Ahmed Mohamed Musa

Senior Researcher

Ahmed Mohamed Musa
Email: ahmmus@prio.org
Mobile phone: +252634416559
Twitter: @ahmedmmusa3

Research Interests

  • Humanitarian aid in complex crises
  • Informal institutions
  • Governance of economic hubs and corridors
  • Political economy 


​​Ahmed M. Musa is a senior researcher taking part in PRIO's Aid Accountability Project. He is also completing postdoctoral research on diaspora humanitarianism in complex crises funded by the consultative research committee for development research (FFU), Denmark. For his postdoctoral position, Ahmed is hosted by RAKO research and communication centre in Hargeisa. RAKO also hosts Ahmed during his PRIO fieldwork. Between 2013 and 2016, Ahmed was the Somali Observatory of Conflict and Violence Prevention (OCVP)'s head of the Research and Data Analysis Department. Ahmed also researches the informal institutions in economic governance and economic hubs (markets, hubs and corridors). Ahmed has a wide range of publications, including journal articles, book chapters and blog posts. His recent publications include 'Revenues on the hoof: livestock trade, taxation and state-making in the Somali territories. Journal of Eastern African Studies 13(3):1-20. Ahmed is also a research fellow at the LSE's Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) and the Somali Public Agenda (SPA), and a frequent Rift Valley Institute (RVI) collaborator.  


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1.     Raphael Schwere and Ahmed M. Musa (2020). Pack camels in photos. A transforming practice in Somaliland retraced in postcards and Instagram posts. Carnets de Terrain: Hypothèses. https://blogterrain.hypotheses.org/16276
2.     Ahmed M. Musa, Finn Stepputat and Tobias Hagmann (2020). 'Revenues on the hoof: livestock trade, taxation and state-making in the Somali territories'. Journal of Eastern African Studies 13(3):1-20.
3.     Ahmed M. Musa (2020) 'Analysis of Institutional Dynamics and Their Influence on Livestock Export Trade in the Berbera Corridor of Somaliland'. PhD thesis, University of Nairobi, http://erepository.uonbi.ac.ke/handle/11295/152960
4.     Logan Cochrane and Ahmed M. Musa (2020). "The Informal Institutions of Somaliland: History, Role and Future'. Nokoko journal, Institute of African Studies, Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada), http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7321-8295
5.     Ahmed M. Musa (2020). 'The Berbera Corridor Development and Somaliland's Political economy', Book chapter. Book 'Land, Investment and Politics: Reconfiguring Eastern African's Pastoral Drylands'. James Currey African Issues Series. Edited by Jeremy Lind, Doris Okenwa and Ian Scoones
6.     Ahmed M. Musa, Oliver Vivan Wasonga and Nadhem Mtimet (2020). "Factors influencing livestock export in Somaliland's terminal markets", JournalPastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice 10 (1): 1-13.
7.     Ahmed M. Musa (2019). "From trust to Oligopoly: Institutional Change in Livestock Trade in Somaliland after 1991", DIIS. Working Paper. Copenhagen: Danish Institute for International Studies.
8.     Ahmed M. Musa and Cindy Horst (2019). "State-formation and economic development in post-war Somaliland: the impact of the private sector in an unrecognized state", conflict, security and development 19(1):35-53.
9.     Ahmed M. Musa and Raphael Schwere (2018). "The hidden tactile negotiation sign language in Somaliland's livestock markets", Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali studies 18(1):50-70.
10.  Ahmed M. Musa (2017), review of World Bank report 'Somaliland's Private Sector at a Crossroads' http://govsea.tumblr.com/
      I.         Policy Briefs

11.  Mahad Wasuge, Ahmed M. Musa and Tobias Hagmann (2021), Somali Public Agenda (SPI) policy brief, 'Who owns data in Somalia? Ending the country's privatised knowledge economy', https://somalipublicagenda.org/who-owns-data-in-somalia/

12.  Mohamed A. Hassan et al. (2021), DIIS policy brief, 'Recognizing Diaspora Humanitarianism: What we know and what we need to know more about, https://www.diis.dk/en/research/recognising-diaspora-humanitarianism

13.  Ahmed M. Musa and Cindy Horst (2017), PRIO Policy Brief, 'The Role of Business in Maintaining Peace in Somaliland' https://www.prio.org/Publications/Publication/?x=10650

     II.         Blogs/commentaries

14.  Covid-19 has transformed Somaliland's remittance lifeline, OpenDemocracy, 19th April 2021 https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/covid-19-has-transformed-somalilands-remittance-lifeline/

15.  Tech and Trust Challenges: Emerging Trends in Somaliland Diaspora Response to Covid-19, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), 21st September 2020 https://www.diis.dk/en/research/tech-and-trust-challenges-emerging-trends-in-somaliland-diaspora-response-to-covid-19

16.  Puntland and Covid-19: Local Responses and Economic Impact, London School of Economics (LSE), 5th May 2020


17.  Somaliland and Covid-19: Emerging Issues and Economic Impact, London School of Economics (LSE), 23rd April 2020


18.  Covid-19: A looming humanitarian disaster for Somali East Africa, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), 1st April 2020,


19.  Fodder Trade in Livestock Markets of Somaliland, Governing Economic Hubs and Flows Somali East Africa (GOVSEA), August 2019,


   III.         Grey Literature

20.  More than 20 District Conflict and Security Assessment Reports, across Somalia/Somaliland (2013-2016) http://www.ocvp.org/ocvp5/index.php/publications/dcsa

Recent Publications

Musa, Ahmed Mohamed; Hassan Aden & Cindy Horst (2023) Leveraging Local Elections to Advance Somalia’s Transition to a Multiparty Democratic System, PRIO Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: PRIO.

All Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Musa, Ahmed M. & Cindy Horst (2019) State formation and economic development in post-war Somaliland: the impact of the private sector in an unrecognised state, Conflict, Security and Development 19(1): 35–53.

PRIO Policy Brief

Musa, Ahmed Mohamed; Hassan Aden & Cindy Horst (2023) Leveraging Local Elections to Advance Somalia’s Transition to a Multiparty Democratic System, PRIO Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: PRIO.
Musa, Ahmed M. & Cindy Horst (2017) The Role of Business in Maintaining Peace in Somaliland, PRIO Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: PRIO.

Blog Posts

What Can Somalia’s Federal Member States Learn from Somaliland as They Transition to Multiparty Elections?

Posted by Hassan Aden, Asha Adam, Ahmed Musa & Cindy Horst on Wednesday, 28 December 2022

Democratisation in the territories of the former ‘Somali Republic’ is influenced by the experience with the 1960s elections. After independence, the Somali republic adopted a parliamentary democracy. However, this democracy was short lived as elections became fraught with malpractices such as rigging, fraud, intimidation, and manipulation. … many Somalis welcomed ... Read more »

Why has the Puntland state of Somalia been unable to conduct a ‘one person one vote’ election for over 24 years?

Posted by Ahmed Musa, Hassan Aden, Asha Adam & Cindy Horst on Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Somalia has not held multiparty elections since late 1969 when the military seized power from a democratically elected government in a bloodless coup.[1]  The military remained in control until 1991, followed by thirty years of civil war and political instability. After the collapse of the central government, major clans, notably ... Read more »