Introduction: Background to the Creation of the Maakhir University:
In 1991, the sky caved in on the citizens of Somalia with the outbreak in their country of a devastating civil strife following the ouster of the military regime that held on to power stubbornly for 21 long years. Somalia self-destructed in a cataclysmic political implosion in which all was lost. This conflict not only brought about collapse of the state but it also wiped out all the progress that the country realized during the previous century. The civil war, which the ouster of the military dictatorship engendered, was a total and passionate conflagration, literally blanketing the whole country with endless and mindless violence that continues with reduced intensity even now. Its devastation was understandably comprehensive and national in scope.
Among the many evil consequences of the war for the Somalia state was a massive loss of trained manpower in the flight abroad of close to a million of its citizens that included most of the country’s professionals, the best educated and most productive elements of society. Undoubtedly, the brain as well as muscle drain that Somalia has sustained remains to be the greatest loss of its kind that any country has experienced in recent memory. The resultant skills shortfall has greatly hampered the operation of private businesses and service institutions in the country. Worse yet, Somalia’s loss of precious blood has so far continued unabated on account, largely, of its never-ending conflict. The situation has become so dire that something had to be done even in the midst of the unremitting violence.
Eastern Sanaag was spared much of the devastations that the calamitous civil conflict wrought upon Somalia’s eighteen antebellum regions but it, never-the-less, probably suffered per capita the greatest loss of trained manpower. The human resource drain of Eastern Sanaag evinces peculiarities that put the region at a greatly disadvantaged position vis-à-vis other regions that have gained, and continue to gain even now, from this region’s relentless loss of blood. Firstly, the inhabitants of this region, known for their seafaring traditions, had a head start on the massive flight abroad of the Somali people. They began to migrate overseas in the early years of the oppressive military regime’s tenure, long before the onset of the civil war and the consequent collapse of the Somalia state made the practice of running away from the ongoing violence and of seeking asylum abroad fashionable among all of Somalia’s ill fated citizens. Asylum seekers from Eastern Sanaag were also represented in the flood of Somali refugees that has scattered to the globe’s five continents since the early 1990s.
Some regions, benefiting from the existence within their territories of such public infrastructure as port facilities and airports, tarmac roads, etc, that colonial and past Somali regimes constructed, were able after the passing of the initial shock to revive their economies and to even reverse the trend of brain as well as muscle drain. Eastern Sanaag, which was neglected by all the past regimes, Somali and colonial authorities, did not inherit any infrastructure that could help it realize similar economic recovery. Unable to revitalize its economy, the region could neither curb the flight abroad of its skilled human resource nor stop the few that remained from seeking employment in the growing economies of neighboring regions. The combination of the longstanding and still ongoing migration of its skilled manpower to overseas countries and to other regions with more vibrant economies has put Eastern Sanaag in a very serious predicament.
Another cause of Eastern Sanaag’s economic retardation was its adamant refusal to join the break away Republic of Somaliland and to thereby be party to the splintering of the Somali Republic. The region’s principled stance on the question of the former
Somalia state’s territorial unity put it in an anomalous position, as a territory contested by the two regional administrations of Somaliland and Puntland. The region could not muster enough political muscle in either of these two authorities and was, therefore, conveniently left out from the distribution of the development largesse they received from the international community. In fact, it was not only the two regional authorities that cheated Eastern Sanaag of its legitimate share of the development assistance that the International community donated but some important development agencies are indeed also culpable. To cite but one such agency at fault, UNDP, which also happens to be the most important, has openly made known its firm opposition to the grant of any development assistance to the Sool and Sanaag regions, for no reason other than their being “disputed” territories.
