Recife

Introduction

Recife is the fourth-largest urban area in Brazil with 4,054,866 inhabitants, the largest urban area of the North/Northeast Regions, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco in the northeast corner of South America. The population of the city proper was 1,625,583 in 2016.The first slave port in the Americas, Recife was founded in 1537, during the early Portuguese colonization of Brazil, as the main harbor of the Captaincy of Pernambuco, known for its large scale production of sugar cane. It was the former capital Mauritsstad of the 17th century colony of New Holland of Dutch Brazil, established by the Dutch West India Company. The city is located at the confluence of the Beberibe and Capibaribe rivers before they flow into the South Atlantic Ocean. The many rivers, small islands and over 50 bridges found in Recife city centre characterise its geography and led to the city being called the «Brazilian Venice». As of 2010, it is the capital city with the highest HDI in Northeast Brazil and second highest HDI in the entire North and Northeast Brazil .The Metropolitan Region of Recife is the main industrial zone of the State of Pernambuco; major products are those derived from cane , motor vehicles, ships, oil platforms, electronics, software, and others. With fiscal incentives by the government, many industrial companies were started in the 1970s and 1980s. Recife has a tradition of being the most important commercial hub of the North/Northeastern region of Brazil, with more than 52,500 business enterprises in Recife plus 32,500 in the Metro Area, totaling more than 85,000.A combination of a large supply of labor and significant private investments turned Recife into Brazil’s second largest medical hub ; modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment receive patients from several neighbouring States.Recife stands out as a major tourist attraction of the Northeast, both for its beaches and for its historic sites, dating back to both the Portuguese and the Dutch colonization of the region. The city is an education hub, and home to the Federal University of Pernambuco, the largest university in Pernambuco. Several Brazilian historical figures, such as the poet and abolitionist Castro Alves, moved to Recife for their studies. Recife and Natal are the only Brazilian cities with direct flights to the islands of Fernando de Noronha, a World Heritage Site.The city was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, Recife hosted the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 1950 FIFA World Cup. The city, despite having a higher crime rate than the southern region of Brazil, is considered the safest state capital in the northeastern region.

Data and Facts

  • In 1988 a Washington research institute rated Recife as the third worst city to live in, on the planet
  • Violent murders have decreased by 15% since 2010
  • It has about 1.4 million inhabitants and an area of 218 km²
  • Recife’s weather is stereotypically tropical. Its proximity to the Equator blesses it with a warm, almost unchanging temperature which usually lies somewhere between 28° and 34°C

Administration 

The form of government is a democratic federative republic, with a presidential system. The president is both head of state and head of government of the Union and is elected for a four-year term, with the possibility of re-election for a second successive term. The current president is Jair Bolsonaro. The previous president, Michel Temer, replaced Dilma Rousseff after her impeachment. The President appoints the Ministers of State, who assist in government. Legislative houses in each political entity are the main source of law in Brazil. Brazil is a democracy, according to the Democracy Index 2010.The political-administrative organization of the Federative Republic of Brazil comprises the Union, the states, the Federal District, and the municipalities. The Union, the states, the Federal District, and the municipalities, are the «spheres of government». The federation is set on five fundamental principles: sovereignty, citizenship, dignity of human beings, the social values of labor and freedom of enterprise, and political pluralism. The classic tripartite branches of government are formally established by the Constitution.The executive and legislative are organized independently in all three spheres of government, while the judiciary is organized only at the federal and state and Federal District spheres.

All members of the executive and legislative branches are directly elected. Judges and other judicial officials are appointed after passing entry exams. For most of its democratic history, Brazil has had a multi-party system, proportional representation. Fifteen political parties are represented in Congress. It is common for politicians to switch parties, and thus the proportion of congressional seats held by particular parties changes regularly. Almost all governmental and administrative functions are exercised by authorities and agencies affiliated to the Executive.

Brazil’s international relations are based on Article 4 of the Federal Constitution, which establishes non-intervention, self-determination, international cooperation and the peaceful settlement of conflicts as the guiding principles of Brazil’s relationship with other countries and multilateral organizations.According to the Constitution, the President has ultimate authority over foreign policy, while the Congress is tasked with reviewing and considering all diplomatic nominations and international treaties, as well as legislation relating to Brazilian foreign policy.Brazil’s foreign policy is a by-product of the country’s position as a regional power in Latin America, a leader among developing countries, and an emerging world power. Brazilian foreign policy has generally been based on the principles of multilateralism, peaceful dispute settlement, and non-intervention in the affairs of other countries.Brazil is a founding member state of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries , also known as the Lusophone Commonwealth, an international organization and political association of Lusophone nations across four continents, where Portuguese is an official language.

Economy 

According to 2013 IBGE statistics, the GDP was at R$46,445,339,000. And the GDP per capita was at R$29,037.Recife is one of Brazil’s prime business centers, largely because it has one international airport and two international seaports. One is located in the town itself, and the other, the port of Suape, is located about 40 kilometres away. Just south of Recife is the region’s main industrial area, where the following industries can be found: shipbuilding, automotive, petroleum refining, petrochemical, electronics, tube manufacturing, brewing and canning, chocolate manufacturing, textiles, etc.Recife has shared in the prosperity of Northeastern Brazil that resulted from development promoted after 1960 by Sudene , a federal agency / organization. Although its retail and wholesale trade have grown in response to the region’s increases in population and wealth, the market area and the walkways of the city’s bridges are crowded with informal traders selling small items.

The Logistics and Communications sector employs 4% of the people in Recife, 12.3% in Jaboatão dos Guararapes and over 9% in the Metropolitan Area. These numbers were due to increase with the conclusion of the Transnordestina with a 1,800/1,118 km/mi extension, which will cross 3 and connect 7 States products with Suape port and Pecem Port with costs that are estimated to be around 4.5 R$.Recife has historically benefited from its central location in the Northeast region. In a 200-mile radius from Recife are four state capitals, two international and three regional airports, five international ports, 12 million people, 51% of the research centers of the Northeast and 35% of the region’s GDP. Similarly, in a 500-mile radius there are seven state capitals, five international and five regional airports, nine international seaports and two fluvial ports.

The medical pool offers a total of 8,990 beds and, according to the Union of the Hospitals of Pernambuco, recorded in the year 2000 an invoicing of R$220 million . It is thanks to the pool that Pernambuco has access to more computed tomography devices than more developed countries such as Canada or France.A large portion of the modern hospitals included in the pool are located between the neighbourhoods of Derby and of the Ilha do Leite. The Hospital Real Português de Beneficência Portuguesa em Pernambuco, or «Hospital Português» for short, is one of the most renowned hospitals in the country. Many people from neighbouring states go to Recife for treatment, as it has the largest and best medical facilities in the North–Northeast of Brazil.

Business Environment

Brazil is a country of young people, as 62% of Brazilians are aged 29 or under. The median age is 31 years. The country has a population of approximately 215 million people, where 49.2% are men and 50.8% are women. The number of households in Brazil has been increasing. Currently, 12% of households consist of one person, 47% have of two or three people, 32% four or five people, and 9% have six or more inhabitants. Good education is an important requisite for finding a good job in Brazil. However, only 49% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education in the country. Of those who have a degree, 46% of them are men, and 52% are women. Brazil is sparsely populated and the majority of the population lives along the coast, particularly around São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Throughout the country, most people live near or in urban areas. However, some areas of the country are essentially deserted, mainly in the Amazon region. The services sector employs almost 70% of the active workforce. While agriculture employs 10% of the country, industry sector employs 20% of the total active workforce.

Licence applications must be submitted to tax autorities and the type of licence is determined after a review of the financial capacities of the company.

Depending on the product, Brazilian authorities may require more documentation. For instance, the Ministry of Health controls all products that may affect the human body, including pharmaceuticals, vitamins, cosmetics and medical equipment/devices. Such products can only be imported and sold in Brazil if the foreign company establishes a local Brazilian manufacturing unit or local office, or the foreign company appoints a Brazilian distributor who is authorized by the Brazilian authorities to import and distribute medical products. Such products must be registered with the Brazilian Ministry of Health. The registration process is usually cumbersome and/or time consuming.

Import costs include the Import Duty , the Merchandise and Service Circulation tax and the Industrialized Product tax . Import duty is a federal product-specific tax levied on a CIF basis. Rates usually vary between 10% and 35%. The IPI is a federal tax levied on most domestic and imported manufactured products. The IPI is not considered a cost for the importer, since the value is credited back to the importer. IPI rates range between 0% and 15%. The ICMS is a state government value-added tax applicable to both imports and domestic products. MERCOSUR countries are currently in talks with the European Union for a trade agreement.

According to Euromonitor, Brazil is the 7th largest market in the world, with retail sales in the packaged food market representing US$ 82.2 billion in 2016. That represents a growth rate of 42.2% since 2012, despite a huge economic crisis that led to a -6.2% sales in 2016. By the year 2021, it is estimated to reach US$116.6 million. Since June 2016, the retail index has stabilised and sales turned positive. In 2017, retail sales were positive by 1.0% compared to 2016, according to BCB and Santander projections, after suffering turbulence during the economic crisis that occured in 2015/2016. For 2018, LatinFocus Consensus forecasts a 3.0% growth for the retail sector, and 3.7% for 2019.

The retail sector seemed to be less affected by the economic crisis that occured in 2015 and 2016. Brazilian consumers have changed their purchasing habits: more than 1 million consumers migrated from hypermarkets to cash and carry model, as they offer lower prices. Also, according to Nielsen, between January and June 2016, 400,000 Brazilian migrated from supermarkets to hypermarkets. Shifting demand went from premium brands – the majority is imported – to more affordable products. Within the imported categories, retailers kept well-known brands and changed the mix of products, opting for less expensive items. According to Euromonitor, the share of imported products varies on average from 2% in the supermarkets to 25% – 30% in the speciality stores.

Infrastructure

Guararapes International Airport, also known as Gilberto Freyre International Airport, is the airport serving Recife. It has been open in its newest structure since July 2004 and is 52,000 square m in area. Suape port, is located in the administrative area of the small town of Ipojuca, inside the metropolitan region. Suape serves ships 365 days a year without any restrictions with regard to tidal schedules. The port moves over 8.4 million tons of cargo a year. More than 95 companies from almost all industries are already installed in Suape which includes a Petrobras Refinery, the largest shipbuilder in South American and a large petrochemical Company as well as many others. Road access to Port of Recife is accomplished, mainly, through the federal highways BR-232 and BR-101 . The main producing and consuming centres of the interior of the state and of the rest of the Northeast, are linked to Port by paved highways.

Recife Metro is one of the largest metro systems in Brazil. It reaches from Recife central station to Jaboatão, Timbi and Cajueiro Seco , being complemented by a light rail, with connections at Curado and Cajueiro Seco stations, which links Recife and Jaboatão to Cabo de Santo Agostinho. This system is also integrated with bus terminals such as at Barro, Joana Bezerra and Tancredo Neves stations. The system now has 29 stations , plus 9 light rail stations, and is 39.5 km long.

According to Detran-PE in 2009, the city of Recife had a total fleet of over 464,000 motor vehicles on its streets. 54,335 cargo vehicles, 318,520 passenger vehicles, 72,719 motorbikes, 14,142 others and 4,855 buses . These buses transport almost two million passengers daily in the metropolitan area, distributed between 17 local bus companies. The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Recife, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 96 min. 34% of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 27 min, while 60% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day.

Technology 

Recife has an area dedicated to information technology called «Porto Digital» with more than 90 companies and 3,000 high tech Jobs. It was founded in July 2000 and has since attracted major investments. Generating some R$10 billion a year, it produces technology that is exported to the United States, India, Japan, and China, among other countries. Software manufacturing is the main activity in the Porto Digital. The Porto Digital cluster comprises small and medium companies, but multinationals from across the world, like Accenture, Motorola, Samsung, Dell and Sun Microsystems also have operations there. IBM and Microsoft transferred their regional headquarters to Recife.Porto Digital’s startups can count on a ready pool of talent, courtesy of the Federal University of Pernambuco , which boasts one of the best computer-science departments in all of Latin America. The university began teaching programmers to use Sun Microsystems Inc.’s Java language in 1996, the year it was introduced. Launched with much hype in 2000, Porto Digital made headlines in the likes of Wired and Bloomberg Businessweek, a regional hub making a concerted effort to become a big noise. The big international companies have not flocked to Recife; but the hub’s steady growth, far from the wealth of Brazil’s southern cities, may be a salutary lesson for other tech centres aiming to take on major players. But after 13 years exporting products and services to the world, the hub still has to overcome a barrier no amount of high-speed internet connections can overcome: geography. Those behind the original concept of Porto Digital knew about the challenges ahead, trying to attract new companies to a city few non-Brazilians could place on a map. It took longer than expected; the hub’s direction has changed from the original vision, partly because politicians did not believe Porto Digital would make that much of an impression in the global economy.

Even today, if a foreign company or multinational chooses to open a branch in Brazil, it will first go to southern Brazil, where much of the country’s wealth is concentrated. As the country prepares to host both the World Cup and the Olympics, the north/south divide still remains. The highly skilled workforce is perhaps Porto Digital’s secret weapon. Since the ’90s, the city has been regarded as one of the hubs for skilled IT professionals, in great part thanks to its computer science program at the Federal University of Pernambuco . But until Porto Digital came to life, many would leave the campus for Sao Paulo, or leave Brazil altogether.

