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December 12, 2013

Somali President Taps Economist for PM

by VOA News

​​Somalia's president has nominated a Somali-Canadian economist, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, to be the country's next prime minister.

In a statement Thursday, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said Ahmed is the man "best equipped" to lead Somalia through the next stage of its "recovery and reform program."  

Ahmed, who has never held political office, is currently a senior economist at the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia. He previously held positions with the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the European Union.

According to his resume, he has lived and worked in over 11 countries and speaks five languages.

At the president's urging, lawmakers recently ousted prime minister Abdi Farah Shirdon after just 13 months in office, in a blow to the country's fragile political stability.

Mohamud said Thursday the Somali government needs to "redouble" efforts to solidify reforms and work towards creating a new constitution and holding national elections in 2016.

The president came to power in August 2012 as part of a U.N.-backed process to give Somalia a stable central government. The country has endured more than two decades of chaos and conflict.

Some information has been provided by Reuters and AFP.