This month, Baraka coordinator Abdullahi Ali was back in Mogadishu, Somalia, for the first time since 2014. Here are some of his observations:
- In the long-term, Somalia is heading in the right direction. Infrastructure, the condition of the buildings, businesses and the general look of the city all suggest that things are getting better.
- UN agencies are partly responsible for the rapid cosmetic change. UN-administered camps are operating on the edge of Mogadishu, providing basic shelter and food for people. This meant that there was much less begging than in 2014, when there were people knocking on doors to ask for food.
- Maka al-Mukarama is Mogadishu's Oxford Street - you can get anything there that you can get in London.
- Women are much more engaged in the political process. The elections that are backed by the UN, EU and USA aren't perfect but they are a step in the right direction.
- Unlike the freezing fog of London in January, Mogadishu has perfect weather. From 6 AM until bedtime, you're wearing a t-shirt.
Next time, we will look at the changes in the education system as Somalia adapts to the globalised world.