The highly skilled workforce is perhaps Porto Digital’s secret weapon. Since the ’90s, the city has been regarded as one of the hubs for skilled IT professionals, in great part thanks to its computer science program at the Federal University of Pernambuco .

Social Wellness and Human Resources

The Recife metropolitan area is the 5th most populous of Brazil, after São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre, and the first in the Northeast region. The most populous neighborhoods of Recife in 2008 were Boa Viagem , Casa Amarela , and Várzea .According to the 2010 IBGE Census, there were 1,472,202 people residing in the city of Recife. The census revealed the following numbers: 754,674 Pardo people , 636,864 White people , 127,789 Black / African-Brazilian people , 14,696 Asian people , 3,665 Amerindian people .In 2010, the center city of Recife was the 9th most populous city in Brazil.n 2010, the city had 268,160 opposite-sex couples and 1,004 same-sex couples. The gender proportion of the population of Recife was 53.8% female and 46.2% male.

Recife’s 2020 population is now estimated at 4,127,091. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Recife, which typically includes Recife’s population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Recife is home to the frevo, a regional dance and music, typical in carnival, and Mangue Beat, a type of Brazilian rock with mixture of Maracatu, Ciranda, Rap and other musical styles. The Festival de São João, held annually in June, celebrates traditional culture and music that originated in the region.During carnival, downtown Recife holds one of the most authentic and democratic celebrations: every year more than one and a half million people open the festivities of the Brazilian Carnival at Galo da Madrugada. Recife and Olinda combined have 25 museums, 38 art galleries, 2 symphony orchestra halls, 15 theatres, 1 opera house and more than 40 movie theatres.

The four-day period before the Christian liturgical preparatory season Lent leading up to Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday is carnival time in Brazil. Rich and poor alike forget their cares as they gaily party in the streets. The cities of Recife and Olinda hold the most authentic and democratic Brazilian Carnival celebrations. The largest carnival in Brazil is Galo da Madrugada, which takes place in Downtown Recife on Carnival Saturday. Another famous event is the «Noite dos Tambores Silenciosos.» Carnival. Recife’s Carnival is nationally known, attracting thousands of visitors every year.

The party starts a week before the official date, with electric trios «shaking» the Boa Viagem neighborhood. On Friday, people take to the streets to dance to the sound of frevo and to dance with maracatu, ciranda, caboclinhos, afoxé, reggae and manguebeat groups. There are still many other entertainment centers spread out around the city, featuring local and national artists. One of the highlights is Saturday when more than one and a half million people follow the Galo da Madrugada group.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recife

https://www.britannica.com/place/Recife

https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Recife

https://wikitravel.org/en/Recife

https://theculturetrip.com/south-america/brazil/articles/the-top-10-things-to-see-and-do-in-recife-brazil/

http://pernambucogypsy.blogspot.com/2013/01/recife-in-61-facts.html

https://wiki.kidzsearch.com/wiki/Recife

https://international.groupecreditagricole.com/en/international-support/brazil/business-environment

https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/recife-population/

https://international.groupecreditagricole.com/en/international-support/brazil/business-environment

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20131016-brazil-tech-hubs-big-ambitions

Bonn

Introduction

The Federal city of Bonn is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000. About 24 km south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr region, Germany’s largest metropolitan area, with over 11 million inhabitants. It is famously known as the birthplace of Ludwig Van Beethoven in 1770. He spent his childhood and teenage years in Bonn. The city is located on the Rhine River, about 15 miles south of Cologne. Founded in the 1st century BC as a Roman settlement, Bonn is one of Germany’s oldest cities. From 1597 to 1794, Bonn was the capital of the Electorate of Cologne, and residence of the Archbishops and Prince-electors of Cologne. From 1949 to 1990, Bonn was the capital of West Germany, and Germany’s present constitution, the Basic Law, was declared in the city in 1949. The era when Bonn served as the capital of West Germany is referred to by historians as the Bonn Republic. From 1990 to 1999, Bonn served as the seat of government – but no longer capital – of reunited Germany.

Roughly a third of all ministerial jobs are located in Bonn as of 2019, and the city is considered a second, unofficial, capital of the country. Bonn is the secondary seat of the President, the Chancellor, the Bundesrat and the primary seat of six federal government ministries and twenty federal authorities. The title of Federal City reflects its important political status within Germany. The headquarters of Deutsche Post DHL and Deutsche Telekom, both DAX-listed corporations, are in Bonn. The city is home to the University of Bonn and a total of 20 United Nations institutions, the highest number in all of Germany.

Data and Facts

  • Bonn is the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven, Germany’s greatest composer whose symphonies still enchant those who appreciate classical music
  • Population: 311,800 (city); 11,800,000 (metropolitan area)
  • Most Precipitation: 5000 mm/ 197 in. Average Summer Temperature: 21 °C/ 70 °F Average Winter Temperature: .5 °C/ 33 °F Elevation: 16 m/ 54 ft 
  • Every spring around April, the Japanese cherry blossom trees that line the streets of Bonn’s old town start to bloom. Heerstraße, in particular, downright transforms into a pink and purple tunnel that attracts photographers from all over the world
  • Bonn is the gateway to one of Germany’s most important wine regions. The Ahrtal centres around the town of Bad Neuenahr and is known for its steep terraced vineyards where the winemakers of the valley primarily cultivate Pinot Noir and Portugais Bleu grapes
  • Bonn is home to 18 organisations of the United Nations. The UN campus regularly hosts essential international events, such as 2017’s Climate Change Conference

Administration 

German reunification in 1990 made Berlin the nominal capital of Germany again. This decision, however, did not mandate that the republic’s political institutions would also move. While some argued for the seat of government to move to Berlin, others advocated leaving it in Bonn – a situation roughly analogous to that of the Netherlands, where Amsterdam is the capital but The Hague is the seat of government. Berlin’s previous history as united Germany’s capital was strongly connected with the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and more ominously with Nazi Germany. It was felt that a new peacefully united Germany should not be governed from a city connected to such overtones of war. Additionally, Bonn was closer to Brussels, headquarters of the European Economic Community. Former chancellor and mayor of West Berlin Willy Brandt caused considerable offence to the Western Allies during the debate by stating that France would not have kept the seat of government at Vichy after Liberation.The heated debate that resulted was settled by the Bundestag only on 20 June 1991. Ultimately, the votes of the eastern German legislators tipped the balance in favour of Berlin.From 1990 to 1999, Bonn served as the seat of government of reunited Germany. In recognition of its former status as German capital, it holds the name of Federal City . Bonn currently shares the status of Germany’s seat of government with Berlin, with the President, the Chancellor and many government ministries maintaining large presences in Bonn. Over 8,000 of the 18,000 federal officials remain in Bonn. A total of 19 United Nations institutions operate from Bonn today.

The city council of Bonn used to be based in the Rococo-style and 1737 built Altes Rathaus adjacent to Bonn’s central market square. As of the 2014–2020 election cycle, the Christian Democrats hold a plurality of mandates in the city council , followed by the Social Democrats with 20 seats, the Greens with 16 seats, the Liberals with 7 seats, the Left with 5 seats, the local Bürgerbund Bonn with 4 seats, the Alternative for Germany with 3 seats, and independent candidates with a total of 4 seats. There are currently 86 seats in the city council of Bonn. The mayor is Ashok-Alexander Sridharan , directly elected in 2015.Four delegates represent the Federal city of Bonn in the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia. The last election took place in May 2012. The current delegates are Bernhard von Grünberg ,Renate Hendricks , Joachim Stamp and Rolf Beu .

Economy 

In the last 20 years, Bonn has successfully engineered a transition from mainly governmental functions to an internationally competitive business structure. This process is driven by the group of companies ranked in the German stock index DAX and further 16,000 small and medium-sized enterprises.

Dynamic technology clusters have emerged as a result of the close exchange between business and science, for example in the field of information and communication technologies and the health sector. As the German United Nations City, hosting 18 UN organisations, Bonn has developed a new international profile. The strong growth in the knowledge-intensive services as well as the close interaction between the city and the business and science communities make Bonn particularly attractive. These assets are being recognised by an increasing number of people: Experts predict that Bonn – the City of Beethoven on the Rhine – will see the highest population growth of all cities and counties in Nordrhein-Westfalen.

By comparison, employment across NRW increased by around 2.3% over the same period and the figure for the Rhein-Sieg District around Bonn showed a rise of 2.5%. Owing to the vigorous long-term growth of employment, the number of persons with socially insured jobs in Bonn today is 39,332 more than the 134,199 recorded in 1991 when parliament passed the resolution to transfer the German capital from Bonn to Berlin.

The Office for Economic Development registered a total of 143 take-up transactions in the Bonn office market in 2017. They included 142 lettings and one owner-occupier office development. The volume of space taken up in the Bonn office market totalled 108,210 sq m in 2017. This followed a record figure of 126,200 sq m in 2016. With the aggregate floor space of office premises in Bonn totalling around 3.86 million sq m, this amounts to 100,989 sq m. Against the previous year, the vacancy rate edged up by 0.45 percentage points. Nevertheless, the annual level of vacancy – even compared with other cities – still points to undiminished strong demand for office properties in Bonn.

In relation to North Rhine-Westphalia as a whole, Bonn enjoys relatively low unemployment. In 2017, the unemployment rate in the city averaged 6.7%, compared to 5.2% in the surrounding Rhein-Sieg District, 7.4% across NRW and 5.7% nationwide. Unemployment decreased by 0.4 percentage points in Bonn during the course of 2017 and shrank by a moderate 0.3 percentage points in the Rhein-Sieg District while the national figure fell by 0.4 percentage points and state-wide unemployment eased by 0.3 percentage points.

Business Environment

The number of socially insured persons employed in the service sector in Bonn increased significantly between 2016 and 2017, growing by 3,585, or 2.3%. In mid-2017, a total of 159,522 persons in Bonn were engaged in tertiary occupations, which is 91.9% of the entire active population. Like Frankfurt am Main and Potsdam, Bonn thus ranks among the cities with the most highly geared service economies in Germany. Across NRW as a whole, 72.6% of the working population was active in the tertiary sector as of the middle of 2017. The manufacturing sector accounted for around 26.9% of total employment in NRW. Against 2016, the number of persons employed in the manufacturing sector in NRW edged up by 0.5%. Enterprises with fewer than 250 employees accounted for 99.4% of all businesses in Bonn in 2016. Numbering 15,550 entities, they provided 89,658 jobs subject to social security contributions. The other 90 enterprises, with 250 or more employees, provided 63,231 jobs subject to social security contributions. The structural breakdown of business entities in Bonn presents a differentiated picture. Micro-enterprises employing 9 people or less accounted for 87.7% of all businesses and 12.8% of employment. Small enterprises with 10-49 employees provided 18.4% of jobs and made up 9.1% of businesses, while medium-scale enterprises with 50-249 employees accounted for 27.4% of employment and 2.6% of businesses. Large enterprises with 250 employees or more employed 41.4% of the working population, which is a significantly higher percentage than in NRW as a whole . For example, while the percentage of employment generated by large enterprises stood at 41.3% in Münster – similar to Bonn – it was 43.7% in Cologne, 43.8% in Düsseldorf and no less than 50.1% in Leverkusen.Across the area covered by the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the largest private employers in 2017 were Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Post DHL Group and Postbank. Together, they employed around 27,600 people. The two publicly listed heavyweights alone – Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Post DHL Group – managed strategies for a global workforce of over 730,000 from head offices in Bonn. However, major companies with global operations in the manufacturing sector – e.g. in energy management and the automotive supply industry – also employed thousands of people in the city.Bonn’s significance as a key location for major national and international companies is revealed by a closer look at the market capitalisation of the companies that are listed in the DAX indices and have their head offices in the city. In August 2018, the Bonn DAX companies Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Post DHL Group had a joint market capitalisation of around 103.6 billion euros . This helped make Bonn the third-strongest performing city in Germany in terms of stock market value.

Infrastructure

Named after Konrad Adenauer, the first post-war Chancellor of West Germany, Cologne Bonn Airport is situated 15 kilometres north-east from the city centre of Bonn. With around 10.3 million passengers passing through it in 2015, it is the seventh-largest passenger airport in Germany and the third-largest in terms of cargo operations. By traffic units, which combines cargo and passengers, the airport is in fifth position in Germany. As of March 2015, Cologne Bonn Airport had services to 115 passenger destinations in 35 countries. The airport is one of Germany’s few 24-hour airports, and is a hub for Eurowings and cargo operators FedEx Express and UPS Airlines. The federal motorway A59 connects the airport with the city. Bonn’s central railway station, Bonn Hauptbahnhof, serves urban , regional , and long-distance destinations such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Zurich, Vienna, Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris. Daily, more than 67,000 people travel via Bonn Hauptbahnhof. In late 2016, around 80 long distance and more than 165 regional trains departed to or from Bonn every day. The other major railway station lies on the high-speed rail line between Cologne and Frankfurt. The bus system of Bonn is composed of roughly 30 lines which operate on a regular basis. During peaks, buses usually run every 5 minutes; off-peak buses run every 20 minutes. Four Autobahns run through or are adjacent to Bonn: the A59 , the A555 , the A562 , and the A565 . Three Bundesstraßen, which have a general 100 kilometres per hour speed limit in contrast to the Autobahn, connect Bonn to its immediate surroundings .

