About Somali-Speaking Centre of International PEN

Our Mission

Somali-speaking Centre of International P.E.N. was founded in London in early 1997 and  was recognized as part of PEN International at the 64th  International Congress of PEN  held in Edinburgh in August 1997.

The centre has branches in the major Somali cities of Mogadisho, Hargeysa and Bosaso while the main office has recently been moved from London to Djibouti. London still remains the location of the international office as well as the Diaspora network focal point. The centre has also branches in Sweden, Canada and USA. 


The Centre is established for charitable purpose and shall in no circumstances engage in state or part political activities. Based on the principles laid down in the P.E.N. Charter, the objectives of the Somali-speaking Writers PEN Centre are to network the scattered members of the Somali creative community and to encourage and promote their writing so that this creative output spearheads the educational and cultural reconstruction of the war-torn Somali society and contributes to the enhancement of world literature and better understanding between nations world-wide. 

The Centre shall pursue its stated objects through the following means:

(a)         Organising conferences, festivals, literary readings, workshops  and other meetings whereby writers and artists express themselves and exchange ideas to draw strength from one another’s skills, experience and talents;

(b)        Catering for the publication and dissemination of works of Somali literature by members and other writers currently dejected and frustrated by their  lack of publishing opportunities, with especial attention to works promoting the values of a culture of peace and understanding;

(c)         Fostering the preservation and development of Somali language, literature and culture through all possible means, including research, translation and documentation;

(d)        Supporting writers and artists, especially the young, in improving their professional skills and protecting their moral and material rights;

(e)         Appreciating the work of writers world-wide and facilitating

Somali-Speaking Centre of International PEN