Thursday, March 31, 2011
Eastleigh. Flickr/Grace Blue.
Somali investment is thriving in Kenya and is centered in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh. I had a tour of Eastleigh with Somali friends last summer.
Farah Abdulsamed prepared a good analysis of Somali investment in Kenya (PDF) as a March 2011 briefing paper for Chatham House.
He points out that Somali trade is providing goods and services to local and regional consumers at prices well below the market average. The impact of this effort demonstrates the ability of some businesses to thrive despite conflict in Somalia.
The success of the Somali business in Kenya has caused tension with other communities in the country, leading to widespread but exaggerated accusations of links to piracy and criminal activity.