With Bonn being divided into two parts by the Rhine, three bridges are crucial for inner-city road traffic: the Konrad-Adenauer-Brücke , the Friedrich-Ebert-Brücke , and the Kennedybrücke . In addition, regular ferries operate between Bonn-Mehlem and Königswinter, Bonn-Bad Godesberg and Niederdollendorf, and Graurheindorf and Mondorf. Located in the northern sub-district of Graurheindorf, the inland harbour of Bonn is used for container traffic as well as oversea transport.

Technology 

Bonn offers academics a broad choice of places to work. Large research organisations are located here such as the Fraunhofer institutes for information and communications technology, the Max Planck Society with its institutes for mathematics or radio astronomy or the Leibniz Association and the German Aerospace Center. The University of Bonn receives support for its collaborative research centres, research groups and postgraduate programme from the German Research Foundation. In the past 20 years, the University of Bonn has produced two Nobel Prize winners and numerous winners of the Leibniz Prize. Universities, research institutions and national science policy bodies work together closely here. The Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology is one example where RWTH Aachen University, the Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems have joined forces to offer international Masters programmes.

Good growth prospects are seen for knowledge-intensive services because future demand will continue to remain strong for services in areas such as healthcare, information, business and financial consulting. Studies by noted specialists NIW , ISI and ZEW show that knowledge-intensive services are strongly represented in Bonn and accounted for 37.3% of all employment in the city in mid-2017. Bonn is a strong healthcare location enjoying a good reputation at both national and international level. Hallmarks of the Bonn healthcare cluster include an outstanding system of medical services, a large number of healthcare-oriented research and scientific institutions and the presence of major healthcare agencies, trusts and associations. The city is also the home of numerous noted enterprises in the fields of telemedicine, imaging systems, consulting and occupational health and safety. The city’s status in the healthcare landscape is officially recognised by the State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia, which has identified a total of six regions as healthcare hubs within NRW. The Cologne/Bonn region is one of them.Information and communication technologies play a key role in the structural and technological evolution of Bonn. The sector is defined in the city by major players and employers such as Deutsche Telekom but also by a dynamic tier of SMEs. Against the backdrop of Bonn’s prominent profile as an IT city, Senior Mayor Ashok Sridharan initiated the «Digital Bonn» project in cooperation with Bonn IT and management consultant axxessio GmbH, the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Office of Economic Development of the City of Bonn. Since then, numerous projects have been implemented. One is the Digital Hub Region Bonn, which receives € 1.5 million funding from the NRW state government. In spring 2017, a start-up centre was established at premises in the new Bonner Bogen district to help potential entrepreneurs create startups and offer newly created startups an established infrastructure. Apart from offering coworking spaces, the Hub attaches particular importance to promoting networking with Bonn-based companies as well as scientific, research and academic institutions such as the University of Bonn and the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences.

The Bonn region is regarded throughout Germany as a major centre for geobusiness. No other region has access to as much geoinformation expertise. The Geoinformation Initiative established in 2004 is a regional network of actors from academia, science, research, business and administration.

Social Wellness and Human Resources

As of 2011, Bonn had a population of 327,913. About 70% of the population was entirely of German origin, while about 100,000 people, equating to roughly 30%, were at least partly of non-German origin. Bonn has grown by 1,690 since 2015, which represents a 0.11% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Bonn, which typically includes Bonn’s population in addition to adjacent suburban areas. The city is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in Germany and the 18th most populous city in the country. Bonn’s population is predicted to surpass the populations of Wuppertal and Bochum before the year 2030. The following list shows the largest groups of origin of minorites with «migration background» in Bonn as of 31 December 2017.

It is used for receptions of guests of the city, and as an office for the mayor. Nearby is the Kurfürstliches Schloss, built as a residence for the prince-elector and now the main building of the University of Bonn.

The Poppelsdorfer Allee is an avenue flanked by Chestnut trees which had the first horsecar of the city. It connects the Kurfürstliches Schloss with the Poppelsdorfer Schloss, a palace that was built as a resort for the prince-electors in the first half of the 18th century, and whose grounds are now a botanical garden . This axis is interrupted by a railway line and Bonn Hauptbahnhof, a building erected in 1883/84. The Beethoven Monument stands on the Münsterplatz, which is flanked by the Bonn Minster, one of Germany’s oldest churches. The three highest structures in the city are the WDR radio mast in Bonn-Venusberg , the headquarters of the Deutsche Post called Post Tower and the former building for the German members of parliament Langer Eugen now the location of the UN Campus.

Along with Beethoven-Haus, many other buildings in the city on the Rhine are worth a visit. Most of the current building dates from the intense construction activity of the 11th to 13th centuries. Romanesque and Gothic stylistic elements merge to create a rare harmony in Münster. Even the decoration – primarily Baroque or dating from either the end of the last century or this one – fits perfectly into the space and gives the basilica its own very special atmosphere.Another of the city’s architectural jewels is the Altes Rathaus on the Bonn Marktplatz. It was completed in Rococo style in around 1780. This three-storey building with gilded stairs leading down to the marketplace has been the backdrop for a number of important events: Theodor Heuss, Charles de Gaulle, John F. Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth II and Mikhail Gorbachev all gave speeches here. Today it still serves as an office for the mayor and is used as a building for official occasions.

Bonn is home of the Telekom Baskets Bonn, the only basketball club in Germany that owns its arena, the Telekom Dome. The club is a regular participant at international competitions such as the Basketball Champions League.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonn

https://www.britannica.com/place/Bonn

https://www.nrw-tourism.com/bonn-city-of-beethoven

https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Bonn

https://www.academics.com/guide/working-in-bonn

https://wikitravel.org/en/Bonn

https://theculturetrip.com/europe/germany/articles/15-reasons-to-visit-bonn-germany-at-least-once-in-your-lifetime/

https://www.trippy.com/facts/Bonn

https://www.bonn.de/microsite/en/business-and-science/business-in-bonn/economic-profile-bonn.php

https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/bonn-population

Al-Madinah

Introduction:

Medina also is known by its official name Al-Madinah is one of the three holiest cities mentioned in Islam. Chronologically speaking, Al-Madinah is the second most pious city in Islam, after Mecca. Its name also has an underlying meaning that translates into “the Radiant City, or “The city of Prophet” in English.

Al-Madinah is situated about 340 km north of the holy city “Mecca”. The story of how the city got the attention is a distinct story of its own. Prophet Muhammad and his followers relocated from Mecca to the city of Medina after a plot to kill him were unveiled. The whole migration of the religious leader along with his followers is also known as “Hijra”. This is also the same time when the Islamic calendar or the “Hijri Year” started the exact date of which is around 622 AD.

Since then the town of Al-Madina then known as Yathrib became famous. Al-Madinah is also known as the very same place from where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) started the Muslim community. It is also the same place where his body is buried, and the tomb lies in the chief mosque of the city. The tomb where the Prophet is entombed is marked by a bright green coloured dome.

Data and Facts: 

  • The city of Al-Madinah lies about 2,050 feet above sea level and on an oasis.
  • The city is located geographically in the Hejaz location towards the western side of Saudi Arabia.
  • The overall distance of the city from the Red Sea is 100 miles and about 270 km from Mecca by road.
  • As the city is considered very religious by the Islamic community, the entry of non-Muslims into its premises is strictly prohibited.
  • Non-Muslims who wish to see the city can, however, get a grand view of the city from the plane before landing at the airport.
  • The very first mosque in Islamic history, the mosque of Quba is also present in the city. It is the first-ever place of worship for Muslims and the Prophet himself laid the first stone of foundation.

Administration:

Al-Madinah is a municipality that is governed by Madinah Regional Municipality. The current mayor of the city is Khalid Taher, and the Provincial Governor is Prince Faisal Bin Salman.

The city has a total area of 589 sq.km in which the urban area comprises 293 sq km, and the rural area is 296 sq km.

Economy:

The city of Medina is famous for its date palms and other fruits which are processed and exported to other parts of the world. Medinah’s major economy is driven by the cultivation of cereals, vegetables, and fruits.

Jewellery, armoury, and metalworking are some of the other small-scale business which operates in the city of Medinah. Although other occupations like tile making, automobile, carpentry are there in the city, Agriculture technology is the prime amongst them all.

Business Environment

Many industry leaders have ingrained their business in the land of Medina. Companies like MTD products, Westfield Insurance, and RPM International have their global headquarters in Al Madinah city. Multiple Swiss and Japanese manufacturers have served the automobile industry by establishing their business in the city.

Infrastructure:

In the early 1900’s Medina was connected with the city of Damascus by the Hejaz Railway station. The station was however demolished in World War 1, and since then the reconstruction of the railway station has never taken place.

A railway that connects Medina with Jiddah has been constructed and works effectively till today. There are other roadways that connect the different cities like Mecca, Jidda, and Yanbu and link them to Medina.

Another roadway that stretches from the north of Hejaz connects Medina to Jordan. The other modes of transportation in the city is through buses, taxis, car rentals, and ride with locals. Buses are the most inexpensive way of moving from the airport to the city of Al-Madinah. 

Taxis might be slightly more expensive for the wallet but will easily drop you to the city centre. The third option is to rent a car, and the last option is to travel with the locals. Al-Madinah is also popularly known for its airport, Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International airport.

Technology

Al-Madinah is a growing city in the cusp of modern amenities. The city is a pilgrimage site and thus to cater to the needs of pilgrims the city is continuously expanding and bringing all sorts of latest changes to the town.

Today there are many established hotels and malls that have come up in the city which are not only top-notch but also have everything from gold, apparel, accessories, electrical goods to international brands. The hotels offer the best of accommodation for any visitor and have the best of amenities. Even the restaurants have started serving international cuisines to suit the palate of tourists.

Although many companies have started making Medina as the epicentre of innovation, the schools here are still running and imparting knowledge on educational philosophies.

Social Wellness and Human Resources

The main body of education in Medina province is the ministry of education. There are around 724 and 733 schools for boys and girls respectively.

Taibah High School is the most notable school in the city, and the Taibah University is the one which has around 16 colleges in Al-Madinah province.

The Islamic University established in 1961 is the oldest educational institution with 22000 students. The university confers degrees in Bachelor Of Arts, Masters, and Doctorates, admission of which is based on scholarship programs.

The Al-Madinah college of Technology has various degree programs starting from Electronic, Electrical, Mechanical, and Computer Science.

Medina has a cross-cultural environment and also accommodates people of many nationalities and cultures that live together harmoniously. 

The Madina center of arts was founded in 2018 and had a collection of both modern and contemporary arts. The centre also launched the Madinah Forum of Arabic Calligraphy to patronize renowned calligraphers from around the city.

Reference:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medina#Human_resources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medina#Culture

https://www.smartertravel.com/medina-transportation-taxi-train-bus-airport-tips/

https://www.medinacounty.org/medina-county-economic-development-corporation/medina-county-2/major-industries/

https://houseofsaud.com/medina/

https://makkah-madinah.accor.com/place/al-madinah/

https://ngha.med.sa/English/MedicalCities/AlMadinah/Pages/AboutAlMadinahAlMunawwarah.aspx

https://destinationksa.com/a-first-timers-guide-to-madinah/

https://www.britannica.com/place/Medina-Saudi-Arabia

https://www.britannica.com/technology/agricultural-technology

Ad-Dammam

Introduction

The eastern province of Saudi Arabia is mainly known for a large number of oil fields present in the region. One such major city in the province is Ad-Dammam. The city holds the rank of being the sixth populous in the nation and is mainly renowned being a commercial hub full of oil and natural gas reserves.

It was the year 1938 when the major reserves of oil and natural gas were first discovered. The discovery of this liquid gold channelized major industrial growth in the city that resulted in the development of commercial and administrative centres in the city. Apart from having major hubs of oil and natural gas, Ad-Dammam is also a major seaport for trade business in the country.

The city has been fully developed since the 1940s and has a modern layout with brimming suburbs. Even though oil and natural gas are the main industry in Ad-Dammam, the city also has various agriculture and dairy farms.

The cities of Dammam, Al Khobar, and Dhahran collectively form the Dammam metropolitan area. The whole area was once a fishing village before the discovery of the oil wells and natural gas reserves that sparked the start of industrialization.

With the industrial growth and discovery of oil wells, the city has become a world-leader in the oil industry and occupies the fourth rank in gas reserves. 

The capital of the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, Ad-Dammam acts as a major link to the other states in the Gulf like Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Oman, and Bahrain.

Data and Facts

  • The city of Ad-Dammam is situated towards the east of the capital Riyadh and has geographical positioning as 26° 26′ 0″ north and 50° 7′ 0″ east.
  • The capital city of Riyadh is 400 km away from Ad-Dammam.
  • The total area covered by the city of Ad-Dammam is 800 sq.km or 310 sq.miles.
  • The total population of the city as taken in 2015 is 1.75 million.
  • The first major airport in the city was opened way back in 1999.
  • Dammam is also served by one of the major seaports in the Persian Gulf which is known as King Abdul Aziz Seaport. The seaport handles all the import and export and is the second-largest in the country, the first one being Jeddah Islamic Port on the Red Sea.

