regimes had for all intent and purposes entailed the dismemberment the SNM. Having lost its Ethiopian sanctuary, as a consequence of this agreement, in May 1988 the SNM waged a historically daring invasion on Togdheer and Northwest regions of Somaliland. With this secretly and meticulously planned attack—a shocking surprise to both Siyad Barre and Mingeste Haile Miriam regimes — SNM fighters easily took Burao (Burco) and Hargeisa (Hargeysa) cities. Although the SNM was finally pushed out of the two cities, the lightning attack proved to be the deathblow of the Siyad Barre regime. The end result being the peaceful transfer of power, in a spirit of unity, at the 1990 SNM Congress — a lasting peace that survives today.
1990-1996: Re-establishing Somaliland’s sovereignty
While attending the Congress of Somaliland (Burao, May 1991), Mohamoud acted as a key player in re-establishing Somaliland’s sovereignty as an independent state. In 1992 he initiated and then organized the famous Forum for Peace that generated a cease-fire agreement between the warring parties in the so-called Xarbal Aqnaam War in the port city Berbera and its environs. From 1993 through 1996, he would act as a Member of Somaliland House of Representatives. During this time in 1996, he initiated a reconciliation movement that brought about an end to the internal conflict at Beer — 18 miles southeast of Burao (Togdheer Region), where a formal agreement of cessation of hostilities and an exchange of prisoners would be finalized.
1997-1999: Minister of Finance
In 1997, Mohamoud had change roles, becoming the Minister of Finance for Somaliland devising and implementing a viable solution to stem out the runaway inflation threatening the economy of Somaliland. Further, shifting focus to the military, he sought to resolve the vexing problem of rationed supplies to the armed forces and begun to initiate a program for fiscal reform.
1999-2000: Minister of Planning and Coordination
Changing roles once more, Mohamoud began to act as the Minister of Planning and Coordination for Somaliland, working to establish mechanisms for the coordination of aid programs between the government and foreign-aid donors. He initiated the formulation of a three-year development plan, organized a first of its kind and well-attended international conference on aid for Somaliland held in Hargeisa, attended and addressed the Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB) in Nairobi, Kenya — as the first-ever Somaliland Government Minister to do so, and lead a Somaliland government delegation that met with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) representatives in Nairobi, Kenya.
2000-2002: Mediator and various other roles
During the period of working with Somaliland’s 2nd president, President Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, Mohamoud played important and decisive roles as a mediator in preventing crisis with respect to incidents relating to the relationship between Djibouti and Somaliland, Somaliland and Ethiopia, SNM veterans and the Egal administration, and between the Somaliland House of Representatives and the Egal government. He would spend, however, a period overseas, delivering speeches and addressing communities of the Somaliland diaspora in Europe and the United States raising awareness on the achievements and developments of the county. Upon his return to Somaliland he immediately mounted a campaign toward the resolution of a looming national crisis between the Egal administration and its political opponents, a crisis which came close to starting afresh a new round of internal conflict.
2002-2010: Founder and chairman of the Kulmiye Party and its presidential candidate
The youngest political organization in the country, the Kulmiye Party was established in early 2002 with a focus on conveying the campaign’s platform to the countryside and rural regions. Notably, Mohamoud pursued a no smear campaign policy toward other political parties, thus conducting a peaceful election, while applauding public education on the merits of the multi-party system and the democratic process. However, Mr. Mohamoud lost the election by a mere 80 votes to President Dahir Rayaale Kahin.
Despite this setback, Mohamoud would be a supporting for the women’s voices in Somaliland, as the Kulmiye Party was the only party to appoint a woman as Vice-Chair. During the next elections, Mohamoud was rewarded by garnering the largest national votes, only less than the total votes the incumbent party obtained during the previous presidential election. Through his stewardship, the Kulmiye Party has grown to be the largest party in Somaliland. Despite the ruling party’s continuous hold to power after its term expired, and its unwillingness to hold free and fair elections, Mohamoud continued to pursue political change through the democratic process by working closely with traditional elders and the international community, whose interest is peace and stability in the Horn of Africa. Thus, when he ran as the Kulmiye Party candidate for president he was able to defeat incumbent President Dahir Rayaale Kahin of the United Peoples’ Democratic Party (UDUB) in the 2010 presidential election.
