Top 10 Facts About Poverty in Mogadishu
Mogadishu is the capital of Somalia, located in the eastern coast of Africa. This country continues to be challenged with natural disasters along with a lack of political stability and security, which all adds up to the extreme poverty that already affects the country.

After the destruction caused by decades of conflict, a new federal government came to power in Mogadishu according to the guidelines established by the Provisional Constitution in 2012.

The emergence of the new ruling party under this new framework has enabled the country to get international assistance in resolving its ongoing economic and political issues. International relations were further augmented after a peaceful transition of power occurred in 2017 that made the National partnership for Somalia successful, assuring longer-term support from international organizations toward alleviating big issues.

The top 10 facts about poverty in Mogadishu presented in the article below portray the different aspects of the challenges facing the capital such as its historical context, ongoing efforts and the hurdles that the citizens need to overcome to achieve better future of the city.

Top 10 Facts About Poverty in Mogadishu

  1. In 2017, Somalia’s GDP decreased to 1.8 percent from 2.4 percent in 2016 despite the new deals of international support. The decrease was mainly caused by the severe drought that occurred in 2017. 
  2. Mogadishu is considered to be one of the fastest urbanizing cities in the world, which is mainly attributed to its improving security, economic potential and urban displacement. The Somalia Economic Update (SEU) showed that 70 percent of Somalia’s aforementioned GDP is urban-based.
  3. Somalia did make efforts to stop the recent famine that occurred in 2017 from being widespread, however, the drought still resulted in large-scale food insecurity that affected more than six million people. 
  4. Given that agriculture is one of the main sectors anchoring the economy of the nation, the fact that the agricultural sector had experienced a near collapse from a widespread shortage of water and pasture along with an increase in livestock mortality, had an insurmountable effect on the overall country’s economy.
  5. The emergence of a new federal government in Mogadishu resulted in the establishment of a fiscal policy that has significantly improved sectors like domestic revenue that grew by 26.5 percent, from $112.7 million in 2016 to $142.6 million in 2017. This increase was driven by trade taxes.
  6. There are around 5,000 young boys living on the streets of Somalia’s capital, a trend that seems to have been increasing over the years mainly due to their parents being too poor to provide for them.
  7. The government does claim its responsibility to look after and create ways to ensure the welfare of the children in the streets. However, there is a lack of funds and a lack of action from the international organizations that made previous promises, according to the government.
  8. One of the main effects of the country’s history of conflict and political insecurity affecting the country’s economy is the destruction of much of the statistical infrastructure and important data. This has created a huge challenge in strategic planning due to the lack of reliable economic and development data. 
  9. Following the identification of the data issue in 2012, between October and November 2014, 20 trained Somali enumerators collected data from 1,500 households, putting together a statistically representative sample that encapsulates both residential neighborhoods and camps that house internally displaced people in Mogadishu.
  10. In order to augment this door-to-door data collection, a high-frequency survey initiative has been launched that aims to bridge the gap of accessibility through the use of a dynamic questionnaire loaded on a smartphone that can collect data on expenditure, price and perception within 60 minutes of interviewing a household.

For many experts in Somalia, the capital’s economic prospects and potential to be a leader of the new economy is a given since it resides by the longest coastline on mainland Africa with a prospering private sector, a population dominated by a young labor force and untapped natural wealth. 

In addition, there is a huge trend in the Somalian diaspora community of returning to Somalia with the much-needed economic force for growth and development. Therefore, producing sustainable solutions for the issues of poverty in Mogadishu and the nation as a whole described above is a worthwhile investment with potentially big returns. 

– Bilen Kassie
Photo: Flickr