Dr Ahmed Gurnah

10 02 2010

Summary Curriculum Vitae
1. Personal Details

Name: Ahmed Salim Gurnah
Permanent Address: 46 Bower Road, Sheffield, S10 1ER, UK
Tel + 44 114 2662728

Present Address: Zanzibar Indian Ocean Research Institute
P.O.Box 4204, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Tel + 255 24 223 1708 Mob. +255 (0)776 119463

Born: Zanzibar, Tanzania on 31 July 1947
e-mail: gurnah@hotmail.com
Nationality: British

2. Academic Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Leeds, United Kingdom 1977 – 1980
BA (Hons) Politics and Government, Kent University, United Kingdom 1974-1977

3. Languages Spoken

Fluent in writing and speaking English
Fluent in writing and speaking Swahili
Can read and speak and write Arabic to a reasonable level.
Understand and speak a little Portuguese.

4. Professional Experience and Specialisation

a) Civil Service

1969–1974: Junior civil servant before Kent University to do Politics & Government.

b) Academic

1977 – 1981: Taught sociology part time at Leeds University, Leeds Metropolitan University, Ilkley College of HE and adult education at the Swathmore Centre.

1981 – 1987: Accepted a permanent position as senior lecturer in Sociology at Sheffield Hallam University to teach sociology, social theory, social policy and education.
Taught on: BA History, BA Sociology, MA Sociology, BA Politics, and various diplomas, including Diploma in Professional Educational Studies

1990–95 External Examiner on Youth & Community degree at Leeds Metropolitan University.

c) Senior Education Administrator 1987 – 1998

In 1987 I took up a post as an Assistant Education Officer and section head in Sheffield Local Education Authority (LEA). In this post I managed up to 250 staff: 5 headteachers, two deputy heads and 50 college lecturers 170 primary and secondary teachers, 5 translators and a librarian.

I took early retirement from the LEA in 1998 as a second tier officer.

In this post I took the lead in a number of areas within the city of Sheffield. As well as managing the above, from 1987-1998 I was:

• Responsible for the development of racial equality in education within Sheffield LEA
• The Sheffield Community Literacy Campaign, where young people across Sheffield provided literacy education for their parents and relatives. It ran for 10 years with a hundred young people per year
• Architect and lead on the Multilingual City, to develop all the young people in the city into bilinguals or trilinguals
• Establish policy, offer provision in the teaching of English as a Second Language in all 230 primary, 25 secondary schools and 6 colleges in Sheffield
• Preserve & Develop Community Languages amongst children and adults in the city
• Represented on Sheffield on European cities network and attended several meetings and conferences per year for five years between 1993 and 1998
• Cultural lead in education: organising classical concerts, operas in schools, funding for schools etc. 1996-1998
• Seconded to the Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council to lead on and develop a Community Partnership Framework for the city 1997/8
• Capacity Building in the major ethnic minority centres and develop an umbrella organisation between 1987-1992
• Environmental Stewardship: With Housing and Works Departments of the Council and David Blunkett MP (then Secretary of State for Education) to create jobs for young people in their communities.
Outside Sheffield

• Represented Sheffield on the intercity European Union education fora 1990-1998
• Advisor for NIACE (National Institute for Continuing Education) 1989-1996
• Served on the national Adult Ed Working Group

d) Community Development and Regeneration 1999 – Until August 2008

Worked for Voluntary & Community organizations, especially for Somali Women’s group in Sheffield to develop education and employment strategies and infrastructures from 1999 – 2004.

2004 until August 2008, I managed a team of 25 outreach staff to raise educational standards and uptake in the poorest part of Sheffield as a contribution to its regeneration.

e) Chair to the Sheffield’s Black Community Alliance 2006 – present
f) Joint Chair of the Burngreave Academy where we offer seminars to residents and activists 2005 – present
g) Zanzibar Indian Ocean Research Institute (ZIORI): I have been appointed as Deputy Executive Director of ZIORI situated in Zanzibar to:
 develop and promote independent research in the Indian Ocean Area
 help develop research capacity of local scholars in the Indian Ocean
 implement independent academic programmes
 develop and lead on academic programmes in the area
 publicise and deseminate published works

In this work I would be expected to make links with universities and research institutions across the Indian Ocean and work cooreatively with them to promote knowledge and historical, and cultural connections between them.
See http://www.ziori.org for futher details

h) From June 2010 to date: Deputy Executive Director,

Zanzibar Institute for Research and Public Policy (ZIRPP), Zanzibar, TANZANIA
5. Consultancies