Administration

The city of Ad-Dammam is not governed by any governorate while being independently known by the name City of Dammam. 

The current Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia is King Salman Al Saud, and the crown prince of the region is Mohammad Bin Salman.

The governor of the Eastern province or city of Dammam, however, is Prince Saud bin Nayef and the deputy governor is Prince Ahmed Bin Fahd.

Economy

Ad-Dammam is the capital of the eastern province of Saudi Arabia and is also known as the epicentre for oil production and natural gas reserves. The main industry is the Saudi Aramco which looks after the production of oil and natural gas sector in the whole area. 

The main economy of the city is dependent on the petroleum industry. A large group of people from the total population work for Saudi Aramco, thus generating major per capita income from the petroleum industry itself.

Business Environment

In the early 1940s before the discovery of oil and natural gas reserves in the area, Ad-Dammam was a small coastal town with fishing as its main activity. After large fields of petroleum and natural gas were discovered in the area, it leads to rapid urbanization fostering growth.

Ad-Dammam was a separate city in very close proximity to Al-Khobar and Dhahran. As a result of industrial development and fast growth, all three cities merged into one and are today collectively known as the Dammam Metropolitan Area.

Infrastructure

Dammam is connected to major cities of the world through the King Fahd International Airport. The airport is the largest in terms of the total land area and started operating from the year 1999. Apart from this, there are other airports which include Ahsa International Airport and Qaisumah-Hafr Al Batin Airport.

The city is not only connected through airways but also has a major port that is operating since the 1940s. The King Abdulaziz Seaport on the Persian Gulf is the second largest in the country after the Jeddah Islamic Port. A large variety of import and export work is carried out through these ports.

The Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) also several intercity buses operating in the area. There is also planning to construct Dammam metro the status of which is still unknown. 

Technology

Ad-Dammam’s main transformation came after the large varieties of oil and natural gas reserves were found out. Since then, the area has collectively transpired into a thriving hub of growth.

Today every sector in the area is so well developed that the city is alone home to around 2 million people. The collective province comes under the Dammam Metropolitan Area which also comprises Dhahran and Al Khobar within its territory.

As the oil industries drove a significant portion of the economy in the city, other sectors also saw the light of the day. The rapid industrialization leads to the growth of many hospitals, schools, colleges, hotels, and office buildings.

Ad-Dammam today is known as the major hub, which helps in the trade facilities between Saudi Arabia with other nations of the world.

Social Wellness and Human Resources

The vision of the government of Saudi Arabia is to develop more non-oil revenues in the eastern province and the whole of the country.

The main plan of the government for the eastern province and importantly Dammam is to raise as many as entertainment hubs across the city. This would include the construction of many amusement park projects, theatres, and others.

The King Salman Energy Park is planned to come up between Dammam and Ahsa and will cover an area of 50 sq.km.

Football is another game that is also known as the national game of the country. The Prince Mohammad Bin Fahad Stadium serves as the primary venue for football. The stadium also is the home ground for the different football teams of the nation like Ettifaq FC and Al Nahda Club.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Province,_Saudi_Arabia

https://www.britannica.com/place/Dammam

https://energycities.org/member-cities/dammam-saudi-arabia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dammam

https://meconstructionnews.com/965/diverse-dammam

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dammam_metropolitan_area

https://www.mindat.org/feature-110336.html

https://www.smartertravel.com/tips-ad-dammam-warnings-dangers-stay-safe/

https://www.portofantwerp.com/en/ad-dammam-sadmm

https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Ad+Dammam

https://www.macrotrends.net/cities/22416/ad-dammam/population

https://www.msc.com/sau/contact-us?lang=en-gb

Makkah

Introduction

Makkah al-Mukarramah, also known as Mecca, is vouched as the holiest city in Islam. Popularly known as the capital city of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia, Makkah, known as Bakkah in ancient terms is located near Sirat Mountains. The region has become the most thriving city in the world for Islamic religion due to it being a holy ground of the birth of its founder, Muhammad.

The land is extremely popular among Muslims who visit it at least once a year, from all over the world to pay an annual visit, especially during the festival Hajj. As it is a sacred city, hence it is only Muslims who are allowed to enter the city. This city is situated 70km inland from the infamous Jeddah on the Red Sea, on a narrow valley 277 above the sea level. 

Multiple names are referred for the city, and the etymology of the city is completely obscure. Known as a synonym for the famous city Mecca, it is widely referred to be the former name of the valley located in the surrounding. This valley was mostly used by the Muslims for referring to the sacred area which surrounds and also comprises the Ka’bah. 

Although the early history of Mecca is still ambiguous with no specific reference to the ancient literature prior the rise of Islam, however, there have been insights of the Roman Empire to taking supreme control of a part of Hejaz back during 106 CE. A number of Muslim leaders from around the city tried posing a significant control on the terrain, which is why it has several regime changes that owe to the rich history.

Data and Facts 

  • The holiest place for worship for Muslims 
  • It is the oldest inhabited city in the entire world 
  • Mecca was conquered by Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Muslim on December 11
  • The city had an ancient name and was popularly referred to as Bakkah.
  • The city is also referred to as Umm Al Qara, the Mother of All Settlements.
  • It is presently referred to as Makkah Al Mukarrahmah, or Makkah the Honored. 
  • The population, as of record in the past 2012, accounted for an approximate count of 2 million.
  • It receives the highest population of tourists during the month of pilgrimage in the Middle East, with as much as 15 million.
  • The second most expensive building is housed in Makkah.
  • It only gives entry to Muslims 

Administration 

The city is centred on Haram Mosque, also popularly known as the Great Mosque where the sacred wall of Zamzam and Kaaba is thrived upon. Makkah is governed by the emir of Makkah mintaqah idariyyah heading the administrative district and is largely responsible for governing law and order of the city. There is a compact built-up area surrounding the mosque, which is a substantial part of the old city. This city stretched to the north and also to the southwest, however, is limited on the other two sides, or the ease and the west due to the mountains located nearby.

There is another part of the city that houses the modern residential areas, Al-Alziziyyah and al-Faysaliyyah in addition to the road to al-Zahir, Mina, Shari al-Mansur and al-Zahra, and the roads to Medina and Jiddah. It is subjected to expansion due to the construction of a number of streets that are a part of the former city. The 21st century witnessed the construction of a number of skyscraper hotels around the infamous mosque. 

Economy 

As mentioned earlier, it can be very well understood that the economy largely depended on the annual pilgrimage taking place each year. The income that is generated from the Hajj not only prioritizes the Mecca economy but has had historical significance to reaching out to the economy of the Arabian Peninsula. Although taxes were present in the initial days introduced especially during the Great Depression, however, ceased its operation by 1972.

Another significant way in which the city generates income is through the services offered to the pilgrims. The fares that are paid by pilgrims to reach the pilgrim area by land help to generate income in addition to the accommodation companies housing them. In addition to this, the city also incurs its earnings through several factories and industries located locally; however, Mecca does not play any consequential role in the economy of Saudi Arabia with its focus on oil exports.  

Some of the very few industries that operate in Makkah are that of furniture, textiles, and utensils, with the majority being service-oriented. However, the recent upsurge and growth of multiple industries cannot be ignored, which includes bakeries, copper extraction, corrugated iron manufacturing, baking, farming and carpentry. 

Business Environment 

There is no such business environment in Makkah, with the maximum of its revenue being dependent on Hajj pilgrimage and its tourists. However, as mentioned earlier, a number of industries have sprawled up with the most popular being carpentry, textiles, furniture, utensils, iron manufacturing, bakeries and more. As per for the forecast, the contribution of Mecca to Saudi Arabia’s GDP  is approximately 6.6 billion U.S. dollars for the year 2026.

Infrastructure 

Makkah is beautifully built on high mountains and valleys with a number of significant urban projects being carried out in the city. The megaprojects are in the pipeline across both the public and the civil services. Hence, the city is undergoing significant infrastructure change and hence is likely to bring about a vital transformation in a few years down the line.  

Moreover, health infrastructure is also adequate with most of the services and care is given for free. Although there are a number of careful checks done, however, pilgrims might still bring a few illnesses at times which get a tad bit difficult to control.

Technology 

As the city is largely dependent on tourism, hence major technological advancements are incurred in the field of tourism. It is by using the advances that help to ease the pilgrimage for a million individuals. In order to facilitate the strenuous experiences of the pilgrims, the Ministry has launched a series of varied electronic devices that comprises flight preclearance in addition to digitized health records which helps to propagate the Hajj authorities to efficiently scan the medical backgrounds prior their arrival in the country. It also offers phone applications to the pilgrims to enable them to navigate the entire pilgrimage without any hurdle, with reinforcing internet infrastructure around Makkah by placing as many as 3000 mobile antennas that improve the 4G reception and Wi-Fi coverage.  

Social Wellness and Human Resources: 

Makkah solemnly pledges by Muslim culture with it being a Muslim predominant city. It observes worship every day across several mosques in Makkah, with pilgrims visiting all around the year to the holy destination. In terms of educational front, free Education is offered for both girls and boys from both primary as well as university level. The famous university, the Umm al-Qara University, as founded in the year 1979 is located in Mecca along with two other university colleges, the Madrasah Ahl al-Hadith and Saudi Arabian Institute for Higher Education. There are popular libraries such as Makkah Al Mukarramah Library, Grand Masjid Library and others that are quite popular among the inhabitants. 

References: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mecca

https://www.britannica.com/place/Mecca

https://www.ukessays.com/essays/religion/the-tourism-at-mecca-religion-essay.php

https://www.britannica.com/place/Mecca/Economy

https://destinationksa.com/14-facts-about-makkah/

https://www.aljazeera.com/focus/hajj/2009/11/200911250505146948.html

https://wikitravel.org/en/Mecca

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/Makkah

https://www.arabnews.com/tags/makkah

https://study.com/academy/lesson/where-is-mecca-located-definition-pilgrimage-history.html#:~:text=Mecca%20is%20the%20holiest%20place,for%20Muslims%20for%201%2C400%20years.

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/mecca

https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Mecca-so-important-to-Muslims

Kampala

Introduction

Kampala is the capital and largest city of Uganda. The city proper was estimated to have a population of 1,680,800 people on 31 July 2019 and is divided into the five boroughs of Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division, and Rubaga Division. Kampala’s metropolitan area consists of the city proper and the neighboring Wakiso District, Mukono District, Mpigi District, Buikwe District and Luweero District. It has a rapidly growing population that is estimated at 6,709,900 people in 2019 by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics in an area of 8,451.9 km2 .

It occupies a series of hills at an elevation of about 3,900 feet and is situated in the southern part of the country, just north of Lake Victoria. Kampala lies just north of Mengo, the capital of the kingdom of Buganda in the 19th century. It was selected in 1890 by Capt. Frederick Lugard as the headquarters of the Imperial British East Africa Company. Lugard’s fort on Old Kampala Hill remained the Ugandan colonial administrative headquarters until 1905, when it was moved to Entebbe. In 1962 Kampala became the capital of independent Uganda. Parliamentary and commercial buildings, industry, and residential areas are separated into sectors.

In 2015, this metropolitan area generated an estimated nominal GDP of $13.80221 billion according to Xuantong Wang et al. which was more than half of Uganda’s GDP for that year, indicating the importance of Kampala to Uganda’s economy. Kampala is reported to be among the fastest-growing cities in Africa, with an annual population growth rate of 4.03 percent, by City Mayors. Kampala has been ranked the best city to live in East Africa ahead of Nairobi and Kigali by Mercer, a global development consulting agency based in New York City.

Data and Facts

  • Kampala city proper contains an area of 73 square miles (189 square kilometers) within which an estimated 1.7 million people live
  • English might be the official language, but Luganda is the lingua franca
  • Makerere University Kampala can be found in the city. It is Uganda’s largest and second-oldest higher institution of learning, established in 1922
  • There are two annual wet seasons in Kampala: a long rainy season from August to December and a short rainy season from February to June
  • Kampala has one of the only seven Baha’i houses of worship in the world. It is known as the Mother Temple of Africa

Administration 

Kampala Capital City Authority is the legal entity, established by the Ugandan Parliament, that is responsible for the operations of the capital city of Kampala in Uganda. It replaced the Kampala City Council .The headquarters of KCCA are located on Nakasero Hill in the central business district of Kampala. The headquarters are immediately south-west of the Uganda Parliament Building. The main entrance to the KCCA Complex is located on Kimathi Avenue, which comes off of Parliament Avenue. The coordinates of this building are 0° 18′ 54.00«N, 32° 35′ 9.00»E .The affairs of the capital city of Kampala were brought under the direct supervision of the central Ugandan government. The city clerk, formerly the highest financial officer in the city, was replaced by the executive director, who is answerable to the Minister of Kampala Capital City Authority, currently Beti Kamya-Turwomwe. The elected mayor became the lord mayor, now a largely ceremonial position. In addition to the politically elected councilors, the expanded KCCA Council has members from the following professional bodies as full voting members:Uganda Institute of Professional Engineers, Uganda Society of Architects, Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, and Uganda Law Society. As of January 2020, the key officials responsible for KCCA affairs were: Beti Amongin, Cabinet Minister of Kampala Capital City Authority, since December 2019 Benna Namugwanya, Minister of State for Kampala Capital City Authority, since 2016 Erias Lukwago, the Lord Mayor of Kampala since 2011 Sarah Kanyike, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Kampala, since 2016 Andrew Kitaka, the Acting Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority since December 2018 Samuel Sserunkuuma, the Acting Deputy Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority, since May 2017.Kampala is divided into five divisions, each headed by a popularly elected mayor. Those divisions are preserved under the new KCCA Law. It is not yet clear what the roles of those five mayors will be in relation to the Lord Mayor and the KCCA Executive Director.As of February 2019, KCCA employed 1,113 staff, of whom 391 were permanent employees appointed by the public service commission.In February 2015, Rift Valley Railways, in collaboration with KCCA, began testing commuter passenger railway service in Kampala and its suburbs, with a view to establish regular scheduled service beginning in March 2015.Uganda and China have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish an elevated 35 kilometres light rail network.

