Somalia needs more economic investments for beating al-Shabaab

The mayor of Mogadishu, speaking during a visit by Turkey’s deputy prime minister, said Mogadishu was ready for more foreign investment as its security and infrastructure situation improves.

The capital of Somalia is now open for foreign investments as the city has significantly improved its security and infrastructure issues, according to the mayor of Mogadishu, Yussuf Jimale.

Speaking at a welcome event for the Turkish deputy prime minister, Veysi Kaynak, Jimale said he also offered other incentives to member of Somalia’s diaspora, including tax breaks and the fast-tracking of company registrations.

“We have achieved a lot in improving security,” he said.

“Even though Al Shabaab still remains a challenge, Mogadishu is far better than it was five years ago. We have been trying to create jobs and attract investments by building roads.”

Jimale alluded to the benefits already created by diaspora investments in Mogadishu, particularly with regards the town’s hotels, supermarkets, universities and hospitals.

One of the main benefits of this increased investment is that creating jobs for the country’s youth removes the economic incentive for them to join al-Shabaab, he added.

During a meeting with the Somali president, Mohamad ‘Farmaajo’, Kaynak said that Turkey would remain a major provider of aid to Somalia.

“Turkey donated at least 170 tons of aid on Sunday and soon Somalia will receive 11,000 tons from Turkey,” he said.

Turkey will open a $50 million military base in Mogadishu in April to help train 500 new troops a year in the fight against the country’s al-Shabaab militants.

Turkey faces regional competition in the region from the UAE, which also wants to build up its military presence in the Horn of Africa.

The UAE signed a deal with the Somaliland parliament in February, allowing them to open a military base in the port town of Berbera.