History & Background
Burao: Togdheer: Somaliland
Burao is the second largest city in Somaliland. It has an estimated population of between 350,000 and 400,000 people. It is a very important commercial centre in the region, containing the largest livestock market that brings together traders from as far as Bossaso in the North East of Somalia, Luq, bordering Kenya in the South, Ethiopia and Djibouti in the West.
Rebuilding From the Ruins
Like many other cities in the Country, Burao suffered from destruction and internal displacement due to a prolonged civil war in the 1980s. In 1988, almost all its residents were either killed or forced to flee to refugee camps in Ethiopia. When those lucky ones who survived came back to Burao in 1991, they returned to a ghost town striped of almost everything of value that could be moved or removed. Almost all the dwellings in the city were either roofless or without windows, or both. Also, many of them were left in ruins, and the streets were overcome by natural vegetation in the absence of a human population for nearly three years. Public resources or facilities, including schools, were not spared destruction. Before the civil war, the town boasted of one of the top technical schools in East Africa, and a vocational school for range management. Both were national institutions. It also had two main secondary schools (Sh. Bashir, and Sh. Osman Nur). All of these institutions were looted, and damaged extensively.
Reconstruction started in earnest as soon as people returned to the city. Restoration of schools also began though slowly. Primary and pre-primary schools were first repaired. Unfortunately, the process of rehabilitation was twice interrupted by local conflicts, first in 1992, and then in 1994. The situation was exasperated by the ban on livestock exports to the Middle East in 2000. As the principle livestock market in the country, this had a disproportionate effect on the economy of Burao and caused its recovery to lag behind that of other main cities in Somaliland.
Today, if you visit Burao, you will find a remarkable town bustling with activity. The city has now enjoyed many years of fairly uninterrupted peace. There is a strong sense of community and a determination to rebuild what has been destroyed. This has created an environment conducive to investment and regeneration. As a result, the city is now going through a fervent period of renewal and rebuilding and is enjoying an unprecedented expansion.
The majority of Burao’s primary and secondary schools have been already rebuilt, renovated or restored, with new private institutions being formed regularly in response to demand for quality education. The first class graduated from Burao secondary schools in 2003 and many more students in the years since then.
The University of Burao (UoB), a community based higher education was established in 2004 in response to the question of what to do with these young secondary school leavers. Since 2004 UoB has been striving to bring quality higher education to the people of Burao, Togdheer and surrounding regions
The University of Burao (UoB) main campus is located in the north-western suburb (Shacab Area) of Burao, about two kilometres from the centre of the city. The site has a fenced area of about 3.75 hectares. UoB also has a satellite campus, which is located in the centre of Burao City, making it a convenient location for part-time courses for professionals. Furthermore, UoB has acquired a 25 hectare site located about 5 kilometres from the city centre with plans to develop into a major campus.
Facilities of the main campus are as follows:
Administration, Academic and Students Affairs
- One large Conference Hall
- Senate/Council and subcommittee meeting Room
- Computer Laboratories
- Science Laboratories
- Stationary shop
- Printing Press
- Sports Ground
- Medical Clinic
The University has a Charter and statutes that define its organizational structure, Policies and procedures. At the top of its organizational pyramid is Togdheer Development Committee (The TDC) which governs the University on behalf of the people of Togdheer. The TDC elects a Board of trustees which is the primary decision making body of the University. The Board of Trustees consists of 17 prominent members of the community, including businessmen, professionals, serving officials and ex officials. The Board nominates in turn, an executive committee, which consists of a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, a Treasurer and a Secretary.
The Board also appoints a Vice Chancellor (VC), who is responsible for the day-today running of the University and for carrying out decisions. Working with the Vice Chancellor (VC) is the Deputy Vice Chancellor, who is responsible for Academic matters and Students Affairs in relation to teaching and learning, assessment, research and discipline. The University also has a Senate which consists of the deans of the Faculties, the Vice Chancellor (Chairman), the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) for Academic and Student Affairs, The University Registrar, and the Director of Administration and Finance (A&F).There are also Faculties and Department Councils where each Faculty is headed by a Dean and each Department is headed by Head of Department. The Deans will be responsible for their respective Faculty and will be accountable to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (VC) of Academic and Student Affairs. In addition the University will have a Research and Innovations Unit charged with the coordination of research carried out by the University’s own Faculties and by International Research Associates Abroad. The University has fundraising and technical support groups in most of the countries in the Middle East, Europe, Canada and USA.