ABOUT THE BOOK:
The author of this autobiography served as prime minister of Somalia during the period of civilian administrations (1960-1969) that preceded the military dictatorship of Mohamed Siyad Barre (1969-1991). It offers direct insight into the nationalist mindset of this generation of Somalis and their indignant rejection of the colonially imposed boundaries that in this post-independence period came to be legitimized by the Organization of African Unity. It also provides a first-hand and close-up view of the way national politics were conducted in this era. We owe it to the dedication and careful stewardship of Dr. Abdisalam Issa-Salwe that the late Abdirazak Haji Hussein’s manuscript is finally in print and available to the public.
--Professor Lidwien Kapteijns, Wellesley College
Abdirazak Haji Hussein’s Memoir, ‘My Role in the foundation of Somali Nation-state’ constitutes a major, new contribution to knowledge on the modern history of Somalia and Africa by extension. The book not only presents, Abdirazak’s role in the foundation of the Somali nation-state, as indicated in the title, but it is an unparalleled chronicle of modern Somali history, the making of which Abdirazak was one of the most prominent figures.
One factor that makes this book extra interesting is that the author’s lifetime coincided with a uniquely crucial period in the history of both Somalia and the world. Globally, it coincided with the World War II, the rise of liberation movements worldwide, the end of the colonial era and the formation of nation-states in the developing world; then the beginning and the end of the cold war and proliferation of military dictatorships. In Somali context, it was the time of a testing transition from traditional, rural life to urbanization; from colonialism to state-building followed by the collapse of the state as the result of a devastating civil war. This book captures the inner-workings of all these historical moments from the perspective of a participant-observer, focussing on the events and analysis of national and global relevance, rather on his own life story.
The book reflects the stature of Abdirazak Haji Hussein as a widely respected statesman. Commentators of Somali political history (Samatar and Samatar, 2008) describe him and President Aden Abdulle Osman, who selected him as premier, as two peerless statesmen as Somali political leaders. Premier Abdirazak was renowned for his unparalleled efforts to build solid public institutions, to combat corruption and safeguard the rule of law. This is discernible in his memoir. He is one of very few Somali political leaders who have written their autobiography.
Written by a statesman with such a wealth of experience and insight to a crucial historical period, this book is a must read for anyone interested in the political and social history of Somalia and Africa.
--Dr. Maxamed Daahir Afrax, President of the Intergovernmental Academy of Somali Language
The autobiography of Abdirazak H Hussein will definitely be a great contribution to the history of Africa and particularly of Somalia. Abdirazak’s life coincided with the turbulent time when Somalia was under the colonial rules of Britain, Italy, France and Ethiopia. The colonial influence led the Somalis people to be divided into five parts.
The way Abdirazak tries to write his life history is as though his life represented his nation-state formation. This is a great contribution to African history.
--Professor Abdulqadir Nur Salad Takar
Abdirizak Hagi Hussein has been a leader who had been trying to set a trend for Somali and African politicians. He tried to liberate Somalia not only from the harnesses of colonialism also from the shackles of tribalism and its negative influences. His Busta Rossa legacy in which he purged bureaucracy and favoritism from the higher administrative echelons irrespective of the subjects’ clan affiliations or political orientations is citable vestige.
He was at the forefront of African leaders whose vision extended well beyond the local inner malaise of political bickering. His biography serves as an insight and source of inspiration for the generations to come, not the present corrupt post-colonial generation of leaders who subjected the continent to perennial backwardness bloody coup de tats and subsequent dictatorial regimes.
As a Prime Minister Hussein mentions in his memoir he was a person hardened by his early nomadic lifestyle which demanded virility fortitude and dedication and skills of prompt crisis management. These qualities have contributed to his statesmanship. In a nutshell, he was a man ahead of his time, but unfortunately his pioneering trend has hardly been followed or learned a lesson by later generations of local and African politicians.
--Professor Abdirahman O Warsame, King Saud University
ABOUT THE EDITOR
ABDISALAM ISSA-SALWE, is currently Professor and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Head of the Deanship of Curriculum Development at East Africa University, Somalia. Issa-Salwe worked as Associate Professor at Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering, Taibah University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and before that, as a lecturer in Information Systems at Thames Valley University in the United Kingdom. He earned his PhD in Information Management at Thames Valley University, UK.
Issa-Salwe is the author of the following books: (1) The Collapse of the Somali State: the Impact of the Colonial Legacy, Haan Associate Publishers, 1996; (2) Cold War Fallout: Boundary Politics and Conflict in the Horn of Africa, Haan Associate Publishers, 2000; (3) Electronic Communication and an Oral Culture: The Dynamics of Social Web Environment Case Study, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing. 2010; and (4) Oral Culture and Computer Mediated Communication: Social Dynamics of Mailing Lists, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing. 2010