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How Mogadishu is rising from more than 20 years of civil war

The International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) newly constructed control tower in Mogadishu that was launched by President Mohamed Farmaajo. PHOTO/COURTESY
Mogadishu is regarded as one of the most dangerous places in Africa due to daily violence unleashed by the Al Qaeda allied terror group Al Shabaab.
In this capital city of a country ravaged by more than 20 years of civil war nobody is safe.  Al Shabaab militants raid military camps, hotels, restaurants, aid convoys and shoot politicians in a spree of suicide bombings.
But amidst all these terror and insecurity, the war-torn country is silently rising from the ashes of a bloody civil war.
Newly rebuilt double highways have emerged in different parts of Mogadishu, the once deserted beaches in the city are now a beehive of activities as young men and women throng them to swim and enjoy the scenic environments around them.
Beachview hotel is one of the most popular beach resorts in Mogadishu. Here residents relax to while away as they enjoy delicious finger-licking delicacies.

Ismail Maalim Ali one of the Somalia nationals repatriated from Daadab Refugee Camp in Kenya relaxing at the Mogadishu Peace Garden. PHOTO/BILLY MUTAI
Abdirahman Omar Osman Yarisow, Somalia’s newly appointed information minister, says Mogadishu is on its way of regaining its lost glory.
In the city centre, a new Peace Park has sprung up. Equipped with a restaurant, football pitch, bouncing castles, swings, and relaxation benches which are thronged at during both week days and weekends by young people who enjoy the facilities deployed here.
Despite the sporadic insecurity incidents in Somalia, business has started thriving and even international conferences are now being held in Mogadishu like the recent Tedx Mogadishu.
In February, Somalia officially took over its airspace control after 27 years. Somalia airspace has been controlled from Nairobi by UN agency International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO).
A new control tower has opened in Mogadishu ahead of a hand over of the control from ICAO to Somali government.
And the first official communication from the new control tower was from non-other than President Mohamed Farmaajo himself.
FARMAAJO: ” Hello! Etihad Airways, flight number ETD682 from Dar Es Salaam to Abu Dhabi you’re now inside Somali airspace, flying over 40,000 above the sea level, This is just confirmation message that the airspace is secure and no threat” Mogadishu.

President Mohamed Farmaajo inside the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) newly constructed control tower in Mogadishu. PHOTO/COURTESY
CPT: ” Copied! Sir and thank you
FARMAAJO: “Your welcome ! This is the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia speaking.”
CPT : ” What?!”
FARMAAJO: ” Enjoy your flight men”
Real estate investment is currently booming in Mogadishu as the need to accommodate a significant number of Somalis returning from the Diaspora and the local business community increase.
As you walk around  the civil war battered city, you will be amazed by the new rental houses that have emerged in areas where ruins stood a few years ago.
Somalia’s elegant colonial villas left in ruins by two decades of street fighting among warlords have now been replaced by magnificent  new villas and apartment blocks.

A man being shaved in one of the barber shops in Mogadishu. PHOTO/COURTESY
As I walked through the streets of Mogadishu, I discovered that even the beauty industry has not been left behind as saloons and barbershops are now a common sight in the city.
Sadia Sheikh Ahmed, who also grew up in Sweden after fleeing Somalia, said she had helped her relatives abroad snap up property.
Fuad Ahmed Warsame, marketing director of Daru Salaam Real Estate that is behind the construction of new homes in Mogadishu says they are out to build a new neighbourhood with a good environment and new designs.
A two-storey house in Mogadishu can cost some $130,000, while a simpler bungalow comes in at around $70,000.

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