Mohamed Ahmed


Bio: Mohamed Ahmed, President, Jamhuriya University for Science and Technology, Somalia

Eng. Mohamed Ahmed Mohamud is the president of Jamhuriya University of Sciences and Technology (JUST), one of the leading higher education institutions in Somalia. he is also a board member of Somali Research & Education Network (SomaliREN) since 2019.
Eng. Mohamed has over ten years of experience in higher education leadership and management, prior to becoming the president of the university, he served in key leadership positions including vice president academics and dean at the faculty of economics and management, JUST.

Eng. Mohamed holds a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from Jordan University of Science & Technology and MBA from Open University Malaysia; he is passionate about educational leadership and education technology.

Abstract: "Building a Multi-institutional Open Access Digital Repository for Higher Education and Research Institutions: The Case for SomaliREN Centralised Digital Repository (SORER)"

Like many other countries in Africa, Somalia suffers from a gap with respect to other countries in the world for what concerns openness of research [1] and visibility of research outputs [2]. Research outputs produced by local universities and research institutions are not adequately showcased to interested communities and citizens outside academic institutions and this has negatively branded the local institutions as in-competent to produce any form of research contents. As an example, printed copies of students' theses and dissertations are usually archived inside the university, and nobody is basically able to see them after the defending day.

To overcome this problem and bridge the above-mentioned gaps, the Somali National Research and Education Network (SomaliREN) [3], which gathers 28 universities and research institutions from all over the country [4], is developing a program based on three strategic pillars [5]: connectivity, community, and content. Under the latter, SomaliREN has launched an initiative to deploy a centralized open access multi-institutional digital repository and the Somali Research and Education Repository (SORER) [6] has recently come online. 

SORER has been installed in collaboration with experts from the University of Catania, Italy, and the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN). It is a scalable, standard-based, FAIR principle [7] and Plan S [8] compliant repository meant to promote and enable the Open Science paradigm in the country. The digital asset management system (i) is based on Invenio [9] and Zenodo [10], with some add-ons developed by INFN, (ii) allows persistent identification of contents, through DataCite [11] digital object identifiers, for an easy discovery and citation of research products stored as well as for a direct link to the ORCID [12] profiles of their authors, (iii) sports an OAI-PMH [13] compliant endpoint, for an easy harvesting of metadata from aggregators and search engines, and (iv) supports federated authentication, for an easy configuration of the repository as a Service Provider of an Identity Federation.

In this contribution we would like to share with all the participants the motivations that drove the creation of SORER for the uptake of Open Science practices in Somalia, its current status and future plans – towards the certification of the archive and the establishment of a national open access policy - as well as to discuss the opportunities of collaboration with universities/organisations belonging to the ASREN region willing/planning to install FAIR compliant digital repositories at their premises. Collaboration may include technical support for the deployment and/or training on administration/use of the repository.

[1] World map of Open Access policies, 
[2] World scaled by number of documents published in Web of Science in 2017 with authors from each country,