Spotlight Speakers: Mohamed Abdullahi

Business for Peace Foundation
3 min readMay 27, 2021

The Spotlight Series brings together skilled, talented and determined actors from all industries to inspire and activate change.” — Mohamed Abdullahi

Mohamed Abdullahi is speaking on The Hidden Workforce panel, 27 May from 13:00–14:00 CEST.

This panel is part of our online Spotlight Series focused on UN SDG #8: Decent Work and Economic Opportunity.

Visit our Spotlight Series website to view the full programme.

About The Speaker

Mohamed Abdullahi is a former refugee from Dadaab, Kenya. He and his family fled Mogadishu to Dadaab when he was fifteen years old.

In Dadaab, he had the opportunity to get excellent education and many other privileges that he did not have before, and he seized them. In high school, his favorite subject was Computer Science; he always wondered how the computers work and he passed with credentials. This helped him get the opportunity to teach Computer Science to his community for two years in Waberi High School.

Mohamed wanted to continue with the Computer Science studies, but he could not afford the tuition fees. Even though he wanted to work, he could not get a normal job or live in the big cities because of his refugee status, which limited his right to get a job. Therefore, Mohamed turned to the only thing he could: work online. In late 2019, he decided to return to Somalia to start an ecommerce business where he runs it to this day. He is also a top-rated freelancer at Upwork.

Read more about Mohamed’s take on SDG #8 and more below!

Interview Highlights

1. What excites you most about participating in our Spotlight Series?

Talking about the my past experience of search for work and my journey as a refugee is exciting as it is a great platform to spread knowledge. I am also excited to share that with the world help others understand what it feels like.

2. What motivates you to help tackle SDG #8 on Decent Work and Inclusive Economic Growth?

Helping offer solution to the magnitude of problems that the hidden workforce faces in quest to find better jobs.

3. How does your work contribute to achieving SDG #8?

I believe that its a significant contribution to SDG #8 as it shows independence, highlights real problems that we faced, how it’s important to come over these challenges and why it’s important to give chance the hidden workforce.

4. In your opinion, what is the greatest challenge in the attainment of SDG #8?

Work permits, government policies and travel restrictions.

5. Why is it important to spread awareness around SDG #8?

There is a lot at stake. The hidden workforce are skilled, talented and they can offer as much as other people. This must be recognised.

6. How can others take part and get involved in creating meaningful change?

They can advocate for the voiceless, actively take part in the campaigns like this one, and most importantly, help change the policies that are in place now.

7. What are the top three issues you would like to see highlighted in post-COVID recovery?

Travel allowance

Introduction of work permits

Introducing work forces to alternative markets

A Nobel-winning economist, the UN & global CEOs? Join us 26–28 May!



Business for Peace Foundation

Business has to be about the greater good and not only about maximising shareholder profits. We’re here to encourage and inspire #businessworthy behaviour.