The described ill-effects of the brain drain for Eastern Sanaag at long last moved a group of concerned individuals hailing from the region but now living in the USA to hold several meetings during 2008 and 2009 to think about what they could do that would help ameliorate their home region’s unsatisfactory manpower situation. At the end of serious discussions they finally decided to commit themselves as a group to the cause of promoting the development of Eastern Sanaag region. Topping the list of the programs which they considered to be essential for the realization of the development goals they sought for the region was the creation for the youth at home opportunities to getting higher education inside their own region. The purpose behind this group’s decision to give priority attention to the spread of higher education in the region was to achieve two important development objectives: (1) To enhance the professional and technical skills of the region’s human resource; and, (2) To decrease the debilitating outflow from the region of talent and productivity. With those objectives in mind, the group founded a registered non-profit organization to coordinate their collective effort and through which they would financially provide for any development program they undertook. And to firm up their unwavering joint commitment to the cause, they all became founding members of this body, which they called the Maakhir Development Group. Membership in this newly created association was left open for anyone and all who shared its vision and goals, from Eastern Sanaag or elsewhere in Somalia, Somali or non-Somali. The Maakhir Development Group then began work on the founding at Badhan of a post-secondary academic institution that would attend to the training and professional preparation of Eastern Sanaag’s human resource.
The Act, detailed in the following pages, provides legal and institutional concreteness to the ideals and aspirations of the founding fathers of the Maakhir University.
MAAKHIR UNIVERSITY ACT
- MAAKHIR DEVELOPMENT GROUP & OWNERSHIP OF MAAKHIR UNIVERSITY
The Maakhir University Act provides legal sanction to the establishment at Badhan of an institution of higher education known as Maakhir University. The agency seeking the enactment of this decree is the Maakhir Development Group, a non-profit charity and development agency, which is a legally recognized corporate body with perpetual succession and a common seal. The Maakhir Development Group is the sponsoring agency but the official collective owner of Maakhir University is the community of Eastern Sanaag to which the Maakhir Development Group has donated the university.
- ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY
(A) There shall be established in Badhan a university to be known as Maakhir University, which shall be constituted in accordance with this act.
(B) The University shall be a corporate body with perpetual succession and a common seal, and shall in its corporate name be capable of:
- Suing and being sued;
- Accepting gifts, purchasing or otherwise acquiring, holding, receiving charges for and/or disposing of moveable or immoveable property;
- Borrowing or lending money; and,
- Doing or performing all such other things or acts for the proper performance of its functions under the provisions of this act that may lawfully be done or performed by a body corporate.
(C) Functions of Maakhir University
(1) The functions of the Maakhir University shall be:
- To independently provide, or in collaboration with other institutions of higher learning, facilities for university education and research, including among other things technological and professional expertise and teaching aids;
- To participate in the discovery, transmission and preservation of knowledge and to stimulate the intellectual life and cultural development of Somalia;
- To conduct examinations and to grant such academic awards as may be provided for in the statutes;
- To examine and approve, subject to the University Act, proposals for the establishment of new faculties, addition of new departments, introduction of new degree courses or new subjects of study submitted for inclusion in the university’s study programs; and,
- To determine who may teach in the University, what and how may be taught in it.
(2) Admission to the University as candidates for degrees, diplomas, certificates or for other awards of the University shall be open to anyone that the Admissions Office considers to be qualified, with no regard to any restrictions based on one’s ethnicity, sect, or other barriers and no such distinctions shall be imposed upon any person as a condition for his or her becoming, or continuing to be, a professor, lecturer, or student of the University, or of his/her holding any office of the university, and no preference shall be given to, or privilege be withheld from, any person on the grounds of his or her ethnic origin or sect.
- Establishment of New Colleges and Faculties
(1) The faculties specified in (H) below shall be established in the university.
(2) The University Board of Trustees shall, acting on the recommendation of the University’s Policy Council, establish additional faculties or colleges within the University.
- Common Seal and Signification of Documents
(1) The common seal of the University shall be kept in a safe custody in accordance with the Board of Trustees directions and shall not be used except upon the order of the Board of Trustees.
(2) The common seal of the university shall be authenticated by the signature of the Chancellor or acting Chancellor.
(3) The common seal of the University, documented and duly authenticated under this section, shall be judicially and officially noticed.
- Degrees, Diplomas, Etc. of the University
(1) Subject to this Act, the university may:
- Confer the degrees of bachelor, master and doctor and such other degrees as may be provided for in the statutes; and,
- Grant diplomas or certificates or other awards. This shall apply to an honorary degree or academic distinction, which the university may wish to confer on or award to a person who has rendered distinguished service in the advancement of any branch of learning or has otherwise rendered oneself worthy of such a distinction for service to community.
