September 10, 2019

According to Google definition, “Cosmopolitan comes from cosmos meaning one universe and refers to a large city comprising people from many parts of the world. On the other hand, metropolitan city is one having a large population and employment opportunities and one which is also lined socially and economically with nearby areas”.

These cities have cultural diversities and opportunities for all. Street names and cities’ landmarks carry names reflecting on the diverse cultural heritage and history of these cities.

Let us apply these characteristics to Puntland seemingly urban centres: Garowe, the Puntland Capital City, the Seaport City of Bosaso, Galkayo and Qardho. It seems that they are all still clan villages in camparison with Mogadishu, the National Capital of Somalia, where its street names reflect on the history of the City from precolonial era to the fall of Somalia’s Central Government in 1991.

In Puntland, let us start from Garowe. Try to count the names of its streets and other landmarks? What would you discover? One thing is sure that you won’t find any street named after the First and Founding President of Puntland State of Somalia. But, why? Is it because Garowe is still a village with sub-clan mentality? Is it because there is no cultural diversity? Or is it because its successive local councils are not diverse enough to improve the cultural heritage of the Capital beyond local sub-clan vision? What is the problem?

Other other urban cities of Puntland don’t fare any better, if not even worse than Garowe. The similar situation exists in Somaliland.

Isn’t that the main reason why Mogadishu remains the National Capital City, cosmopolitan and metropolitan cultural centre of Somalia? No other city in other parts of the country would come even close to have any chance as the alternative, unless you don’t want to start a new capital city from ground zero, while ready at the same time to embrace upon cultural diversities required in a capital city.


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Author: Warsame Digital Media WDM

About the blogger: This blog is associated with the former Chief of Staff in Puntland State Presidency, 1998-2005. He also worked with the UN and World Bank Joint Secretariat for Somalia’s Re-construction and Development Program (RDP), 2005-2006, as a Zonal Technical Coordinator for Puntland and later as National Aid Technical Coordinator with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and European Union. He is now an independent political analyst and commentator on current issues and occasionally gives historical perspective on modern Somalia’s politics. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada. He can be reached at:

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