Economy 

Situated in the country’s most prosperous agricultural section, Kampala exports coffee, cotton, tea, tobacco, and sugar. Although second industrially to Jinja , the city has numerous food, metal-products, and furniture enterprises and a tractor-assembly plant. It is the headquarters for most of Uganda’s large firms and the chief market for the Lake Victoria region.

Efforts are underway to relocate heavy industry to the Kampala Business and Industrial Park, located in Namanve, Mukono District, approximately 14 kilometres east of the city’s central business district, thereby cutting down on city traffic congestion. Some of the businesses that maintain their headquarters in the city center include all of the 25 commercial banks licensed in Uganda; the New Vision Group, the leading news media conglomerate and majority owned by the government; and the Daily Monitor publication, a member of the Kenya-based Nation Media Group. Air Uganda maintained its headquarters in an office complex on Kololo Hill in Kampala. Crown Beverages Limited, the sole Pepsi-Cola franchise bottler in the country, is situated in Nakawa, a division of Kampala, about 5 kilometres east of the city centre.The informal sector is a large contributor to Kampala’s GDP. Citizens who work in the formal sector also participate in informal activities to earn more income for their families. A public servant in Kampala, for example, may engage in aviculture in addition to working in the formal sector. Other informal fields include owning taxis and urban agriculture. The use of Kampala’s wetlands for urban farming has increased over the past few decades. It connects the informal rural settlements with the more industrialized parts of the city. The produce grown in the wetlands is sold in markets in the urban areas.In December 2015, Google launched its first Wi-Fi network in Kampala.While more than 30 percent of Kampala’s inhabitants practice urban agriculture, the city of Kampala donated 13 hectares to promote urban agriculture in the northeastern parish of Kyanja, in Nakawa Division.

Business Environment

With a young and rapidly growing population, extremely productive agricultural lands, a nascent oil sector, and a strategic location in the heart of East and Central Africa, Uganda offers great economic potential.Ranked among the world’s most enterpreneural and competitive city, Kampala offers plenty of advantages for expanding international companies which include welcoming population, political and social stability,Trainable and fast adaptable workforce, business opportunities for growth and consistently improving infrastructuresGovernment offices are open from 08:00hrs to 17:00hrs, Monday to Friday, closing for lunch from 13:00hrs to 14:00hrs. Bank hours vary from bank to bank but most are open from 08:30hrs – 14:30hrs Monday to Friday. Only some are open on Saturdays. Shops are generally open from 08:00hrs to 19:00hrs, Monday to Friday and 08h00 to 13:00hrs on Saturdays.Although many businesses maintain headquarters in the city centre, there have been moves in recent years to relocate heavy industry to the Kampala Business and Industrial Park about 14 kilometres east of the city’s central business district.

Infrastructure

Kampala is served by Entebbe International Airport, which is the largest airport in Uganda. Boda-bodas are a popular mode of transport that gives access to many areas within and outside the city. Standard fees for these range from USh:1,000 to 2,000 or more. Boda-bodas are useful for passing through rush-hour traffic, although many are poorly maintained and dangerous.In early 2007, it was announced that Kampala would remove commuter taxis from its streets and replace them with a comprehensive city bus service. The bus service was expected to cover the greater Kampala metropolitan area including Mukono, Mpigi, Bombo, Entebbe, Wakiso and Gayaza. As of December 2011 the service had not yet started.Having successfully completed the Northern Bypass, the government, in collaboration with its stakeholders, now plans to introduce the Bus Rapid Transit system in Kampala by 2014. On 12 March 2012, Pioneer Easy Bus Company, a private transport company, started public bus service in Kampala with an estimated 100 buses each with a 60-passenger capacity , acquired from China. Another 422 buses were expected in the country in 2012 to complement the current fleet. The buses operate 24 hours daily. The company has a concession to provide public transport in the city for the next five years. The buses were impounded for back taxes in December 2013. The company expected to resume operation in February 2015.

In 2014, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and a Chinese transportation company signed a Memorandum of Understanding, to embark at some point on building a light rail system in Kampala, similar to the one recently completed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On 11 April 2011, the pressure group Activists for Change held its first Walk to Work protest near Kampala, in response to a comment by President Museveni on the increased cost of fuel, which had risen by 50 percent between January and April 2011. He said: «What I call on the public to do is to use fuel sparingly. Don’t drive to bars». The protest, which called on workers to walk to work to highlight the increased cost of transport in Uganda, was disrupted by police, who fired tear gas and arrested three-time presidential candidate Kizza Besigye and Democratic Party leader Norbert Mao. In the course of the protest, Besigye was shot in the right arm by a rubber bullet. The government blamed the violence on protesters.In 2016, the Rift Valley Railways Consortium and Kampala Capital City Authority established passenger rail service between Namanve and Kampala and between Kampala and Kyengera. Those services were temporarily discontinued after RVR lost its concession in Uganda in October 2017. However, when Uganda Railways Corporation took over the operations of the metre gauge railway system in Uganda in 2018, the service was restored in February that year. A new Kampala to Port Bell route is being planned to be added in the 2018/2019 financial year.

Technology 

Kampala is a hotbed for young African tech entrepreneurs. The current government has set the conditions for economic growth and has encouraged the growth of small businesses. There are four business incubators in Kampala including Hive CoLab.Hive CoLab was the first tech-focused business incubator in Uganda. It was founded in 2010 through the efforts of Jon Gosier and Teddy Ruge. In 2008, Teddy was in the United States writing about the emerging tech sector in Africa and was introduced to Jon who was working in Kampala. At the time in Kampala, tech-focused entrepreneurs were congregating in Internet cafes that were not good for creativity. Jon and Teddy discussed the idea of generating a «next generation» Internet cafe and they established their first «co-working» space.Hive CoLab is a large open space with reliable internet connection, a back-up power source, and a conference space for one-on-one meetings. It is a community-owned, collaborative, co-working space for the Uganda’s Technology community. Membership is open to all and is free. The only requirement for membership is that the applicant must be working on a project or must be looking for a project to work on. The incubator offers in-house consultants to mentor members and the mission is to provide the new companies the much-needed visibility in order to promote its offerings and eventually find funding or investment capital.

In 2013, manufacturing contributed 10% of GDP, compared to 21% for industry as a whole and 25% for agriculture. Half of GDP came from the services sector. However, African leaders meeting in Equatorial Guinea failed to resolve the debate on establishing a common standard of measurement for the 10% target.In 2014, Uganda was ranked 36th out of 52 countries on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance. Some 16% of the population had access to internet and 44% a mobile phone subscription in 2013. One in four Ugandans had access to sanitation, 42% to improved water and 15% to electricity in 2011. The government spent 4.3% of GDP on health and 1.9% of GDP on the military in 2013. Inflows of foreign direct investment amounted to 4.8% of GDP in 2013.

In 2013, the population was growing at a rate of 3.31% per year. In sub-Saharan Africa, only Niger and South Sudan recorded faster growth rates.Public expenditure on education amounted to 3.3% of GDP in 2012. Of this, 11% was earmarked for higher education. Uganda has achieved universal primary education but only one-quarter of pupils attend secondary school and 4.4% university.

The National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy dates from 2009. Its overarching goal is to ‘strengthen national capability to generate, transfer and apply scientific knowledge, skills and technologies that ensure sustainable utilisation of natural resources for the realisation of Uganda’s development objectives.’ The policy precedes Uganda Vision 2040, which was launched in April 2013 to transform ‘Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years,’ in the words of the Cabinet. Uganda Vision 2040 vows to strengthen the private sector, improve education and training, modernize infrastructure and the underdeveloped services and agriculture sectors, foster industrialization and promote good governance, among other goals. Potential areas for economic development include oil and gas, tourism, minerals and information and communication technologies .In 2007, the National Council for Science and Technology launched the Millennium Science Initiative , which was co-financed by the World Bank. At a time when the economy’s formal sector was expanding rapidly and real investment was rising sharply, the Council considered that continued economic progress would require more and better use of knowledge and more and better qualified human resources for science and technology. The fund became operational in July 2010. It covered the cost of modernizing laboratories and the implementation of ten projects at the university. It also financed undergraduate science and engineering programmes, academia–private sector partnerships, student internships, science policy formulation and science popularization in schools and communities.Business incubation and innovation are being promoted by several Ugandan institutions, including the Uganda Industrial Research Institute and the Uganda Investment Authority. The latter is a parastatal agency which works in conjunction with the government to facilitate private sector investment. One of the authority’s most flourishing sectors is ICTs. This sector has seen major investment in recent years to develop Uganda’s backbone infrastructure network, which consists of fibre-optic cables and related equipment, as well as mobile broadband infrastructure.Uganda has an innovation hub named Hive Colab, which was launched in 2010 by AfriLabs and is headed by Barbara Birungi. It serves as a collaborative space to facilitate interaction among technology entrepreneurs, web and mobile app developers, designers, investors, venture capitalists and donors. Hive Colab provides facilities, support and advice to members to help them launch successful start-up enterprises. The hub offers a virtual incubation platform that is intended to assist entrepreneurial activity, particularly in rural areas. Its three programme focus areas are ICTs and mobile technologies, climate technologies and agribusiness innovation.

Start-ups need to scale fast in order to create more jobs and unlock income opportunities across emerging markets. As start-ups scale, capital and expertise from investors is critical, support from the donor community is vital in de-risking unproven business models, government support in building enabling laws is paramount, and private sector participation is pivotal.

Social Wellness and Human Resources

The population of Kampala city proper has been rapidly increasing from 62,264 in 1948 to 1,189,142 in 2002 then 1,507,080 in 2014. In 2019 the population was estimated to be 1,650,800.Kampala, being the capital city and economic engine of Uganda, has a diverse ethnic population drawn from all parts of the country and also from neighboring countries such as Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, and even from countries as far away as India and China.Cross-cultural intimate relations in Kampala and even Uganda generally speaking are still unusual. Although many of Kampala’s residents live and work in close contact, they still define themselves by their ethnic origins. This is more evident in the native languages used at home, work places and even in public spaces alongside Luganda and English. In addition to the Baganda and Banyankole, other large ethnic groups include the Basoga, Bafumbira, Batoro, Bakiga, Alur, Bagisu , Banyoro, Iteso, Langi, and Acholi.

A prominent cultural centre in the Kampala area of Kisasi that aims to promote Ugandan and African cultural expressions through music, dance, and drama. The name Ndere is derived from the noun ‘endere’, which means flute. As an instrument found in all cultures, it is chosen as a peaceful symbol of the universality of cultural expressions. The Ndere centre is famous for its Ndere troupe, a music and dance troupe that perform several nights every week at the centre showcasing music and dance from all over Uganda as well as Rwanda and Burundi.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kampala

https://www.britannica.com/place/Kampala

https://www.worldscapitalcities.com/capital-facts-for-kampala-uganda/

https://roadsandkingdoms.com/2017/24-things-to-know-before-you-go-to-kampala/

http://www.10-facts-about.com/Kampala/id/1793

https://travelcare.ug/2018/08/kampala-open-business/

https://ug.usembassy.gov/business/getting-started-uganda/

https://vc4a.com/blog/2014/05/28/the-technology-ecosystem-in-kampala-uganda/

 

Frankfurt

Introduction

Frankfurt is a metropolis and the largest city of the German state of Hesse. Its 753,056 inhabitants make it the fifth-largest city in Germany. On the River Main , it forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring city of Offenbach am Main and its urban area has a population of 2.3 million. The city is at the centre of the larger Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region, which has a population of 5.5 million and is Germany’s second-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr Region. Between the 2013 enlargement of the European Union and the United Kingdom’s withdrawal in 2020, the geographic centre of the EU was about 40 km to the east of Frankfurt’s central business district. Like France and Franconia, the city is named after the Franks. Frankfurt is the largest city in the Rhine Franconian dialect area.

Frankfurt was a city state, the Free City of Frankfurt, for nearly five centuries and was one of the most important cities of the Holy Roman Empire, as a site of imperial coronations; it lost its sovereignty upon the collapse of the empire in 1806, regained it in 1815 and then permanently in 1866, when it was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia. Frankfurt is culturally, ethnically and religiously diverse, with half of its population, and a majority of young people, having a migration background. A quarter of the population consists of foreign nationals, including many expatriates.

