Abdullahi Yussuf

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Abdullahi Yussuf
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Alma materMakindu High School

Abdullahi Yussuf (Cabdullaahi Yuusuf, Arabic: عبدالله يوسف) is a Kenyan political consultant and journalist with over 10 years of expertise working internationally.

He was a BBC Monitoring journalist between 2011 and 2017 mainly based in Nairobi[1], where he covered East African politics and security as a monitoring journalist and media researcher.

He also worked[2] in New Delhi in 2014, covering East Asia and briefly worked at BBC International headquarters in London.

His work has appeared on the BBC, The Standard[3][4], 7D News, The Star and Daily Nation.

He has also worked with Kenya's Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) as a trainer of trainers and the Kenya National Human Rights Commission as an observer of the 2010 Kenya referendum.

Early life

Yussuf was born and grew up in Wajir. He is the second born in a family of five children.

As a young boy, Yussuf enjoyed playing football and watching world news on TV.

He went to Makindu High School in Makueni and Khorof-harar High School.

Yussuf speaks Somali, English and Swahili language|Swahili.


Yussuf holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Nairobi.

Most of his time on campus was spent volunteering at Nairobi-based Somali-language radio station Star FM between 2008 through to 2010.


In 2005, while still in high school, Yussuf wrote an article on the adverse effects of tribalism on politics and submitted it to Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper and was published[5].

Yussuf has freelanced for the BBC Somali service as an interpreter in African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) meetings.

He joined BBC Monitoring[6] in 2011 as a political and security analyst covering the Horn of Africa.

Besides his work in East Africa, Yussuf has worked briefly from Broadcasting House in London as an analyst for BBC Somali.

In 2014, he served the BBC in India monitoring East Asia and ASEAN nations from Delhi.

He specialised in identifying political influencers and analysing trends.

He quit the BBC in 2017 to launch his own political consultancy, inspired by David Axelrod, the chief strategist for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

In 2020, he became a contributor for Quartz, writing about politics and business[7].

He currently consults for international organisations and multilateral corporations on politics and security.

Personal life

Yussuf is married and has two sons. He lives in Nairobi and maintains close contact with his family in Wajir and regularly attends Somali-run events and gatherings across East Africa.


  1. "Young Wajir boy who quit lucrative BBC job to start a business". Bizna Kenya. 2018-05-21. Retrieved 2021-11-11.
  2. "Abdullahi Yussuf". Quartz. Retrieved 2021-11-11.
  3. "Kenyan youth seek jobs in Somalia". The Standard. Retrieved 2021-11-11.
  4. Yussuf, Abdullahi. "Nairobi politics is about the rich and the poor; period!". The Standard. Retrieved 2021-11-11.
  5. "Young Wajir boy who quit lucrative BBC job to start a business". Bizna Kenya. 2018-05-21. Retrieved 2021-11-11.
  6. "Donkeys ordered to wear nappies in Kenya's Wajir town". BBC News. 2016-05-27. Retrieved 2021-11-11.
  7. Yussuf, Abdullahi. "Somalia will lose $500 million this year as its livestock misses out on Hajj to Saudi Arabia". Quartz. Retrieved 2021-11-11.

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