Somalia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Khadija Mohamed Al-Makhzoum, received a prestigious award from the Africa Sustainability Outliers Awards (ASO) for her transformative environmental initiatives. The award was presented during a ceremonious event held at the African Union Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Thursday.

As the only woman among three other outstanding competitors, Hon. Khadija has been recognized for her remarkable contributions to sustainability and environmental resilience in transforming Somalia’s environmental policies and expediting the nation’s sustainability development goals.

The ASO Awards have acknowledged her unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability and the transformative changes she has brought to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

As the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Khadija initiated and executed ground-breaking policies, strategies, laws, and regulations that have led to huge advancements in disaster risk reduction, emergency response, and community resilience.

“I’m honored to receive the Africa Sustainability Outliers Award 2023! Grateful for the recognition of our efforts at @MoECC_Somalia towards a greener and sustainable #Somalia. This achievement belongs to all dedicated individuals working towards a resilient and eco-friendly Somalia. Thank you! #ASOAwards2023“, She said on X

Under her leadership, Somalia launched the Great Green Wall initiative as part of the Somalia Green Initiative, a comprehensive project aimed at combatting climate change and environmental degradation.

The Great Green Wall initiative is a important effort to combat desertification, land degradation, and drought in the Sahel region of Africa by planting trees, restoring land, and promoting sustainable land management practices.

These great achievements are making a substantial contribution to the advancement of Africa’s sustainable development goals, and economic prosperity in line with ASO Award’s vision.

Minister Khadija Almakhzoumi’s transformative work in Somalia’s Ministry of Environment, as well as her innovative approach to environmental sustainability, have not gone unnoticed. She becomes the first Somali leader to receive the ASO awards, serving as an inspiration to others within Somalia and beyond.

Hon. Khadija presented the National Meteorological Agency Bill to the Cabinet ministers, which was subsequently passed during their weekly ministerial session two weeks ago.

She emphasized the bill’s importance in enabling timely precautionary measures, particularly during the eagerly awaited rainy season. This legislation aims to safeguard the well-being of citizens and promote sustainable environmental benefits.

Hon. Khadija reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to working with and overseeing the operations of this agency to ensure effective and efficient meteorological services.

“The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change will diligently nurture and supervise this endeavor, ensuring the establishment of an autonomous and resilient agency,” she added.

Before her role as Minister, Hon. Khadija previously served as Somalia’s Ambassador to Pakistan and Iraq, as well as a political advisor to the Arab League.

She held senior advisory positions within the Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked as a counsellor at the Somali embassy in Malaysia. Her wealth of experience and expertise have greatly informed her current role.

The Africa Sustainability Outliers Awards (ASO) is an organization dedicated to celebrating and recognizing outstanding individuals and institutions that serve as beacons of sustainability across Africa.

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