The recent article Guardian ranked Mogadishu is the world’s fastest growing cityThe recent article at the Guardian ranked Mogadishu is the world’s second fastest growing city in 2015, with population of 2.1 million growing at 6.9% according to a US consulting firms Demographia , this may have surprised many!. Especially when it beats Xiamen in China.
But those who know Mogadishu – the seaside cosmopolitan capital of Somalia and its position will not be surprised this economic growth. In fact, many will be more amazed as the security and governance are consolidated in the months and years to come.
What is driving this incredible economic growth at the Somali capital? The answer is that of improved security, return of incredibly wealthy and experienced diaspora, local universities grandaunts, real estate, and infrastructure building.
The security: There is no doubt that the security of Mogadishu have significantly improved from daily bombings to just an opportunistic bombings of hotels here and there.
This shows the security has vastly improved and this gives the residents, diaspora and overseas investors the impetus to invest in new businesses and trade.
Return of wealthy Diaspora: Wealthy and educated Somalis have returned in droves to Mogadishu and this created an economic vitality that cannot be seen anywhere else in Africa.
The Somalis business community that migrated to East Africa, Middle East, Europe and North America and even within the Somali regions is returning with significant capital and is re-investing new ventures in Mogadishu. A good number of diaspora with technical skills for reconstruction and rebuilding are returning and the investment capital and knowledge workers from the diaspora have created a complimentary eco-system that is feeding each other.
Real Estate: Most of the investments were historically tied to real-estate because in times of uncertainty real estate was the only viable business but since the improvement in the security situation, many are investing money tied to real estate in new industries such as building factories, farmland and livestock ventures.
On the other hand, many businesses and families are rebuilding their houses and businesses which create huge economic growth and jobs for the local economy.
Government, UN and NGO’s: The government with the help of the UN and NGO’s are also contributor to this growth, for example the Turkish development agencies, UN and other NGOs have been rebuilding some of the institutions such as hospitals, schools, universities and roads.
Considering where Somalia was few years ago, everything points to positive and prosperous future for the people of Somalia with the help of good governance, international community and their resilient people.
A Lecturer from Kenyan university who come in 2014 Mogadishu for teaching local universities, he had round visit to Mogadishu and reside home, after one year, the lecturer come out to buy mobile in the down town, he got surprised how huge changes is made, he said, “When I come there was not street, light street and infrastructure”. If Somalis go these way in 5 years they could dare to compete with Africa top cities.