News / Africa

Hammers Replace Bullets as Mogadishu Rebuilds

Somali Businesses Rise from Mogadishu's Ashesi
|| 0:00:00
X
Gabe Joselow
July 08, 2012
The sound of hammers has replaced the sound of bullets in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. A major business boom has taken hold as the city enjoys its longest period of relative peace in 20 years. East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has more.

Somali Businesses Rise from Mogadishu's Ashes

TEXT SIZE - +
MOGADISHU — The emergence of peace in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has shaped the city for the better, giving it a new face. Residents are returning to and restoring their bullet-ridden homes and businesses after years of living in makeshift camps scattered in and out of the city.  

The sound of hammers has replaced the sound of machine guns in the streets of Mogadishu. Construction is going on everywhere for new homes, hotels and shopping malls.  Businesses are thriving, government institutions are being renovated and building owners are reclaiming their property from squatters.

Hassan Sankay Ali, a sawmill owner in a district known as Kilometer Five, said there has been high demand for building materials, and due to that demand prices have risen.
 
People are coming out to buy building materials, Ali said. Most of the people coming to buy are either building new houses or renovating existing homes.
 
During 21 years of anarchy, Mogadishu's infrastructure was reduced to rubble. Now enjoying its longest period of relative peace, the city is making notable progress.

A new warehouse is going up in Kilometer Five. Construction manager Mohamed Hussein said buildings in that area were destroyed after years of fighting, but people have begun rebuilding. He said construction started when government forces took full control of the district six months ago.

"People are looking for a place to live," he said. "They want to live."

Anarchy in Somalia had become "normal," Hussein said, and it seemed to be never-ending. But, he added, "at the end of the day people want shelter - a place they can call home."

Limited resources, big demand

Mogadishu's mayor, Mohamed Ahmed Nur, told VOA he has limited resources and it is hard to compile an overall look at the city's construction boom.
 
“We are struggling with the basic services," he said. "So I cannot give you the exact figure, but I can tell you that the figure is huge. ... Wherever you, go every sound you will hear is hammer and nail, rather than hearing the bullets.”

People are getting their lives restarted in Mogadishu, but the return of security and order is still a long way off. In some neighborhoods clan-based militias control the government's checkpoints, in a clear reminder of chaos that dominated the city for years.

Expatriates flock back

The economic boom is fueled by expatriates flocking back and investing millions of dollars. This provides jobs for thousands of young militiamen eager to get out of the killing business.

Mohamud Hareed Dagey came from London six months ago and opened a new restaurant near Lido Beach, and he also plans to build a hotel. He said more Somalis living abroad must return home to build the economy.

He said at least 40 people work in his restaurant, and that those jobs are more important than his profits. “What is important,” Dagey said, “is creating jobs for people. If we create jobs we can tell people: 'lay down your arms, come to work and improve your livelihood.'”

Dagey said unemployment has caused young people to join militias and make their livelihood through extortion and killing.

Businessmen hope a political transition leading up to the election of a president - a vote due to take place next month - will sustain this new cycle of peace and prosperity. But amid the past six months of hope and optimism here in the capital, security is still a major concern.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid