IGAD Sheikh Technical Veterinary
School and Reference Centre (ISTVS)
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Investing in women’s education – Patsy Wood Trust sponsorship to ISTVS


Seven young women benefit from the IGAD Sheikh Technical Veterinary School and Reference Centre (ISTVS) Students financial Assistance Programme to attend ISTVS in the Sahilian highlands of Somaliland. These financial assistance packages are offered to outstanding students from the IGAD member state countries who either have no other means of financing their studies, or show outstanding academic merit, in order to develop effective professionals in dry-land development and to prepare them for employment, primarily within the IGAD region. These seven scholarships are offered with the kind support of the Patsy Wood Trust.

Jan 19th – the ‘ISTVS Student Financial Assistance Programme’ committee (ISFAP), comprising representatives from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the Italian Cooperation, Terra Nuova and ISTVS, met to decide on the award of PWT scholarships to women applying to study at ISTVS. With an eye on either the BSc programme in Dryland Economics and Agro-ecosystem Management (DEAM) or the Diploma programmes on Livestock Health Science (DLH) or Livestock Product Development and Entrepreneurship (DLPDE), the women are part of the new generation breaking with the tradition of women laboring at home. These young women, backed by their progressive parents, seek to attend ISTVS in order to acquire skills that are rarely found in the drylands of the Horn of Africa.

Pursuing the DEAM degree programme, students acquire skills in cost-benefit analysis, research, planning and policy-making, after which they will be able to access jobs in both the private and public sectors, as well as in non-governmental organisations. Following the diploma programmes, students are trained in the disciplines of veterinary medicine with inputs from economics, epidemiology, statistics and animal production and breeding. The DHL programme specialises on live animals, with a focus on herd health, epidemiology and clinical medicine. The DLPDE programme’s focus is on animal products (meat and milk) with emphasis on products’ technology and inspection, as well as slaughterhouse hygiene and management.

Diploma graduates are employed as field district livestock officers, laboratory technicians, meat inspectors, administrators, project co-coordinators, field operations officers, meat inspectors, laboratory technicians and livelihood officers. Some are retained at ISTVS as part of their academic staff, starting off as tutorial assistants for other students.

To be awarded an ISTVS scholarship entails undergoing a rigorous process as applications are scrutinized to ensure that they are offered to either economically needy and/or academically bright students. All applications are prepared in written formats with supporting documentation. They are first screened by the ISTVS-SFAP  technical committee, that verifies the information presented through a house-to-house survey and a face-to-face interview, and presents recommendations to the IGAD-SFAP  Committee that takes the final decision.

The seven beneficiaries have already undertaken the ISTVS entrance examination and attended the two-month long Foundation Course, passing the final exam. They are now ready to embark on pursuing their further education after which they will be able to enter the local labour force, supporting their families through their gainful employment, while working for economic development within the Horn of Africa.

ISTVS wishes them the best on their academic journey.



Mohamed Aden Guun - ISTVS IT and Data Manager

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