Holidays in Mogadishu

Mogadishu is trying to shift its reputation for violence Mogadishu is trying to shift its reputation for violence

It is a big step from the images presented by the 1993 movie Black Hawk Down to the idea of Mogadishu as a holiday resort.

Well believe it or not work is underway on the development of a multi-million dollar beach resort in Mogadishu with this being a prominent indicator of the building boom underway there.

After 20 years of violence, investment is returning to Mogadishu assisted by more stable government and determined international efforts to contain the Islamic militant group al-Shabab and elements of Al-Qaeda. Security is still a problem in Mogadishu and al-Shabab still control large tracts of Somalia but the situation is improved and with this investment in the port of Mogadishu is returning.

The Federal Government of Somalia has launched the Mogadishu Port Rehabilitation project, an initiative to rebuild, develop and modernise the port and positive developments are flowing out of this.

In mid 2013, a joint international delegation consisting of the director of the Port of Djibouti and Chinese officials, specialising in infrastructure reconstruction, visited the port. Then, in October 2013, the Somali Cabinet seemingly progressed further endorsing an agreement with Al Bayrak, a Turkish company, to manage Mogadishu port for a 20-year period. A statement from the Prime Minister’s office said the agreement made by the Ministry of Ports and Public Works gives Al Bayrak responsibility for reconstructing, modernising and developing the port as well as managing it.

A third notable development is Simatech Shipping LLC, an Iranian company, entering into a contract agreement with the Mogadishu Port Authority to undertake container handling and storage via its newly formed Somalian affiliate Mogadishu Port Container Terminal. This latter arrangement is also expected to realise significant investment under a concession agreement.

In addition, however, to these areas of inward investment there are certain institutional problems that have to be fixed to facilitate fully efficient port operations in Mogadishu. Somalia does not accrue much in the way of revenues by taxes on the population. Most of its revenue comes from the port of Mogadishu and to a lesser extent the airport.

Unfortunately, very little revenue makes its way into government coffers – only in the order of 20%. This problem has to be fixed to provide an efficient framework for port operations.

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