Frankfurt is an alpha world city and a global hub for commerce, culture, education, tourism and transportation. It is the site of many global and European corporate headquarters. Frankfurt Airport is among the world’s busiest. Frankfurt is the major financial centre of the European continent, with the headquarters of the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank, KfW, Commerzbank, several cloud and fintech startups and other institutes. Major fairs include the Frankfurt Motor Show, the world’s largest motor show, the Music Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest book fair.

Frankfurt is home to influential educational institutions, including the Goethe University, the UAS, the FUMPA and graduate schools like the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. Its renowned cultural venues include the concert hall Alte Oper, Europe’s largest English theatre and many museums . Frankfurt’s skyline is shaped by some of Europe’s tallest skyscrapers. The city is also characterised by various green areas and parks, including the central Wallanlagen, the City Forest, two major botanical gardens and the Frankfurt Zoo. In electronic music, Frankfurt has been a pioneering city since the 1980s, with renowned DJs including Sven Väth, Marc Trauner, Scot Project, Kai Tracid, and the clubs Dorian Gray, U60311, Omen and Cocoon.

Data and Facts

  • The famous writer, humanist and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in Frankfurt in 1749. In 1860, it also became the final resting place of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer
  • Frankfurt has the largest inner-city forest in Germany, taking up around 80 sq. km. (a third of its territory), and the world-famous 20-hectare Palm Garden, which hosts plants from every climate zone on the planet.
  • This city is home to two of the EU’s highest skyscrapers – the Commerzbank (259 m) and the tower of the Exhibition Centre
  • Frankfurt’s airport is the largest in Germany. It is third largest in Europe in terms of the number of passengers flown, and the second in terms of transported cargo
  • Phillipp Reis invented the first ‘make and break telephone’ in Frankfurt. It is a common misconception that Alexander Graham Bell or Thomas Edison came up with the idea, but Reis’ work predates theirs 
  • The city’s name comes from Emperor Charlemagne, who referred to the settlement as “Franconovud”, or “Ford of the Franks”, in 794 when he built himself a royal council there

Administration 

Frankfurt is one of five independent district-free cities (kreisfreie Städte) in Hesse, which means that it does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity, in this case it is not part of a Landkreis. The other four cities are the second to fifth largest cities in Hesse: Wiesbaden, Kassel, Darmstadt and Offenbach am Main. A kreisfreie Stadt has territorial sovereignty within its defined city limits. In 1995 Petra Roth of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) became Lord Mayor (Oberbürgermeisterin), Frankfurt’s municipal leader. In 2012, Peter Feldmann (SPD) succeeded Roth as Lord Mayor. The CDU and the Alliance ’90/The Greens (Bündnis ’90/Die Grünen) formed the government.

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) is an institution of the European Union and part of the European System of Financial Supervisors that was created in response to the financial crisis of 2007–2008. It was established on 1 January 2011. Frankfurt is one of two locations of the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, short: BaFin). The BaFin is an independent federal institution and acts as Germany’s financial regulatory authority. Frankfurt is home to the German office of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is part of the World Bank Group. The IFC promotes sustainable private sector investment in developing countries. Frankfurt is one of two sites of the German National Library (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek), the other being Leipzig. The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek is the largest universal library in Germany. Its task, unique in Germany, is to collect, permanently archive, comprehensively document and record bibliographically all German and German-language publications from 1913 on, foreign publications about Germany, translations of German works and the works of German-speaking emigrants published abroad between 1933 and 1945, and to make them available to the public.

Economy 

Frankfurt is one of the world’s most important financial centres and Germany’s financial capital, followed by Munich. Frankfurt was ranked 8th at the International Financial Centers Development Index , 8th at the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index , 9th at the Global Financial Centres Index , 10th at the Global Power City Index , 11th at the Global City Competitiveness Index , 12th at the Innovation Cities Index , 14th at the World City Survey and 23rd at the Global Cities Index .

The city’s importance as a financial centre has risen since the eurozone crisis. Indications are the establishment of two institutions of the European System of Financial Supervisors in 2011 and the Single Supervisory Mechanism by which the European Central Bank was to assume responsibility for specific supervisory tasks related to the financial stability of the biggest and most important Eurozone banks. According to an annual study by Cushman & Wakefield, the European Cities Monitor , Frankfurt has been one of the top three cities for international companies in Europe, after London and Paris, since the survey started in 1990. It is the only German city considered to be an alpha world city as listed by the Loughborough University group’s 2010 inventory, which was a promotion from the group’s 2008 inventory when it was ranked as an alpha minus world city .

With over 922 jobs per 1,000 inhabitants, Frankfurt has the highest concentration of jobs in Germany. On work days and Saturdays one million people commute from all over the Rhein-Main-Area. The city is expected to benefit from international banks relocating jobs from London to Frankfurt as a result of Brexit to retain access to the EU market. Thus far, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc., Standard Chartered Plc and Nomura Holdings Inc. announced they would move their EU headquarters to Frankfurt.

Business Environment

Whether you are travelling to Frankfurt by plane, train or car, the city will make sure you notice its importance long before you reach your destination. Frankfurt’s skyline is unique in Germany. Nowhere else in the country will you find a greater cluster of skyscrapers. Among the towers are Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, and the European Central Bank. The Deutsche Bundesbank is also headquartered in Frankfurt, as is the KfW. More than 200 banks can be found in Frankfurt. And then, of course, there is Deutsche Börse, the country’s most important stock exchange. Why is it that so many fintechs are located in Frankfurt?One reason may be that, for the time being, banks and fintechs don’t compete as much as is often said. They are also very knowledgeable in regulatory matters and have the required licenses. Also, both draw from the same workforce.

The banking sector relies heavily on technology and, because of regulatory and customer requirements, needs the highest levels of security, connectivity, and latency. This is true for those who run their business from the city’s skyscrapers and is at least as important for their tech-based challengers. In Frankfurt, these service levels are fulfilled by a number of data center providers. All the important providers are there; many have more than just one data center in the Frankfurt area; and all of them are expanding their capacities year after year to keep up with growing customer demand. The city’s data centers have recently surpassed Frankfurt’s airport in terms of energy consumption. According to Dr. Béla Waldhauser, CEO of Telehouse Deutschland and Leader of the Competence Group Datacenter Infrastructure in the eco Association, all of the larger, well-established data centers will be massively expanding their capacities in 2017, with figures of 5-10 MW of additional capacity per provider.

More than 700 national and international networks meet here to peer their Internet traffic. The amount of data handled by DE-CIX has been growing year after year, most recently peaking at 5.6 Terabit per second. It has got to the point where networks go to Frankfurt – because everybody goes there.Recently, another factor has emerged when opting for Frankfurt: BREXIT. Much has been written and speculated about BREXIT’s consequences for the UK and its economy as well as for London and its financial sector. Reuters estimates that as many as 9,000 jobs in the industry could move from the UK to other European countries as a direct consequence of BREXIT. Other estimates of job losses are higher; others are much higher.

Impact assessments like these tend to agree that London’s significance as the financial industry’s location will decrease, and that others will benefit. It is not a question of if, but of how much and when.

Infrastructure

The city can be accessed from around the world via Frankfurt Airport located 12 km southwest of the city centre. The airport has four runways and serves 265 non-stop destinations. Run by transport company Fraport it ranks among the world’s busiest airports by passenger traffic and is the busiest airport by cargo traffic in Europe. The airport also serves as a hub for Condor and as the main hub for German flag carrier Lufthansa. It is the busiest aiport in Europe in terms of cargo traffic, and the fourth busiest in Europe in terms of passenger traffic behind London Heathrow Airport, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Passenger traffic at Frankfurt Airport in 2018 was 69,510,269 passengers. A third terminal is being constructed . The third terminal will increase the capacity of the airport to over 90 million passengers per year. The airport can be reached by car or bus and has two railway stations, one for regional and one for long-distance traffic. Passenger traffic at Hahn Airport in 2010 was 3.5 million. Frankfurt Egelsbach Airport is a busy general aviation airport located south-east of Frankfurt Airport, near Egelsbach.

Frankfurt is a traffic hub for the German motorway system. The Frankfurter Kreuz is an Autobahn interchange close to the airport, where the Bundesautobahn 3 , Cologne to Würzburg, and the Bundesautobahn 5 , Basel to Hanover, meet. With approximately 320,000 cars passing through it every day it is Europe’s most heavily used interchange. The Bundesautobahn 66 connects Frankfurt with Wiesbaden in the west and Fulda in the east. The Bundesautobahn 661 is mainly a commuter motorway which starts in the south , runs through the eastern part and ends in the north . The Bundesautobahn 648 is a very short motorway in the western part which primarily serves as a fast connection between the A 66 and the Frankfurt Trade Fair. The A5 in the west, the A3 in the south and the A661 in the north-east form a ring road around the inner city districts and define a Low-emission zone , meaning that vehicles have to meet certain emission criteria to enter the zone.

It is located between the Gallus, the Gutleutviertel and the Bahnhofsviertel district, not far away from the trade fair and the financial district. It serves as a major hub for long-distance trains and regional trains as well as for Frankfurt’s public transport system. It is a stop for most of ICE high speed lines, making it Germany’s most important ICE station. ICE Trains to London via the Channel Tunnel were planned for 2013. All Rhine-Main S-Bahn lines, two U-Bahn lines , several tram and bus lines stop there. Regional and local trains are integrated in the Public transport system Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund , the second largest integrated public transport systems in the world, after Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg. Frankfurt Airport can be accessed by two railway stations: Frankfurt Airport long-distance station is only for long-distance traffic and connects the airport to the main rail network, with most of the ICE services using the Cologne-Frankfurt high-speed rail line. The long-distance station is located outside the actual airport ground but has a connecting bridge for pedestrians to Terminal 1, concourse B. Frankfurt Airport regional station is for local S-Bahn trains and regional trains. The regional station is located within Terminal 1, concourse B. Frankfurt’s third long-distance station is Frankfurt South station Frankfurt Südbahnhof, often abbreviated as Frankfurt , located in Sachsenhausen. It is an important destination for local trains and trams and the terminal stop for four U-Bahn lines and four S-Bahn lines .

Technology 

Frankfurt is an ecosystem that is still in its infancy but still manages to punch above its weight with a growing number of successful startups. Some of the top Frankfurt startups for 2019 have emerged owing to the surge in investments in the region. Quite a few tech startups were in the spotlight in 2018 for the headline-worthy funding rounds they participated and for the promising growth they show.

Frankfurt has all the ingredients for the making of a thriving startup ecosystem – excellent connectivity, wealthy venture capital scenario, an array of incubators and accelerators, and an expat-friendly community. The tech sector in the region has outdone all the startup sectors in the city. Frankfurt is dubbed as the “Silicon Valley of Europe”, thanks to the soaring tech sector.

Acellere is a top startup in Frankfurt providing high quality and impactful software products using their flagship platform Gamma. The platform aids software developers in minimizing errors and bugs in the code to ensure smooth integration of the AI component. The Frankfurt based startup was created by Sudarshan Bhide and Vishal Rai in 2009. Till date, the company has completed one round of funding and raised 2.3 million in it, becoming one of the many highly funded companies and top Frankfurt startup for 2019. Covomo was founded by Karl Dieterich in 2015 and has raised ?2.1 million so far. The most recent funding round for this top startup in Frankfurt was a venture series round led by Michael Focking. Covomo had secured ?2 million in this round. This was the largest amount raised by the company to date. One of the top Frankfurt startups for 2019, it will be interesting to see how the company will put these funds to use. Covomo?s platform allows comparison of all kinds of insurance provided by various brands.Founded in 2015, Giroxx is a payment transfer platform that offers simple and secure transactions for international transfers. This top startup in the fintech segment targets companies that regularly send money overseas and offers several features to ensure that these transactions are conducted only by authorized employees on a secure channel. The Frankfurt based startup has received its first funding of ?900,000 this year. The platform is increasingly becoming popular owing to its easy to use interface and cheaper and safer processes. The company?s debut funding round has alerted the various fintech players in the city who are watching out for any new funding or other developments by Giroxx in the coming years.

The automated backload startup has completed five rounds of funding since its establishment in 2016 by Murat Karakaya, raising total funds worth ?263,000. CargoSteps has grown to become a top startup in Franfurt and partners with the likes of ?Huawei, Volkswagen, and STI Security and Training.Founded in 2015 by Benedikt Kramer, Philipp Neub, and Roland Claussen, awamo is an emerging Frankfurt based startup in the fintech segment. The startup offers fintech solutions in the areas of lending and credit that is targeted for users at the grass-root level. This top startup from Frankfurt offers its services in the sub-Saharan African regions empowering its users in these markets with access to microfinance services which was not available previously.? Till date, awamo has completed three seed funding rounds; the most recent round was in September 2018 in which the company has raised an undisclosed seven-figure amount from FinLab AG. The new funds make it one of the top Frankfurt startups for 2019 that is expected to bring in the heat owing to the stronger capital backing.

