Farole studying at New York, USA 1980

Early Life

Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Farole) was born in 1945 in the country side of Nugal Valley in northern Somalia (present-day Puntland State). His father was a religious scholar who served as a magistrate in the district court of Eyl. During his childhood years he grew up in the countryside where his parents lived and owned livestock. Eventually, his family settled in Garowe which was a small village at that time. Soon after the family moved to Eyl, the largest town of the Nugal region, where he was enrolled at an Italian-run primary school, during the U.N. Trusteeship of Somalia, administered by the Italian Government.

1950’s – 1960’s

In 1956, after completing primary school, Farole was sent to Mogadishu to continue his education where he lived in a boarding school. In Mogadishu he completed his intermediary and secondary schooling. Later in 1964 he received a U.N. scholarship to attend a post-secondary education in Lebanon at the International Statistical Institute in Beirut. After he completed his studies, he returned to Mogadishu and participated in a national examination for a position at the Somali National Bank (Central Bank) with 725 participants competing for ten open positions where he was hired as a Statistical Technician, Balance of Payment Department, within the Foreign Exchange Division, Central Banking Sector of the Somali National Bank.


In 1967, he was transferred to the Commercial Sector of the Somali National Bank to work in the regional branches as an accountant in the towns of Bossaso and Qardo (present-day Puntland State).


In 1971, he was transferred to Hargeisa (present-day Somaliland) to work as the head of the Accounting Department of  the Somali National Bank – Commercial Sector. In the same year, the Commercial Sector of the Somali National Bank formally became its own separate commercial bank, known as the Somali Savings and Credit Bank. Two years later, Farole was appointed as the Branch Manager of the Somali Savings and Credit Bank in Hargeisa.


In 1975, he was transferred to Berbera (present-day Somaliland) to become the manager of the amalgamated branches of the Somali Savings and Credit Bank and the Somali Commercial Bank (which was borne out of the governments nationalisation of the Italian and British-owned banks) and the new bank was renamed Somali Commercial and Savings Bank.


After the failed military coup of 1978, Farole found himself laid off from work with many other high-ranking officials, for political reasons, simply because of his clan affiliation with coup leaders. As a result he was forcefully transferred to the bank’s Mogadishu headquarters without any official position. During this period of idle work, he took advantage of his time and enrolled at the Somali National University, Faculty of Commerce and Economics, where he completed a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce.


In 1986, during a period of gross mismanagement of the bank, the former military dictatorship government recalled Farole to hold the position of Director-General of the Somali Commercial and Savings Bank.


After taking the office of Director-General, Farole encountered a prevailing mismanagement of the banking system and practices of corruption, mainly due to political interference from high ranking government officials of the regime.


Farole together with his former colleague from the Somali National Bank and now Vice President of the Somali Commercial and Savings Bank, Abdulahi Ahmed Afrah, introduced new measures to eliminate the mismanagement of the bank, but unfortunately these changes have created enmities against Farole and his colleague from those in the regime, who were benefiting from the previous malpractice. This compelled Farole and his colleague to bring their concerns to the the president, Siad Barre, who at the beginning supported their reforms but later gave way to the pressures of his close aides. Soon after Farole and his colleague Afrah, found themselves removed from their positions.


In 1988, Farole started his Master’s degree program of Management, majoring in Finance (MBA). The program was known as SOMTAD (sponsored by USAID) and was conducted by the State University of New York (SUNY-Albany). He successfully completed his Master’s degree, graduating in Dec. 1990 in Albany, New York.


As a political victim of the military dictatorship, Farole later returned to Mogadishu on 25 Dec. 1990, assuming that any change would be favourable to the people of Somalia as a whole. But unfortunately, as the rampage of Mogadishu erupts and the mass exodus began within weeks of the Gen. Barre regime’s collapsed, Farole found himself fleeing for his safety.


In July 1991, while living outside Somalia, Farole was invited by his constituency to the Republic of Djibouti among a few delegates to attend the first Peace Conference in order to cease the bloodshed in Somalia. The first interim government was formed and he was appointed as a Cabinet minister. He later returned to Mogadishu but soon found himself fleeing again within four months to northern Somalia (present-day Puntland State).


After a multinational peacekeeping forces arrived in Somalia in I992 (“Operation Restore Hope”), Farole was selected by his constituency in Nugal administrative region (in Puntland State) to become the Chairman of the Regional Council (Governor) under the auspices of the United Nations. He attended the U.N.-sponsored Humanitarian Conference for Somalia, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1993.


After the failure of “Operation Restore Hope,” he immigrated to Australia a year later and has lived there on-and-off since, with his family.


After eight years of failed attempts to restore Somali national government, Farole was once again recalled by his constituency in northern Somalia to attend a Regional Consultation Conference that opened in Garowe in Feb. 1998, where he was a member of the Chairing Panel. The Conference delegates decided to form the State of Puntland within a future federal structure for Somalia as the only viable option for lasting peace, he later then returned to Melbourne, Australia.

2000 – 2004

In 2000, Farole was requested to return from Australia as a civil society member to attend the Somali National Peace Conference held in Arta, Djibouti, where the second interim government was formed. Then, in 2002, he was invited by the international community to mediate a political standoff in Puntland State.


Later that year, he was appointed as the Minister of Finance for Puntland State and held the post until mid-2004. During that time, he reorganised and put in place the financial management system at the Finance Ministry.


During the 2005 Puntland State election, Farole competed as a presidential candidate where he was the third runner-up and becomes the balance of power to help lead to the victory of Mohamud Muse Hersi (Adde) as the second elected president of Puntland State. That year, Farole became the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation where he formulated the Puntland Five-Year Development Plan.


Soon after Farole left office after opposing a controversial oil deal signed between the former Puntland President and an unknown company registered in Maldives Island.


After returning to Australia, Farole continued his studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne, completing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Soon after, he became a Ph.D. candidate on the subject “Development of Somali Financial Institutions in Historical Perspective.”


In 2009, Farole ran for president of Puntland State.


After three years in Melbourne, his supporters invited him to run for president and compete against his opponent, the incumbent President Hersi.


On Jan. 8, 2009, after a peaceful and transparent election process, Farole wins 74% of the votes of the 66-seat Puntland State Parliament and becomes the State’s third elected president.