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Two Things Stand Out In APU Orientation Week

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Finally, for the next two years, I’ll live in a place where I used to see/watch it only on YouTube, the beautiful and green campus of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU). We’re already in the middle of the orientation week for the new students (including me and six of my friends from Africa).

I was surprised with two things in the first day of the Orientation Week. The first came when they invited “real” policemen to the stage to brief us about Japan’s traffic rules, drugs, crimes, and drinking. Policemen, with their powerpoint presentation, is something I’m experiencing for the first time.

The second thing that got my attention was the AP House Disaster Drill. Japan is an earthquake-prone country, so everyone should get prepared for it. So the best way to get prepared is to get involved with the drill. Resident Assistants (RAs) would take us from our floors like if a real earthquake struck. Then, we’re evacuated to a nearby evacuation center. Later, we’re shown how to use the Fire Extinguisher. In sum, we’re now ready for an earthquake.

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We’re here for only a week, but now we truly understand why APU keeps on repeating that they offer an international environment for the students. That claim is real and I can prove it. With less than a week, I have friends from USA, Switzerland, China, Germany, Samoa, and Japan. This is in addition to my friends from Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Burkino Faso. This friendship was unimaginable two weeks ago. This university is really one-of-its-kind.

I’m impressed so far, and I hope this will only increase during my stay in APU for the next two years. Thank you, everyone, who’s part of APU’s history.

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First Two Weeks in Japan: ABE Initiative Orientation

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I arrived in Japan on August 26, 2016, as a participant of the African Business Education Initiative for Youth (ABE Initiative). ABE Initiative offers opportunities for young and eligible African men and women to study at Master’s courses in Japanese universities as international students and to experience internships at Japanese enterprises in order to develop effective skills and knowledge in various fields for contributing the development of industries in Africa. At the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), it is recognized that there is a need for human resource development in both private and public sectors of Africa in order to cultivate a strong human network between Japan and Africa. Continue reading

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FURSAD FUND – Is Politicophabia Hindering the Potential Development of Somalia?

In my country, according to UN reports, 67%% of our youth are unemployed – but I’m luckier enough to be one of the few who are employed. Yet, unemployment is only one of many global economic indicators that Somalia is leading from the bottom. Sorry, my country!

For the last 2 decades, our country heavily depended on foreign aid. But fast forward 25 years, we are starting to dream and we want to become the champions of our own dreams. We are seeing a future of “Somalis helping Somalis”. That’s the promise of Fursad Fund. Continue reading

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FROM PASSION TO CAREER: WEB 2.0 & SOCIAL MEDIA

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FROM A TRAINEE TO A TRAINER OF WEB 2.0 & SOCIAL MEDIA

This narrative article reflects on a personal milestone. Why? Because I’m chosen to become the lead trainer of a web 2.0 & social media workshop facilitated by Somalis for the first time. And it’s worth mentioning that I was one of the beneficiaries of this same training when it first came in Somalia in 2014, but at that time, Training Center in Communication (TCC) from Nairobi, Kenya was assisting its delivery. Fast forward 2 years, we have now developed the capacity to train our people: Somalis educating other Somalis, at least technologically. Continue reading

Top 15 Somali Universities on Facebook

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Introduction

Your customers are online. In other words, students – both current and potential ones – are available on social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, etc. So is your organization available on these sites? If not, you are missing one of today’s best proven ways to engage and serve your current students, and also to attract potential students. Plus, this is FREE. In this article, we analyze how the top 15 Somali universities with the highest number of fans on Facebook utilize the social media network. To do so, we refer to the official websites of the universities to find the addresses of their official Facebook pages.

  1. Number of Fans

In social media terms, fans mean the total number of people who like, follow or subscribe to an official social media account. Since we are examining only Facebook pages, we count the total number of fans who LIKE a Somali university’s official Facebook page.

Overall, the presence of Somali universities on Facebook is low (Salim, 2014). Therefore, the top 15 most liked Somali universities on Facebook are (as of October 22, 2015):

Rank University Page Fans
1 University of Somalia 22,254
2 Gollis University 17,606
3 SIMAD UNIVERSITY 17,121
4 Edna Adan University 15,131
5 Indian Ocean University 12,428
6 Mogadishu University 10,838
7 Marodijeh International University 9,535
8 University of Hargeisa 9,480
9 East Africa University 8,524
10 ADMAS University 8,314
11 Amoud University 6,736
12 Somali International University 6,549
13 University of Burao 5,615
14 Plasma University 4,265
15 Jamhuriya University 3,880
  1. Frequency of Posts

Frequency of posts means the number of times a university posts a status update on its Facebook page. This is an important indicator of how regularly universities share news or announcements with their students, parents, and the general community.

Therefore, to simplify our analysis, we measure the total number of days it takes Somali universities to make 10 posts. These include photos, videos or regular updates.

Here’re our findings:

Rank University Page 10 Posts Date Range
1 SIMAD UNIVERSITY 5 days October 20 – October 15, 2015
2 University of Somalia 11 days October 22 – October 11, 2015
3 Marodijeh International University 15 days October 22 – October 7, 2015
4 University of Hargeisa 25 days September 3 – August 9, 2015
5 Amoud University 26 days October 20 – September 24, 2015
6 ADMAS University 27 days October 20 – September 23, 2015
7 Gollis University 37 days October 17 – September 10, 2015
8 Somali International University 43 days October 13 – August 31, 2015
9 Jamhuriya University 45 days October 20 – September 5, 2015
10 Mogadishu University 47 days October 19 – September 2, 2015
11 East Africa University 51 days October 14 – August 24, 2015
12 University of Burao 62 days October 20 – August 19, 2015
13 Indian Ocean University 73 days October 17 – August 5, 2015
14 Plasma University 87 days September 30 – July 5, 2015
15 Edna Adan University 107 days October 12 – June 27, 2015
  1. Engagement

Do people find interesting what you post on Facebook? That is what engagement means in social media. It is the sum of the likes, comments, and shares a post receives from the fans. For example, if a university makes a post and it receives 50 likes, 20 comments, and 10 shares, that means the post has generated an engagement of 80.

Therefore, we analyze the performance of the last 10 posts of each of the top 15 Somali universities on Facebook. Here’s the result:

Rank University Page Engagement/10 Posts
1 SIMAD UNIVERSITY 3,469
2 Edna Adan University 3,425
3 Gollis University 1,982
4 Indian Ocean University 1,509
5 University of Hargeisa 1,054
6 Jamhuriya University 806
7 Mogadishu University 764
8 University of Somalia 561
9 University of Burao 527
10 ADMAS University 522
11 Plasma University 502
12 Somali International University 399
13 Marodijeh International University 120
14 Amoud University 61
15 East Africa University 43

Conclusion

There is a value in taking advantage of social media. Even higher education institutions can integrate these social networking sites into their overall digital marketing strategy.

But accumulating only huge number of LIKES on Facebook is not enough. The game is more challenging than receiving only LIKES. Maybe some people use the number of fans as a measurement of how a university utilizes social media but that is misleading. Fully taking advantage of social networking sites involves more than just the number of fans. It involves how people engage with your posts. Also, it involves regularly posting on the social site to show your commitment.