Frankfurt based startup, bettervest is a crowdinvesting platform founded in 2012 by Evgenij Terehov, Marilyn Heib, Patrick Mijnals, and Torsten Schreiber. The platform is exclusively for energy efficiency projects and is the first one in the world to offer such services. The startup made headlines as a growing company joining the ranks of top Frankfurt startups for 2019 after it received an undisclosed amount in investment from Triodos Investment Management. The company has played a significant role in bringing private investors into play in the energy efficiency market.Innoplexus is a leading data-as-a-service startup in Frankfurt that is one of the top Frankfurt startups for 2019 expected to show remarkable developments in the coming year.

Social Wellness and Human Resources

With a population of 732,688 within its administrative boundaries and of 2,300,000 in the actual urban area, Frankfurt is the fifth largest city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne. Central Frankfurt has been a Großstadt since 1875. With 414,576 residents in 1910, it was the ninth largest city in Germany and the number of inhabitants grew to 553,464 before World War II. After the war, at the end of the year 1945, the number had dropped to 358,000. In the following years, the population grew again and reached an all-time-high of 691,257 in 1963. It dropped again to 592,411 in 1986 but has increased since then. According to the demographic forecasts for central Frankfurt, the city will have a population up to 825,000 within its administrative boundaries in 2020 and more than 2.5 million inhabitants in its urban area.

This would have made Frankfurt officially the second largest city in Germany after Berlin with up to 3 million inhabitants. However, because local authorities did not agree the administrative territory is still much smaller than its actual urban area. According to data from the city register of residents, 51.2% of the population had a migration background as of 2015, which means that a person or at least one or both of their parents was born with foreign citizenship. For the first time, a majority of the city residents had an at least part non-German background. Moreover, three of four children in the city under the age of six had immigrant backgrounds. and 27.7% of residents had a foreign citizenship.According to statistics, 46.7% of immigrants in Frankfurt come from other countries in The European Union, 24.5% of immigrants in Frankfurt come from European countries that are not part of the EU, 15.7% of immigrants in Frankfurt come from Asia , 7.3% of immigrants in Frankfurt come from Africa, 3.4% of immigrants in Frankfurt come from North America , 0.2% of immigrants in Frankfurt come from Australia and Zealandia, 2.3% of immigrants in Frankfurt come from South America and 1.1% of immigrants in Frankfurt come from The Pacific Island Nations. Two synagogues operate there. Due to the growing immigration of people from Muslim countries beginning in the 1960s, Frankfurt has a large Muslim community. The Ahmadiyya Noor Mosque, constructed in 1959, is the city’s largest mosque and the third largest in Germany.As of 2013, the largest Christian denominations were Catholicism and Protestantism, especially Lutheranism . Estimations put the share of Muslim inhabitants at approximately 12% . According to calculations based on census data for 21 countries of origin, the number of Muslim migrants in Frankfurt amounted to about 84,000 in 2011, making up 12.6 percent of the population.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt

https://www.britannica.com/place/Frankfurt-am-Main

https://www.travelonspot.com/en_LT/article/top-10-interesting-facts-about-frankfurt

https://www.thelocal.de/20170926/10-surprising-facts-about-frankfurt

https://www.dotmagazine.online/issues/innovation-in-digital-commerce/doing-business-in-germany-what-does-frankfurt-have-to-offer

https://hexgn.com/top-frankfurt-startups-to-watch-out-for-in-2019/

 

Lusaka

Introduction

Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. It is one of the fastest developing cities in southern Africa. Lusaka is in the southern part of the central plateau at an elevation of about 1,279 metres (4,196 ft). As of 2010, the city’s population was about 1.7 million, while the urban population is estimated at 2.5 million in 2018. Lusaka is the centre of both commerce and government in Zambia and connects to the country’s four main highways heading north, south, east and west. English is the official language of the city administration, while Nyanja and Bemba are the commonly spoken street languages.

In the 1890s the area in which Lusaka is situated was taken over by the British South Africa Company from the local chiefs in the course of the formation of Northern Rhodesia, with control passing to the British Colonial Office in 1924. Lusaka became the capital of Northern Rhodesia in 1935. The city figured prominently in the movement for independence and was where the Federation of African Societies founded the Northern Rhodesian Congress in 1948. After the federation of Northern and Southern Rhodesia took place in 1953, Lusaka was a hub of the civil disobedience movement (1960) that led to the creation of the independent state of Zambia, of which Lusaka became the capital.

Data and Facts

  • For 2016, Lusaka ranks as the 200th costliest city dropping 20 places from 2015 when Mercer placed Lusaka as the world’s 180th most expensive city for newly relocated citizens
  • Including its immediate surrounding neighborhood, the population count for Lusaka’s built-up urban area is approximately 2.7 million inhabitants. Lusaka’s extended urban perimeters contains 121 square miles (313 square kilometers)
  • Lusaka is the smallest province in Zambia
  • All of Africa’s Big Five can be found in Zambia including lions, rhinos and elephants. South Luangwa National Park is a protection area for these animals

Administration 

As the national capital, Lusaka is the seat of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, epitomized by the presence of the National Assembly , the State House , and the High Court. The Parliament is situated at the Parliament complex, which features a 15-story building. The city is also the capital of Lusaka Province, the smallest and most populous of the country’s nine provinces, and forms an administrative district run by Lusaka City Council. In 2007, the mayor was Steven Chilatu , and the deputy mayor was Mary Phiri. Lusaka’s newer government section contrasts with the old township along the railway line.

Zambia’s initial constitution was abandoned in August 1973 when it became a one-party state. The constitution of the Second Republic provided for a «one-party participatory democracy,» with the United National Independence Party the only legal political party. In response to mounting pressures within the country, the constitution was changed in 1991 to allow the reintroduction of a multiparty system. Under the terms of the constitution, the president, who is head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces, is elected by universal adult suffrage to no more than two five-year terms. Central government is represented throughout Zambia by the provincial government system, by which resident ministers—each of whom is the president’s direct representative—are appointed by the president to each of the provinces. The provinces are divided into districts, each of which has a district council chairman responsible to the provincial deputy minister; the district council chairman is particularly concerned with political and economic developments. His civil service counterpart is the district executive secretary. The cities of Lusaka, Ndola, and Kitwe have councils and mayors, but the formerly separate management of mine townships on the Copperbelt has been abolished.

The court system consists of the Supreme Court, the High Court, subordinate magistrate’s courts, and local courts. Because the law administered by all except the local courts is based on English common law, decisions of the higher British courts are of persuasive value; in fact, a few statutes of the British Parliament that were declared by ordinance to apply to Zambia are in force so far as circumstances permit. Most of the laws presently on the statute book, however, have been locally enacted by ordinance or, since independence, by Zambian acts.The Supreme Court consists of the chief justice, deputy chief justice, and several other justices; it is the court of last resort. Customary law is followed when it is not incompatible with other legislation.

The judiciary remains formally independent. The president appoints the chief justice and, on the advice of the Judicial Services Commission, also appoints other judges; however, the constitution severely restricts the president’s powers of dismissal, and on occasion judges have not shrunk from challenging the authority of the government or party. At the same time, the scope of the judiciary was seriously limited by presidential powers of preventive detention under emergency regulations brought in at the time of Rhodesian UDI in November 1965 and subsequently regularly renewed by the National Assembly. The ending of these state-of-emergency regulations on Nov. 8, 1991, was one of the first acts of the new government. The president is elected on the basis of universal adult suffrage; election to the National Assembly, which is conducted simultaneously, is also largely decided on this basis, although a small proportion of National Assembly members are nominated by the president. There is a 27-member House of Chiefs, with a two-year-term rotating membership. It has no legislative function: it may consider bills but not block their passage.

Economy 

Although basically reliant on its agricultural environs, and a major collecting point for corn and tobacco, Lusaka has a mixed economy that includes cement, textile, and shoe manufacture, and food processing.The economy of Zambia is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and its capital, Lusaka is the fastest growing city in the Southern African Development Community . Zambia itself is one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s most highly urbanized countries. About one-half of the country’s 16 million people are concentrated in a few urban zones strung along the major transportation corridors, while rural areas are under-populated. Unemployment and underemployment are serious problems. National GDP has actually doubled since independence, but due in large part to high birth rates and AIDS per capita annual incomes are currently at about two-thirds of their levels at independence. As of 2018, Zambia’s GDP per capita, PPP stands at $4,216.46 For the first time since 1989 Zambia’s economic growth reached the 6%-7% mark needed to reduce poverty significantly. Cooperation continues with international bodies on programs to reduce poverty, including a new lending arrangement with the IMF in the second quarter of 2004. A tighter monetary policy will help cut inflation, but Zambia still has a serious problem with high public debt.

Lack of balance-of-payment support meant the Zambian government did not have resources for capital investment and periodically had to issue bonds or otherwise expand the money supply to try to meet its spending and debt obligations. The government continued these activities even after balance-of-payment support resumed. This has kept interest rates at levels that are too high for local business, fuelled inflation, burdened the budget with domestic debt payments, while still falling short of meeting the public payroll and other needs, such as infrastructure rehabilitation. The government was forced to draw down foreign exchange reserves sharply in 1998 to meet foreign debt obligations, putting further pressure on the kwacha and inflation. As a result, 2001 year-end inflation was below 20%, its best result in decades. In 2002 inflation rose to 26.7%. However, in 2007 inflation hit 8%, the first time in 30 years that Zambia had seen single digit inflation.On January 27, 2011, it was reported by the Central Statistical Office that inflation rose to 9%. There are, however, positive macroeconomic signs, rooted in reforms implemented in the early and mid-1990s. Zambia’s floating exchange rate and open capital markets have provided useful discipline to the government, while at the same time allowing continued diversification of Zambia’s export sector, growth in the tourist industry, and procurement of inputs for growing businesses.

Business Environment

There are a number of requirements that a local investor or foreigner needs to undertake before doing business in Zambia. The Company’s Act Cap 388 governs the registration of companies in Zambia. Registration is done by the Patents and Companies Registration Agency . The registration can also be done on-line making it easy to set up a business in Zambia. Prospective business people are required to submit an application for name clearance in order to avoid use of an existing or similar name, an application for incorporation by subscribing the names of directors and secretaries of the company, articles of the company, statutory declaration in compliance with the Company’s Act. The minimum share capital of a company is K5, 000. In terms of the political environment, Zambia has been a sanctuary of peace for more than fifty years with six successful presidents that have been democratically elected into office. There is no country in Africa that can beat Zambia’s track record on peace and tranquility from the time the country became independent. Subsequently, as the country goes to the polls on 11th August, 2016 to elect new law makers the transition is expected to be democratic and peaceful as history has shown.

Looking at the economy, Zambia’s economic growth has been steady in the recent past. The Gross Domestic Product expanded by 5 percent in 2015 from the previous year and the GDP Annual Growth Rate at an average of 2.97 percent from 1961 until 2015. In terms of available investment opportunities, the Government through ZDA has focused its energies on attracting Foreign Direct Investment and stimulating Local Direct Investment in growth oriented sectors with potential to propel economic growth. Finally, the Agency is facilitating the growth of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises through capacity building, linkages to various service providers and provision of an enabling business environment, particularly for Zambians undertaking local direct investment .

Government’s relentless effort in improving the country’s business environment and attracting foreign investment are being recognised globally, Zambia’s Ambassador designate to France, Dr. Christine Kaseba- Sata has said. And Zambia has won the award of best state strategy in Africa in recognition of the Government’s efforts in improving the business environment and attracting domestic and foreign direct investment. Africa Investments Forum and Awards was inaugurated in 2017 with the support of the French captains of Industry namely the Council of French Investments in Africa , the French Private Equity Association , Paris Europlace, Agence Française de Développement , Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables, among others. The award o f best state strategy in Africa is dedicated to business opportunities on the African continent in various fields such as Energy, Infrastructure and City Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions, Growth Strategies and Real Estate Industries.

Infrastructure

Lusaka is home to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport . There is also Lusaka City Airport, which is used by the Zambian Air Force. The airport is currently undergoing a major expansion and modernisation. The city is served by the operating sections of the Cape to Cairo Railway, which connects it to Lubumbashi and Bulawayo. The international airport is connected to the railway line. The city is crossed by Transafican Highway 9 , which connects it to the cities of Harare and Lubumbashi, and by Transafrican Highway 4 , which connects it to Dodoma and Bulawayo.Intracity public transport is provided primarily by minibuses, but also includes larger buses and shared taxis on fixed routes. Vehicles on most routes travel between specific parts of the city and the four terminals in the central business district : Kulima Tower, City Market, Millennium and Lumumba. There is no official map of public transport routes in Lusaka, but an initiative to create a user-generated content map was begun in 2014. All public transport vehicles in Lusaka are operated by private operators. Bus services within Lusaka neighbourhoods, the CBD and towns surrounding Lusaka, such as Siavonga and Chirundu, use the Lusaka City Market Bus station, Inter-city Bus Terminus, Millenium Bus Station and Kulima Tower Station.

Technology 

Zambia is one of a number of countries in the Southern African region that have sought to include ICTs in their national development plans. This policy brief summarises a review of the successes and failures of this approach in Zambia, and considers the next steps that are needed to meet the information and communication needs of the coming generation.