2010-Present: Fourth president of the Republic of Somaliland
Mr. Mohamed’s term ended with the presidential election of November 13, 2017, which had been delayed from March 28, 2017. A snapshot of some of the salient achievements of the Silanyo Administration are depicted in the next section.
President of Somaliland
The Silanyo administration currency stabilization
One of the first policy implementations of the administration was the introduction of the Somaliland Shilling to the entire country. Prior to this time, the old Somalia Shillings were honored in the eastern regions of the country. In 2011 President Silanyo issued an executive order, and passed by Parliament, making the Somaliland Shilling the legal tender of the country. 
Major infrastructure improvements
Construction of offices for many of the country’s twenty-four ministries, since the 1991 government ministries were housed in ill-suited offices built in a different era by the British colonial administration for fewer administrative departments. The Silanyo Administration budgeted and implemented construction of offices for many of the ministries that were in inadequate facilities.
The administration not only repaired or rebuilt roads connecting major towns, but also built roads leading to small towns in the country side. Furthermore, the Administration encouraged and helped partially fund community based road construction. More importantly however, the government started building a 240-mile (384 km.) tarmac road linking Burao (Burco) City to the provincial town of Erigavo (Ceerigaabo), the capital of Sanaag Region in the east of the country. 
As part of the infrastructure improvement, the administration enlarged and enhanced security of Egal International Airport, in Hargeisa, and Berbera Airport. 
Enacted legislation that made primary education free. 
Implemented new rank and salary systems for the armed forces, the national police, and the Custodial Corps. 
Water development program
Because there are no perennial rivers and rainfall is unreliable, water is a highly precious commodity in Somaliland. Water supply systems throughout the country are, therefore, dependent on underground sources. Cognizant of the recurring droughts and inadequate water supply systems of cities and towns, the Silanyo Administration introduced a water development policy. The central policy of the Administration’s water development program is, inter alia, drilling bore holes and damming dry – river beds that drain water into the sea during the two rainy seasons. 
In order to realize such policy achievements, the administration embarked on expanding, through additional drilling, the water supply systems of the six major towns: Hargeisa, Borama, Berbera, Burao, Las Anod, and Erigavo.
In particular, to alleviate the chronic water shortage in the capital city, Hargeisa, the administration drilled more wells and installed bigger and rust resistant pipe lines in the Geed Deeble water works and is damming the Humboweyne (Xumboweyne) dry river, north east of Hargeisa.
The administration intends to establish a grid work of wells throughout the country as well as damming as many of the numerous dry-bed rivers emanating from Golis Range that otherwise empty into the sea. 
Joint venture with Dubai Port World (D P World) for the management of Berbera Port
The administration has entered into a joint venture agreement with Dubai Port World (DP World) whereby D.P World for thirty years takes over the management of Berbera Port; builds a 400-meter new terminal with a container section, Free Trade Zone, and rehabilitates the old port. 
In addition, the United Arab Emirates has agreed to build a 250 km (156 mile) road connecting Berbera and the border town of Wajaale.
These major agreements enhance the capacity of the port and employment opportunities, but more importantly enable trade to flourish between Somaliland and Ethiopia’s population of 102 million. 
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- International Academy at Santa Barbara (1981). “Somalia”. Current World Leaders. 24 (1–6): 152. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- Silanyo, Ahmed M. “A Proposal to the Somali National Movement: On a Framework for a Transitional Government in Somalia” (PDF). Wardheernews. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
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- Ali, Hassan (April 2011). “Somaliland to Replace all Somali Shilling”. Somaliland Press.
- “Hargeisha Odweine Burao Road Receives Second Cash Injection”. Somaliland Press. July 2016.
- “Somaliland President Silanyo Annual Address Speech”. Somaliland Press.
- Goth, Mohamed (October 2013). “Somaliland Benefits of Free Primary Education”. Somaliland Press.
- Goth, Mohamed (February 2016). “Somaliland President Silanyo Makes Cabinet Reshuffle and Appoints New Presidential Spokesman”. Somaliland Press.
- Goth, Mohamed (February 2015). “Somaliland President Silanyo Inaugurates Nations First Rain Water Harvesting Project”. Somaliland Press.
- Goth, Mohamed (July 2016). “Somaliland Political Economic Impact Berbera Port Agreement for Country”. Somaliland Press.
- Goth, Mohamed (August 2016). “Somaliland Major Function Support Berbera Port Investiture”. Somaliland Press.