FUTURE OF AFRICAN CITIES PROJECT
DISCUSSION PAPER 4/2019
The city of Hargeisa, capital of the Republic of Somaliland, was almost completely destroyed by the Siad Barre regime in the late 1980s, as Somalia slipped into the state collapse that resulted in famine, clan violence, civil war, and the rise of the Al Shabaab terrorist group. But while the international community pursued a series of top-down, externally-supported efforts to stabilise Somalia with little success, in Somaliland a bottom-up, self-generated peace process restored security, and a democratic, legitimate and effective self-governing region, centered on Hargeisa, emerged as the Republic of Somaliland. This Discussion Paper investigates the successes and challenges of Hargeisa in the areas of social and economic development, critical infrastructure and services, security and international relations, and suggests areas where other African cities could learn from Hargeisa’s experience.
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