I undertake educational management reviews and developments, etc. including:
• A piece of Action research for Worker’s Educational Association (WEA) in Sheffield to develop provision for and participation of ethnic communities in the WEA – 2004
• Community Development application for Wakefield Asian Community 2003-2004
• Three Year Community Development Plan: a major consultancy to for the Wakefield Pakistani Community to gain access to education, health, social services 2003-2004
• Two major pieces of research on young people and unemployed Somali women with a sociologist from the University to carry it out. 2001/2002
• Carry out a comprehensive Review of the Sheffield Black Community Forum, its Affiliate views and its six companies Sept.-December 2000
• Carry out a review for the Sheffield Lifelong Learning Partnership of one of its Basic Skills Pilot September 2000
• Create a Regional Infrastructure for Ethnic Minorities in Yorkshire and Humberside to work with the Home Office and European Union July 2000—July 2001
• Evaluation of School links between Tanzania and Britain commissioned by the British Council, London October 1999
• Sheffield College Rationalisation Fund-seeking to merge some college and WEA adult provision March 1999-June 2000
• Review of a Community Group’s educational, management, and organisational arrangements Jan 1999 – March 1999
• Write a Recruitment Manual for the National Governors’ Council Oct 1998 – Jan 1999

6. Summary of Publications and Research

I have written and published a book and edited several collections and contributed to books and professional journals in education, social policy and practice and social inequalities. See examples below.

Book: The Uncertain Science, (with Alan Scott) Routledge, 1992


Literacy for a Change, Guest editor of a special issue of Adults Learning, vol 8, no3, April 1992, on a project I designed and executed in Sheffield with a national profile.
Return to Progress, Guest editor of a special collection asking questions about the new government legislation for schools and colleges Adults Learning, Vol 6, no 4, 1994
Sheffield, The Multilingual City, Guest editor of a collection in the journal Language Issues, vol 8, no1, 1996, on a project I designed and executed and had a national profile.


“The Politics of Racism Awareness Training”, Critical Social Policy 11, winter 1984.
“Whither Paradigm,” review article, The Review of African Political Economy, 32, 1985
“Access: Conferring a right or rewriting the restrictions?” NATFHE Journal, 1986
“Gatekeepers and Caretakers: Swann, Scarman, and the social policy of containment”, in
Racial Inequality in Education, edited Barry Troyna, Methuen, 1987.
“After Bilingual Support?” in Education for Equality, edited M. Cole, Routledge, 1989
“Translating Race Equality Policy into Practice,” Critical Social Policy, 1989/90
“Language for Autonomy,” Social Work & Social Welfare, ed Pam Carter et al OU 1990
“Professional foul or own goal?” Multicultural Teaching, 9, June 1991
“On the Specificity of Racism”, Voicing Concerns, Ed Arnot and Barton 1992, Triangle
“Communication for Accountability”, Adults Learning, Volume 4 number 7, March 1993
“Illusion and Reality”, Education, Sept 1993
“Literacy in a Wider Context.” Distance Learning Module for Sheffield University Literacy and Culture Unit. 1994
“Elvis in Zanzibar,” in the Limits to Globalisation, edited by Alan Scott, Routledge, 1997. A long social theory essay arguing for unencumbered cultural exchange.
“A New Funding Framework for Adult Education,” – RaPAL Autumn 1997
“Partnership in Achievement,” Multicultural Teaching, 1998 on the new govt legislation.
“Languages and Literacies for Autonomy” Multilingial Literacies 2000 ed M. Martin-Jones and K Jones / John Benjamins
“Identity Through Cultural Haze,” paper to the ZIORI Conference 2008, Dialogue between Civilizations.
Best of Language issues(May 2009) Ed R Bhahot &Eva Illes, LUU & South Bank University.
“Earl Marshal School: towards an inclusive education,” Race and Class, Vol 51, Oct-Dec 2009.

7. Work Publications and Presentations

As a local authority officer I wrote and commissioned hundreds of newsletters and booklets and wrote hundreds of committee reports for politicians. I also attended and present many papers to official and informal gatherings.

8. Financial Management

As well as managing staff, in the last 21 years I have managed large budgets of up to £5 million per year and particip[ated in LEA and city-wide budget setting processes.

9. Courses attended

As a senior officer of the LEA, I attended tens of inservice courses on management, financial management, service management, partnership with the community and so on.

10. Papers Presented

Over the years I have presented numerous academic and policy papers at universities, public and official events.

10. Work in Progress: Novels: I have completed five novels and am in the process of seeking publishers. Honour: Working on a substantial essay on the notion of honour in the modern context. Biography: Working on a biography of Chris Searle, a leading radical educational thinker, practitioner and writer in Britain and America.


1. Professor David McLellan, (of Political Theory) 13 Ivy Lane, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 1TV

2. Martin Yarnit, of Martin Yarnit Associates (Educational Consultants):Gardner’s Cottage, 15 Whitbourne Hall, Whitbourne, Worceter, WR6 5SE

3. Martin Shepard, Retired Director of Education, of a London Borough: Old Chapel, Horsehouse,, Lyburn, DL8 4TS

asg /ahmed/22/11/09




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