1990s in Bosaso

Bosaso is the largest city in Puntland and is the largest commercial city in this simi-autonomous region of Somalia. Bosaso has vibrant business community with fast experience and creativity in building businesses from scratch and turning them into profitable and large companies. 

Since the collapse of the former government in 1991, Bosaso has became one of the most developed city in Somalia.

Before the civil war the city was small coastal town with it is only mentioned name as the capital city of Bari region, the largest region in what was then the 18 regions of Somalia. It had tradional dock for small boats and was less known during the Siad Barre government in terms of its creativity and potential.

Fortunately before the fall of the Siad Barre government, Bosaso got the luck to get one of the largest construction projects the last regime undertook before its fall, ie the bosasoport and tarmac road which gave the city the chance to became the main trading port in Somalia during the 1990s civil war.

The bosasoport and the tarmac road connecting it to the central regions of Somalia, coupled with huge influx of people from Mogadishu and South of Somalia in early 1990s created large business community which in turn made possible the city to grow, construction of new buildings, warehouses, export and import businesses, service business, education establishments, health service and so on.

People who came to Bosaso city in 1990s were all types of the society, businessmen and women, professionals such as teachers, doctors, engineers, government officials, students, refugees, etc. The composition of the population who arrived the city created every conducive environment for growth, wealth creation and new opportunities for both inhabitants of the city and new arrivals alike.

Contrary to the  notion that people who arrived Bosaso in 1990s were from mainly Darod tribe escaping from USC led terror that engulfed the capital city of Somalia and much of southern and central regions of Somalia, the fact remains that people who came to Bosaso were from all tribes and strides of Somali society and that is why the city remains one of the most successful story and a city during the civil war in Somalia.

You can find today in Bosaso city people all over Somalia who made millions and established vibrant businesses and livelihood in the city who arrived in early 1990s and after with little or nothing at all. True to this fact, the majority of Bosaso business community had nothing or little when they arrived the city but made very successful business and livelihood without dependent on international assistant or NGOs.

Many people today, can testify that Bosaso city made them what they are today whether in business, education or social change including myself. I came to the city like millions of Somalis as young man in  middle of 1992 with nothing and left late 1998 for Europe as grown up man with knowledge, money, family, education, wisdom, great memories of the vibrancy of the city, the people,  etc. There are many similar stories you hear when you meet people all over the world that Bosaso made them what they are today.

We can conclude that Bosaso is a mother for all those who came and found the peace, the hospitality, the fostering it gives whoever so need like mothers do to their children, the decent livelihood, the business opportunity, the job opportunities etc.

I read story published in UN News website Irinnews.org 2 years ago that amplifies the opportunities many Somalis got from the city that a young man from Baidoa came to Bosaso during 1990s and he wanted to get some money and then cross the sea to Yemen but he found that he could make more money in this city that he stayed and after selling clothes in the streets of Bosaso and surrounding villages, he made enough money to open his first shop and then continued from there. He is has now three different warehouses in the city, has office in  Dubai and one in Baidoba, family and children, three  houses etc.

Such stories show how this city uplifted people from the ground and made them millionaires while others became educated and intellectuals.

We conclude to say that Bosaso city has transformed the lives of many Somalis and now it is the turn of the city for us people to give something back and create environment that is conducive to live such as creating adequate health care system, roads, city wide cleaning and rubbish collection, looking after the week in society, reliable security and rule of law. All these important issues can be addressed if all stakeholders work together such as the municipality of the city, the government, businessmen and women, youth, elders, intellectuals and all citizens of the city.

We owe to this magnificent city to make it better for all of us and future generations. let us work together and give it back.



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