In a concerted effort involving the Embassy of the Republic of Somalia in Islamabad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Science & Technology, COMSTECH marked a pivotal moment on Friday as it inaugurated the Somalia Science and Technology Cooperation Program. The event, held at the COMSTECH Auditorium, underscores the commitment to tailored solutions for the diverse needs of each OIC member state.
Highlighting the imperative of collaborative initiatives that are finely attuned to the specific circumstances of each country, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Coordinator General of COMSTECH, accentuated the value of joint ventures built on shared goals. This approach seeks to address the distinct requirements of OIC member states, promoting strategic cooperation in the realm of science and technology.
Acknowledging the collaborative effort that led to the program’s launch, Prof. Choudhary commended the concerted actions of H.E. Shirwa Abdullahi Ibrahim, the Ambassador of Somalia, and the Pakistani Ministry of Science and Technology. Their combined efforts have set the stage for a dynamic and beneficial partnership.
H.E. Shirwa Abdullahi Ibrahim, Charge de Affaires at the Embassy of the Republic of Somalia, extended his appreciation to Prof. Choudhary for his visionary leadership in formulating country-specific OIC member state programs, with a special emphasis on African nations. He expressed optimism that the program would pave the way for enhanced bilateral cooperation and mutual benefit.
The online launch event welcomed Ms. Saqlain Syedah, the High Commissioner of Pakistan in Nairobi, Kenya, who hailed the COMSTECH initiative as a beacon of progress for Somalia and other African OIC member states.
Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Rector of the University of Lahore, lauded COMSTECH’s expansion of its partnerships with African nations. Highlighting the university’s active participation in COMSTECH’s initiatives, he emphasized the institution’s commitment to nurturing academic collaborations.
Prof. Dr. Ch. Abdul Rehman, Chairman of the Association of Private Sector Universities of Pakistan, echoed his support for the COMSTECH-Somalia S&T Cooperation, underscoring the potential of scientific and technological advancements to foster growth within Somalia and the larger OIC region.
High-ranking voices from the diplomatic and judicial spheres, including Pakistani Ambassador to Niger Mr. Ahmed Ali Sirohey and Justice Dr. Syed Mohammad Anwar Ali of the Federal Shariat Court in Islamabad, also conveyed their appreciation for COMSTECH’s dedication to advancing S&T initiatives within the OIC region.
COMSTECH, in conjunction with the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah, has embarked on a series of initiatives aimed at enhancing the capacities of OIC states, particularly those in the African OIC LDCs. Somalia, a prominent OIC member in Africa, is poised to play a vital role in the execution of these programs.
A pivotal feature of the program is the inclusion of Somalia’s top two universities as associate members of the COMSTECH Consortium of Excellence (CCoE). This affiliation opens avenues for thematic workshops, advanced technology training, and the awarding of fellowships to Somalian students and researchers.
The program also endeavors to alleviate vision-related challenges by conducting health camps that offer high-quality cataract services, facilitated in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank and OIC General Secretariat. Moreover, the plan encompasses training initiatives in ophthalmology and neuro-critical care, aimed at enhancing the skills of Somalian healthcare professionals.
Dedicated to gender inclusivity, a women-in-science fellowship program will enable female scientists from Somalia to engage in research at esteemed R&D facilities across Pakistan and other COMSTECH member states.
Furthermore, a skill development program for technicians in diverse fields will be launched in partnership with regional universities, responding to Somalia’s specific needs. This initiative enables collaboration between Somalia’s R&D institutions and CCoE entities, fostering the exchange of knowledge, technology, and resources to enhance capacities.