News / Africa

Hammers Replace Bullets as Mogadishu Rebuilds

Somali Businesses Rise from Mogadishu's Ashesi
|| 0:00:00
X
Gabe Joselow
July 08, 2012 7:31 PM
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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid