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A delegation made up of representatives of the key players in Somali academic, political and cultural communities has been welcomed by UniTS Vice-Rector Valter Sergo, Deputy Rector for Development Cooperation Ilaria Micheli and Giuseppe Borruso, professor of the Department of Economics, Business, Mathematics and Statistics (DEAMS).

The meeting aims at improving relations between the two countries, and is taking place in light of the strong Somali presence in Friuli Venezia Giulia since the 1970s.

The University of Trieste boasts a long-standing collaboration with the Somali National University (SNU), thanks to its active participation in a bilateral Italy - Somalia programme (together with other Italian universities). The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) has so far financed 5 projects (SNU 1-5) aiming at strengthening the institutional and academic structure of the Somali National University.

The University of Trieste was involved in the SNU 2 and SNU 3 projects, the most significant of the series in terms of knowledge transfer and research training.

During these two phases between 2018 and 2022, DEAMS hosted some members of the delegation for three months, namely Prof. Hassan Osman Ga'al, current Rector of SNU (former Dean of the Somali Faculty of Economics). They also gave four Somali students, two of whom are now active researchers at SNU, the opportunity to attend and complete the Master's Degree Course in Economics of Productive Sectors and International Markets.

The SNU 5 project is currently underway with UniTS also among its active partners, and is coordinated by the Milan Polytechnic.

During the visit, the delegation also met DEAMS professors and researchers already involved in the SNU project, as well as those interested in collaboration with the Somali university.

These are the names of the delegation members

1. Ahmed Faghi Elmi, President of the Somali Community

2. Abdullahi Omar Abshir, Vice President of the Federal Parliament of Somalia

3. Nura Mustaf Mukhtar Guudow, Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Higher Education of the Federal Republic of Somalia

4. Hassan Osman Gacal, Rector of the Somali National University

5. Ibrahim Gure Mohamed, Director of the Somali Diaspora Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

6. Ismail Yusuf Osman, President of the Somali Academy of Science and Arts

7. Khalid Mao Abdulkadir, Lecturer at the Somali National University

8. Salim Alio Ibro, Somali MP

9. Aues Scek, Member of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Somalia

10. Edna Moallim Abdulkadir, AMEB Mother & Child Care Association

11. Bashir Osman Ahmed, Somali Community

12. Dahir Ali, Somali Community

13. Bashir Abdulle, Somali Community

14. Lorenzo Dugulin, Somali Community

15. Ahmed Mohamed, Somali journalist

16. Mohamed Roberto degli Espositi, Somali journalist

RAI journalist Paolo di Giannantonio also present.