Author’s Career an Interesting, Varied Tale
Abdirazak Fartaag was born into a Somali political family. His father was one of the first and longest-serving senators in Somalia (1956-1969) before the military coup. Fartaag received his bachelor’s degree in Switzerland after which he chose the path of civil service and worked as a diplomat for the government of Somalia. Embracing the core values of integrity, servitude and growth, he then took a leave of absence to complete the master’s degree in the United States. He has since worked in a variety of capacities, including carrying out analyses and consulting for African governments on government programs, as well as for the private sector and Non-Governmental Organizations.
➢ Fartaag has volunteered his time to improving the lives of the youth in the Eastern Africa region. Between 2001-2004, he volunteered his time to train various groups in the Great Lake Regions, including third-year students at the Kigali Institute of Science, Technology and Management (KIST). He has built a reputation for not only being innovative but developing best practice strategies for development. This is best exhibited in the entrepreneurship development course he developed with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship and highlighting the role of business entrepreneurs in economic development.
➢ Public Service has always been at the forefront of Fartaag’s life. Between 2009-2011, he served as the Head of the Public Finance Management Unit (PFMU-Somalia) under the direct authority of two different Prime Ministers of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia. During his tenure, Fartaag made unparalleled efforts to ensure transparency and accountability were upheld in a previously chaotic and corrupt financial management system. Fartaag worked hard to promote transparency in spite of resistance from the highest levels of the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs). His efforts inspired positive change in public finance by colleagues and the international partners.
➢ Fartaag’s dedication to the Somali public financial system did not stop with his departure from the TFG. He continued to carry out investigative research in this area, his research served as a catalyst for closer internal and external scrutiny of government finances, ultimately leading to an authoritative and ground-breaking study commissioned by the World Bank, describing the depth and scope of the TFG’s financial dysfunction and the related challenges. Mr. Fartaag’s work also contributed significantly to the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (SEMG) understanding and investigations of misappropriation of TFG funds, as mandated by Security Council Resolution 2002 (2011). The World Bank and UN Monitoring Group findings, which were based on initial investigations by Fartaag, in part influenced the results of the post-transitional government elections in September 2012.
➢ Fartaag is currently researching the country’s setbacks in the humanitarian, security and development transformations, a study commissioned by the Somali diaspora. The hopes of which are a guide for governments to come, to assist them avoid the pitfalls that hindered the development of functioning financial and administrative institutions in Somalia.
Fartaag has dedicated his life to understanding Somalia, that is, how the government works, with whom, and understanding the perception of those who oppose the government (traditional leaders, entrepreneurs and the journalists). Over the years, he has gained valuable insight into the socio-cultural aspects of formal and informal governance systems in Africa and the running of private and public institutions. His life’s work, a comprehensive realization report entitled “African Governance Stagnancy”: How African public servants, traditional leaders, and entrepreneurial society’s mentality hinder the possibility of meaningful progress is almost complete after dedicating about sixteen years to this endeavor.