13th Congress of the Somali Studies International Association (SSIA)
Redsea Cultural Foundation will be hosting the 13th Congress of the Somali Studies International Association (SSIA) at Hargeysa Cultural Centre. The Association was established in 1978, with the first congress held in Mogadishu in 1980. Established to promote the generation and sharing of knowledge and understanding of Somalis, their history and their geographies, one of the pillars of the SSIA is to promote scholarly research in all disciplines within the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities.
The Association has played a central role in defining the field of modern Somali Studies and has organized 12 international and numerous regional and continental conferences. In 2007, Djibouti co-hosted the international event with Columbus, Ohio; the most recent of the international conferences to be (partially) held in the Horn of Africa. Of the twelve Congresses held since SSIA inception, three have taken place in the Horn. The SSIA Congresses are vital in connecting Somali scholars with international academic networks, and thus helps to bridge a clear feeling of disconnection between many Somali scholars and academia more broadly. This role in encouraging young Somali scholars, in particular, to be more active and to feel ownership of their scholarly contributions is a significant one, that is notably enhanced by holding the congresses periodically in the Somali region.