Business, Economics and Jobs

Mogadishu gets its first dry cleaners in over two decades


A Somali man rides his scooter past soldiers of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in the northern part of Mogadishu on August 17, 2011. The neighborhood was recently taken over by TFG forces and soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) after radical Islamist militants belonging to the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab group pulled out of the city.


Roberto Schmidt

Mogadishu is getting its first dry cleaners in over 20 years, BBC News reported. The dry cleaning business comes thanks to 24-year-old Somali businessman Mohamed Mahamoud Sheik. The young entrepreneur received a business degree from a university in Malaysia and then worked at an airport in Dubai before he decided to return home to start his business. He got the idea from noticing that businessmen were taking their suits abroad just to get them clean.

"My dad, friends and people in the government were taking their clothes to be dry cleaned in Kenya," he told the BBC.

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Somalia has had no formal government since 1991, with Islamist terrorist group Al Shabaab controlling much of the country for years. But there have been recent signs of hope for Somalis. In August, Al Shabaab forces withdrew from Mogadishu following a government offensive against the militants, and African Union forces pushed out more of the Islamist militants in October.

Since the Al Shabaab forces have been pushed out, security in Mogadishu has improved, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Now that the city is more peaceful, people are going out more, and young entrepreneurs are competing for space to open new businesses, the BBC said.

However, the city still faces risks. In March, The National Theatre re-opened in Mogadishu after two decades of being shut down. But just weeks later, an Al Shabaab-linked terrorist set off of a suicide bomb at the theatre.