- Membership of the University
(1) The members of the Maakhir University shall be:
- The Maakhir University Board of Trustees
- The Chancellor
- The Vice Chancellor(s)
- Heads of the offices of finance and physical plant
- The University Registrar
- The University Librarian
- The Deans of the different faculties
- The university teaching staff
- The university administrative & support personnel
- The students
- Such other members of the staff of the University or of any other body formally admitted into association with the University or with any of its constituent faculties, as the University Board of Trustees may determine from time to time.
- Constituent Faculties of Maakhir University
(1) Initially, Maakhir University shall have 9 faculties, namely, ), Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Islamic Studies and Law (comprising Islamic Studies, Sharia and Law), Faculty of Management and Business Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology (comprising Medical, Nursing and Public Health divisions), Faculty of the Environment and Natural Resources (consisting of Agriculture, Forestry, Veterinary Science and Geology), Faculty of Fisheries and marine sciences, Faculty of Engineering (comprising civil, electric and automotive divisions.
(2) New faculties to be added or splitting of current faculties in the future.
III. GOVERNING BODIES
- Maakhir University Board of Trustees
(1) Maakhir University shall have a Board of Trustees, which is responsible to and on behalf of the community for the tasks of providing overall support and direction to the Maakhir University and for making sure that the university’s pedagogical programs and other activities it engages in faithfully promote the ideals of the community.
(2) Immediately after the constitution of the first Board of Trustees, the terms of the Trustees shall be staggered, and the number of Trustees shall be divided into three groups as equal as is feasible. The term of the Trustees of the first group shall expire at the end of the second year, of the second group at the end of the fourth year, and of the third group at the end of the sixth year, so that one third may be chosen every second year.
(3) The Board shall, at the Annual Meeting of every second year, elect Trustees for six-year terms to succeed the group of Trustees whose terms expire with that meeting.
(4) A Trustee may be removed from office with or without cause by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Trustees.
(5) Vacancies in the Board arising from any cause may be filled by the Board at any meeting; the trustee elected to fill a vacancy on the Board shall serve the remainder of the term of that former trustee.
(6) The Board of Trustees shall consist of:
- The Chancellor of the University (non-voting, ex-officio member);
- The Vice Chancellor of the University (non-voting ex-officio members);
- Seven (7) members nominated from the Maakhir Diaspora Community:
- Five (5) members nominated from Maakhir Community in Somalia
(7) The number of Trustees may be increased or decreased from time to time by the amendment of this act.
(8) The board shall select among its membership the following:
(a) An academician who chairs the Board;
(b)A Deputy Chairperson;
(c) A secretary;
(d) A treasurer
- Functions of the Board of Trustees
(1) Subject to this Act and without prejudice to any legislation, trust deed or any other instrument, supervision and overall control of the Maakhir University shall be vested in the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees shall directly appoint the Chancellor of the university and the Vice Chancellor and shall also have powers to approve, on the recommendation of the Chancellor, the appointment of all the other topmost members of the Maakhir University’s management team, including the University Registrar, the University Librarian, the Deans of the constituent faculties of the University, heads of the university’s bursary and physical plant.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) The Maakhir University Board of Trustees shall have powers:
- To supervise the administration of the property and funds of the university in such a manner and for such purposes as will, in the opinion of the Board of Trustees, promote the best interests of the university. However, the Board of Trustees shall not change or dispose of immoveable property of the university without prior consultation with the Chancellor;
- To receive, on behalf of the university, gifts, donations, grants or other monies and to make disbursements there-from to the university’s general fund or, after consulting the Chancellor, to specific units, such as the library, the faculties or other bodies and persons, of the university;
- To enter into association, on behalf of the university, with other universities or institutions of learning within or outside Somalia as the Board of Trustees may deem necessary and appropriate.
