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Somalia as a Holiday Destination?

I have been working in Somalia since 1993, and happened to be in Mogadishu the day the Black Hawk came down. We (myself and Ian Charest) drove to the smoldering wreckage, knowing that this among other events was going to lead to a mass exodus on US and international staff; and it did.  The international community withdrew to Kenya and over the past two decades Somalia has been through virtually every kind of governance constellation possible.

While Somaliland is staunch in its stand for independence, administrative reforms have been pushed, and a number of new states are being created, changing the power structure considerably, but also laying the foundation for greater peace and stability.

 

We have worked widely across Somalia, and I write this blog from Puntland, where we are devising the Government on establishing stronger foundations for civil service reforms.  If you have never been to Somalia, then you don't know how unbelievably friendly Somali's can be.  I woke this morning in my room in Garowe to find the President sleeping in the room on my right, and the Prime Minister sleeping in the immediate room on my left.  Such stuff can only happen here.

 

If peace comes - many in the Diaspora will return home with money - and the beauty of this amazing country may once again be accessible to visitors from aboard.  While this may seem like a pipe dream, the reality is that Somalia only has one direction that it can go - forward - towards peace and greater prosperity.

 

The countryside and beaches are wild and roaming, and the chances of Somalia emerging as a niche tourist market in the coming decade or so are not inconsiderable.