A notable peacebuilder
December 6, 2012
We are honouring our long-term colleague Mohamed Said Gees, who is now stepping down from his position as Executive Director at the Academy for Peace and Development (APD), Interpeace’s partner in Somaliland. Gees joined APD in May 2004, shortly after the organization underwent restructuring and has since contributed considerably to peacebuilding in Somaliland and to the development of APD.
Supporting an emerging democracy
Gees began his time with APD by supporting Interpeace’s Dialogue for Peace programme and the early phases of the Pillars of Peace programme. Through these initiatives, APD supported the democratization process and the emerging multi-party democratic system in Somaliland.
He has previously made a mark heading up the Ministries of Planning, Finance, and Foreign Affairs in Somaliland and has spent time as a professor of physics. Gees’s background, network and leadership contributed to the strengthening and further promoting APD’s reputation as an impartial body. One of the main achievements was the creation of neutral political spaces for the electoral processes in Somaliland.
Under Gees’s direction, APD developed and introduced codes of conduct for political parties and the media. APD has also worked positively with other agencies and international NGOs over Gees’s time with the organization, taking part in substantive studies.
A remarkable impact
Having worked for a broad range of stakeholders, Gees, on APD’s behalf, was able to navigate diverse and changing dynamics and contexts.
Abdirahman Raghe, Director of Interpeace’s Somali Programme explains: “Gees’ wealth of experience is really what made working with him so exceptional. Because of his unique background he could reach out to key members of the political leadership and elite and put himself in the different positions.”
Johan Svensson, Interpeace’s Regional Director for Eastern and Central Africa, adds: “A lot of Gees’s wisdom comes from his humble beginnings. He draws his strength from his family and relationships. I have not only enjoyed working with Gees because he is a competent and reliable colleague but also because he has a great sense of humor.”
We thank Gees for his dedication and commitment to building lasting peace in Somaliland and the whole Somali Region.