Exploring Kenya’s Little Somalia with Hassan Sheikh: An Authentic Cultural Journey

Nairobi, Kenya – President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud explored the Eastleigh neighborhood in Nairobi, often referred to as ‘small Somalia’ due to its high population of Somali ethnic groups and reputation as a thriving business center.

Eastleigh is a key economic hub in Kenya, controlling a significant portion of Nairobi’s GDP and contributing significantly to the country’s overall revenue. It is sometimes dubbed as the commercial heart of Nairobi, also known as ‘new Mogadishu’.

During his visit on Wednesday, Hassan Sheikh toured Somali-owned businesses in the area and engaged with the local community to discuss their achievements and obstacles. He was joined by Kenya’s Defence Minister Aden Duale and Kamukunji MP Yussuf Hassan.

The President conversed with business owners on investment opportunities, security concerns, and overall progress in the region. He urged Somali residents to abide by the laws of Kenya for their own well-being and unity.

Eastleigh is home to one of the largest Somali communities outside of Somalia, with a vibrant commercial sector. Despite being identified as a potential hotspot for terrorism, the area has remained relatively stable.

Hassan Sheikh’s visit to Nairobi coincided with the African Development Bank’s Annual Meetings in 2024, which focus on revitalizing Africa’s financial systems and promoting socio-economic growth for the continent.

Kenya plays a vital role as a security and development partner for Somalia, having deployed a significant number of troops to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS). The mission is set to conclude by the end of 2024 under the Somali Transition Plan.

During a recent trip to the United States, President William Ruto appealed to Washington DC to reconsider the withdrawal timeline, warning that the departure of ATMIS forces could strengthen the presence of Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

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