(3) All documents of the Board of Trustees, other than those required by law to be under seal, and all decisions of the Board of Trustees intended for circulation, shall bear the signature of the Chairperson or the signature of the Deputy Chairperson & only then shall they be forwarded to the concerned directions by the Secretary of the Board who is required to keep a copy of each document at his office
- University Policy Council
(1) The University shall have a team of executives, called the University Policy Council, in whom responsibility for the steering and day-to-day management of the University is invested.
(2) The membership, powers and responsibilities of the University Policy Council shall be specified in the statutes.
- The University Academic Committee
(1) The University shall have the University Academic Committee, in whom responsibility for the management of the academic affairs of the University is invested.
(2) The membership, powers and responsibilities of the University Academic Committee shall be specified in the statutes.
- OFFICERS OF THE UNIVERSITY
- The Chancellor
(1) The Maakhir University Board of Trustees shall appoint the Chancellor of Maakhir University, who shall be the head of the University and shall have such powers and duties as may be provided for by the statutes.
(2) The person who is appointed Chancellor by the Maakhir Board of Trustees shall hold office upon such terms and for such period as may be specified by the statutes and, upon the expiration of that period, shall be eligible for reappointment.
- The Vice Chancellor
(1) The University shall have a Vice Chancellor, to be appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Maakhir University, who shall function as an academic and an administrative assistant to the Chancellor and shall have such powers and duties as may be provided for by the statutes.
(2) The Vice Chancellor shall hold office upon such terms and for such period as may be specified by the statutes and, upon the expiration of that period, shall be eligible for reappointment.
- The Deans of Faculties and Colleges
(1) The University Board of Trustees shall, acting on the recommendation of the Chancellor, appoint for each Faculty or College of Maakhir University a Dean who shall be the academic as well as the administrative head of the faculty and shall have such other powers and duties as may be provided for by the statutes.
(2) A person appointed as a Dean shall hold office upon such terms and for such period as may be specified by the statutes and upon the expiration of that period shall be eligible for re-appointment.
- The Staff of the University
(1) The academic staff of the University shall encompass the Vice Chancellor, Deans of the various faculties, the Registrar, the University Librarian and all other members of the University’s work force who are engaged in teaching or research.
(2) The administrative staff of the University shall consist of the Vice Chancellor, the University Bursar, head of the personnel services, head of the physical plant and all such members of the staff, not being engaged in teaching or research, as the Board of Trustees may determine from time to time.
(3) Members of the university’s academic and administrative staff, holding positions below the level of Vice Chancellor shall, subject to this Act, be duly appointed by the University’s Board of Trustees on the recommendation of, or in consultation with, the Chancellor of the University, either:
- Upon the terms and conditions of service prescribed by the statutes; or,
- In the case of a person seconded to the service of the University from the service of another university or similar institution, the government or any other public service, on terms and conditions agreed between the University Board of Trustees and the seconding body.
(4) The Board of Trustees may, subject to such restrictions as it may impose, delegate, either generally or specifically, to the Chancellor or the University Policy Council powers to appoint any member of the staff of the University.
(5) All members of the University Staff shall:
- Be subject to the general authority of the University Board of Trustees and of the Chancellor of the University; and,
- Be deemed to be employed on a full-time basis except as specifically provided otherwise by the statutes or by the terms of a particular appointment.
- Performance of Functions in the Absence of an Office Holder
(1) In the event of the incapacity of the Chancellor, the functions of the Chancellor may be performed during the period of incapacity by the Vice Chancellor.
(2) In the event of the simultaneous incapacity of the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor, the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees may appoint a senior member of the academic staff of the University, with preference given to persons serving in the University Policy Council, to perform the functions of the Chancellor during the said period of incapacity.
(3) In the event of the incapacity of any member of the staff of the University other than the Chancellor, the Chancellor may appoint any suitable person to perform the functions of the member during the said period of incapacity.
(4) In this section, “incapacity” means absence from Badhan or inability for any other reason to perform the functions of the office concerned.
- V. GENERAL PROVISIONS
- University Convocations
(1) There shall be held in every academic year at least two University Convocation to which are invited the graduating class, other members of the University community and such other persons as the statutes may prescribe.
(2) Members of the University present at these convocations shall have the right to discuss any matter relating to the University and to forward resolutions taken thereon to the University Policy Council and/or the University Academic Committee, and may exercise such other functions as the statutes may prescribe.
