The Mastercard Foundation - EARTH University Fellowship Program

Khaalid Ahmed Awali

Country: Somaliland
Track: Entreprenuership
Project: Aqua Calaaf
Business incubator affiliated: Harhub
About position: A highly nutritious silage production in Somaliland to feed cattle. Wants to start a Agriboom a yorghurt business attached to Aquacalaf and extension services provider in the dairy sector.
Elevator pitch: Video

Khaalid is in fourth year and finishing his graduation project called: Evaluation of the Draught Tolerance of Three Brachiaria Grass Cultivars. He is working on this project with his classmate and fellow Somalilander, Saeed Mohamud Farah. Khaalid and Saeed want to return to Somaliland and try to replicate their graduation project in their community. Khaalid has applied for employment at GEEL Project (USAID) to work in banana production. He is also working on a project to design a school for young girls in his country.

“Unemployment in Somaliland is about 65-70% and most of those are women. I want to help educate these girls so they can have a better future. Most of them come from urban areas so in the future, I want to incorporate urban farming as part of the curriculum.”

About his time at EARTH he mentions, “In the beginning, I was really homesick so I wanted to go back home during my first trimester. But then, slowly I learned the language and received a lot of support. I am glad I decided to stay.”

He mentions the entrepreneurial program as one of the most valuable courses at the University. “EARTH has helped me mature and become an entrepreneur. At first, I thought this class was a punishment! But then, when I realized the potential it had and how it could change my life, I changed my mind and saw it as an opportunity to grow and create my own future. I learned teamwork, leadership, and how to treat others with respect. I also learned to listen to other people´s ideas and to delegate.”

He is really interested in banana production and would like to develop this further back home. To his donors, he wants to say:

Thanks so much for your support you’ve provided so that I could study here. I want to go back home, to make positive changes and give back because you’ve invested so much in me. I can’t express how thankful I am for this opportunity. – Khaalid



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