- Financial Year
(1) The Financial Year of the University shall be the period of twelve months commencing on such day in each year as the Board of Trustees may determine.
(2) In the event of any change in the financial year, and for the purposes of the transition from the old financial year to a new financial year consequent upon the change, the transitional period, whether more or less than twelve month, shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be a financial year.
- Investment of Funds
(1) The Board of Trustees may invest in profitable business ventures any amount of the University’s funds, in excess of the budgetary allocations for salaries and other sums of money already approved for expenditure on the operations of the University during the fiscal year already underway, as long as the Board of Trustees has legal powers to invest such funds for profit.
(2) The annual estimates shall make provision for all estimated expenditure of the University for the financial year concerned, and in particular shall provide:
- For the payment of the salaries, allowances and other charges in respect of the staff of the University;
- For the payment of gratuities, bursaries and benefits which are payable out of the funds of the University;
- For the proper maintenance of the building and grounds of the University;
- For the proper maintenance, repair and replacement of the equipment and other movable property of the university;
- For the proper funding of the cost of teaching and research activities in the university; and,
- For the creation of such reserve funds to meet future or contingent liabilities in respect of insurance or replacement of buildings and or equipment, or in respect of such other matters as the Board of Trustees may deem fit.
- Annual Estimates
(1) Annual estimates shall be approved by the Board of Trustees before the commencement of the financial year to which they relate.
(2) No expenditure shall be incurred for the purpose of the University except in accordance with the annual estimates approved under subsection (1) or in pursuance of an authorization of the Board of Trustees.
- Accounts and Audits
(1) The Board of Trustees shall cause to be kept proper books and records of account of the income, expenditure, assets and liabilities of the University.
(2) Within a period of three months from the end of each financial year, the Board of
Trustees shall submit to the controller and auditor appointed under subsection (3) the
Accounts of the University together with:
- A statement of income and expenditure during that year; and,
- A statement of the assets and liabilities of the University on the last day of that year.
(3) The accounts of the University shall be audited by an auditor appointed by the Board of Trustees.
- The Statutes
(1) In the performance of its functions under this Act, the Maakhir University Board of Trustees shall, subject to this Act, make statutes generally for the control, steering and administration of the University and for the better carrying into effect the purpose of this Act, and in particular for:
- The establishment of faculties, institutes and schools of the University;
- The description of degrees;
- The requirements for the award of a degree;
- The conduct of examinations;
- The prescription of fees and other charges;
- The settlement of the terms and conditions of service, including the appointment, dismissal, and remuneration, of members of the staff of the University;
- The constitution and procedure of meetings of the Board and for the establishment, composition and terms of reference of committees of the Board;
- The prescription of rules and regulations for students’ organizations; and,
- The provision or prescription of anything which, under this act, may need such provision for or prescription by the statutes.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Board shall not make, amend, or revoke any statute relating to the functions or privileges of the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor or the Academic Committee without first ascertaining the opinion of the University Policy Council.
(3) Statutes shall only be made by a resolution passed at a meeting of the Board of Trustees supported by a majority of not less than three-fourths (3/4) of the members present and voting, being not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the total number of the voting Board members.
(4) Statutes or regulations made by the Board of Trustees under this Act shall be published.
- Protection of Name
(1) No public officer performing functions of registrar of companies or businesses shall accept for registration any name which includes with the word “University” the word “Maakhir” unless the application for this registration comes with it the written consent of the Maakhir University Board of Trustees.
(2) Any person who, except with the written consent of the Maakhir University Board of Trustees, uses the word “University” together with the word “Maakhir” for the sake of making advertisement for a business, profit or for a profession shall be guilty of an offence.
- Honorary Ambassadors Committee
(1) The University shall Have Honorary Ambassadors Committee who shall lobby the best interest of the University, fundraise and attend functions that benefit the University in their respective regions/countries on its behalf.
(2) The members of Honorary Ambassadors Committee shall be duly appointed through consultations between Board of Trustees and Chancellor who shall issue them with Letters of Mandate.