ICTs have received growing attention in recent years from development practitioners, policymakers, government officials and civil society organisations in Southern Africa. Individuals also benefit from the availability and use of ICTs in a number of ways – for example, by substituting phone calls for travel, which saves time and money, and by using ICTs to obtain information on prices, for their own produce and for purchases. In these various ways, ICTs can have a significant impact on a country’s ability to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

There are, however, also constraints on the potential impact of ICTs in many developing countries. These constraints include inadequate technical infrastructure, limited human skills to use available networks and services, the relatively high cost of communications equipment, and poor policy and regulatory environments. These factors reduce the scope for countries and communities to realise the potential of ICTs for development (ICT4D), and may even increase exclusion and marginalisation. The difference between access to and use of ICTs in urban and rural areas, and between prosperous and poor members of society – often called the ‘digital divide’ – has been of particular concern.

Social Wellness and Human Resources

Zambia’s population comprises more than 70 Bantu-speaking ethnic groups. Some ethnic groups are small, and only two have enough people to constitute at least 10% of the population. The majority of Zambians are subsistence farmers, but the country is also fairly [urbanized]], with 42% of the population being city residents. The predominant religion is a blend of traditional beliefs and Christianity.

[European job seekers and a few investor]]s, mostly British or North Americansn, as well as some white Zambian citizens , live mainly in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt in northern Zambia, where they are either employed in mines, financial and related activities or retired. Zambia also has a small Asian Asian population, most of whom are Indians or Chinese.

African: 99.2%Other: 0.8% According to the 2019 revision of the World Population Prospects the total population of Zambia is 17,351,708 in 2018, compared to only 2 340 000 in 1950. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 46.4%, 50.6% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 3.1% was 65 years or older.Zambia’s mineral rich, youthful population consists primarily of Bantu-speaking people representing nearly 70 different ethnicities. Zambia’s high fertility rate continues to drive rapid population growth, averaging almost 3 percent annually between 2000 and 2010. The country’s total fertility rate has fallen by less than 1.5 children per woman during the last 30 years and still averages among the world’s highest, almost 6 children per woman, largely because of the country’s lack of access to family planning services, education for girls, and employment for women. Zambia also exhibits wide fertility disparities based on rural or urban location, education, and income. Poor, uneducated women from rural areas are more likely to marry young, to give birth early, and to have more children, viewing children as a sign of prestige and recognizing that not all of their children will live to adulthood.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lusaka

https://www.britannica.com/place/Lusaka

https://www.worldscapitalcities.com/capital-facts-for-lusaka-zambia/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Zambia

https://tumfweko.com/2017/07/25/7-facts-about-zambias-capital-city-lusaka/

http://www.zda.org.zm/?q=content/doing-business-zambia

https://www.lusakatimes.com/2018/11/10/zambia-wins-award-of-best-state-strategy-in-improving-the-business-environment/

http://panoslondon.panosnetwork.org/resources/icts-and-development-in-zambia-challenges-and-opportunities/

 

Ouagadougou

Introduction

Ouagadougou is the capital of Burkina Faso and the administrative, communications, cultural, and economic centre of the nation. It was the capital of the historic Mossi kingdom of Wagadugu (founded in the 15th century) and the seat of the morho naba (“great king”) of the Mossi people. Islam became the religion of the kings under Naba Dulugu (ruled 1796?–1825?). The morho naba still lives in the city, though his powers were greatly eclipsed by the French colonial and post-independent administrations. It is also the country’s largest city, with a population of 2,200,000 in 2015. The city’s name is often shortened to Ouaga. The inhabitants are called ouagalais. The spelling of the name Ouagadougou is derived from the French orthography common in former French African colonies.

Ouagadougou’s primary industries are food processing and textiles. It is served by an international airport and is linked by rail to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast and, for freight only, to Kaya. There are several highways linking the city to Niamey, Niger, south to Ghana, and southwest to Ivory Coast. Ouagadougou has one of West Africa’s largest markets, which burned down in 2003 and has since reopened with better facilities and improved fire-prevention measures. Other attractions include the National Museum of Burkina Faso, the Moro-Naba Palace (site of the Moro-Naba Ceremony), the National Museum of Music, and several craft markets.

Data and Facts

  • Ouagadougou city limits contain an area measuring 85 square miles (219 square kilometers) within which approximately 1.6 million people live
  • Wondering how to say the name of this wonderful city? It’s pronounced Wah-gah-doo-goo, although it’s often shortened to Ouaga, pronounced Wah-gah
  • Ouagadougou is located 1,001 ft above sea level
  • Burkinabe living in Ouagadougou enjoy a hot, semi-arid climate with three seasons; hot, cold and rainy. The average annual temperature is 28°C, although temperatures can reach up to 48°C
  • The official language of Ouagadougou is French. West African CFA Franc is the official currency here

Administration

Ouagadougou’s first municipal elections were held in 1956. The city is governed by a mayor who is elected to a five-year term, two senior councillors, and 90 councillors. The city is divided into five arrondissements, consisting of 30 sectors, which are subdivided into districts. Districts of Ouagadougou include Gounghin, Kamsaoghin, Koulouba, Moemmin, Niogsin, Paspanga, Peuloghin, Bilbalogho, and Tiendpalogo. Seventeen villages comprise the Ouagadougou metropolitan area, which is about 219.3 km2 (84.7 sq mi).

The population of this area is estimated at 1,475,000, 48% of whom are men and 52% women. The rural population is about 5% and the urban population about 95% of the total, and the density is 6,727 inhabitants per square kilometre, according to the 2006 census. Ouagadougou’s communes have invested in huge city-management projects. This is largely because Ouagadougou constitutes a ‘cultural centre’ by merit of holding the SIAO (International Arts and Crafts fair) and the FESPACO (Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou). Moreover, the villages’ growing affluence allows for such investment, and the population’s rapid growth necessitates it.

Economy

The economy of Ouagadougou is based on industry and commerce. Some industrial facilities have relocated from Bobo-Dioulasso to Ouagadougou, which has made the city an important industrial centre of Burkina Faso. The industrial areas of Kossodo and Gounghin are home to several processing plants and factories. The industry of Ouagadougou is a sector that fuels urban growth, as people move to the city from the countryside to find employment in industry. The Copromof workshop in Ouagadougou sews cotton lingerie for the French label “Atelier Augusti.”Ouagadougou is an important commercial centre. It is a centre where goods are collected and directed to rural areas. With a large consumer base, large amounts of energy sources, raw materials for buildings, agricultural products and livestock products are imported to the city.The economy is dominated by the informal sector, which is characterized by petty commodity production, and workers not necessarily having salaries. Traditional, informal trade is widespread and concentrated around markets and major roads, as well as in outlets in neighborhoods. There are also instances of modern economic practices with workplaces having qualified, stable labor forces, or more traditional forms of business such as family businesses.The tertiary sector is also an important part of the economy. This comprises communications, banking, transport, bars, restaurants, hotels, as well as administrative jobs.

Business Environment

With a population of around 20 million people, Burkina Faso has been classified as a low-income country by the World Bank. In fact, GDP per capita has now reached USD 1,862, ranking 171th out of a total of 187 countries . Burkinabe consumers are relatively young: according to data from the CIA, the proportion of children below the age of 14 is 45%, 20% for those between 15 and 24, 29.4% between 25 and 54, while only 5.6% are 55 or older. The World Bank Development indicators for its part reveals that in 2017, 69.3% of the population was living in rural areas. This part of the population has relatively low access to consumer goods as compared to people living in urban areas Generally, the Burkinabe consumer has a limited budget and most of the expenses are directed towards primary needs: according to a study published by the Economic Centre of the Sorbonne University, the majority of the household budget is spent on consumption , with the bulk of expenditures going to food. The remaining part is spent on leisure and other activities . On average, Burkinabe households spend around CFA 1.25 million on food, education, healthcare, transportation, housing, durable goods, leisure, and other items every year. With a population of around 20 million people, Burkina Faso has been classified as a low-income country by the World Bank. In fact, GDP per capita has now reached USD 1,862, ranking 171th out of a total of 187 countries .

Burkinabe consumers are relatively young: according to data from the CIA, the proportion of children below the age of 14 is 45%, 20% for those between 15 and 24, 29.4% between 25 and 54, while only 5.6% are 55 or older. The World Bank Development indicators for its part reveals that in 2017, 69.3% of the population was living in rural areas. This part of the population has relatively low access to consumer goods as compared to people living in urban areas Generally, the Burkinabe consumer has a limited budget and most of the expenses are directed towards primary needs: according to a study published by the Economic Centre of the Sorbonne University, the majority of the household budget is spent on consumption , with the bulk of expenditures going to food. The remaining part is spent on leisure and other activities . On average, Burkinabe households spend around CFA 1.25 million on food, education, healthcare, transportation, housing, durable goods, leisure, and other items every year. Families have on average eleven members, of which only 5.4% have female family heads. During the exploration phase, titleholders are exempt from VAT on all imported goods .

Exports are exempt.Goods imported into Burkina Faso are normally subject to customs duties. Special duties are levied on the following goods: beverages, tobacco, perfume and cosmetic products, non-biodegradable plastic packaging and bags, petroleum products, coffee and tea, kola nuts and passenger vehicles with a power that is equal or greater than 13 horsepower. Airline tickets are subject to a special duty. Real property transfers are taxed at a rate of 8%.Capital gains arising from the disposal of fixed assets and shares normally are included in taxable income, but only at 50% of the total amount. Capital gains resulting from mergers for companies and asset contributions are exempt from corporate income tax.Business costs and expenses are deductible if they are strictly related to the business. Losses may be carried forward four years following the year of the losses.Other corporate taxes include: stamp duties for administrative acts , a business transfer tax at 10%, a real property tax at 0.1% of the taxable amount, a business license duty. Growing insecurity, particularly in the north, close to the border with Mali and Niger, has displaced many residents of Burkina Faso.

Infrastructure

Many residents travel on motorcycles and mopeds. The large private vendor of motorcycles JC Megamonde sells 50,000 motorbikes and mopeds every year.Ouagadougou’s citizens also travel in green cabs, which take their passengers anywhere in town for 200 to 400 CFA, but the price is higher after 10:00 pm and can then reach 1000 CFA.Ouagadougou Airport (code OUA) serves the area with flights to West Africa and Europe. Air Burkina has its head office in the Air Burkina Storey Building (French: Immeuble Air Burkina) in Ouagadougou.Ouagadougou is connected by passenger rail service to Bobo-Dioulasso, Koudougou and Ivory Coast. As of June 2014, Sitarail operates a passenger train three times a week along the route from Ouagadougou to Abidjan. There are freight services to Kaya in the north of Burkina Faso and in 2014 plans were announced to revive freight services to the Manganese mine at Tambao starting in 2016.

The Bangr-Weoogo urban park (area: 2.63 km2 (1 sq mi)), before colonialism, belonged to the Mosse chiefs. Considering it a sacred forest, many went there for traditional initiations or for refuge. The French colonists, disregarding its local significance and history, established it as a park in the 1930s. In 1985, renovations were done in the park. In January 2001, the park was renamed “Parc Urbain Bangr-Weoogo”, meaning “the urban park of the forest of knowledge”. Another notable park in Ouagadougou is the “L’Unité Pédagogique”, which shelters animals in a semi-free state. This botanic garden/biosphere system stretches over 8 hectares (20 acres) and also serves as a museum for the country’s history. “Jardin de l’amitié Ouaga-Loudun” (Garden of Ouaga-Loudun Friendship), with a green space that was renovated in 1996, is a symbol of the twin-city relationship between Ouagadougou and Loudun in France. It is situated in the centre of the city, near the “Nation Unies’ crossroads”.

Technology

Burkina Faso is striving to achieve middle income status by 2030. Gross domestic product per capita has risen steadily over the past decade to $1,720.1 in 2016, according to the World Bank, thanks to consistently strong economic growth that peaked at over 8% in 2010. After slowing to 4% per year in 2014, the economy is expected to return to an annual growth rate of more than 6% in the coming years.The economy remains dominated by the services sector, which contributed almost half of GDP in 2013. The manufacturing sector plays a modest role in the economy, contributing 6% of GDP. The top three export products in 2012 were cotton , gold in unwrought forms and gold in semi-manufactured forms , according to the African Development Bank. Burkina Faso is one of a handful of West African countries which have raised public expenditure on agriculture to at least 10% of GDP, the target of the Maputo Declaration , which was reasserted in 2014. Burkina Faso had a population of 17.4 million in 2014. The country is experiencing rapid demographic growth . Life expectancy at birth was 56 years in 2014. Just 4.4% of the population had access to the Internet in 2014 but two-thirds of the population had a mobile phone subscription. Burkina Faso is ranked 181st on the Human Development Index and 102nd on the Global Innovation Index .

Burkina Faso is a member of both the Economic Community of West African States and the West African Economic and Monetary Union . The considerable efforts made in West Africa to reach the Millennium Development Goal of primary education for all are paying off, with the average enrolment rate having risen from 88% to 93% in the subregion between 2004 and 2012. However, more than half of children were still not completing the primary cycle in 2012.Burkina Faso has one of Africa’s highest levels of public expenditure on higher education, at 0.93% of GDP in 2013, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. This represents 22% of the education budget and is up from 0.74% of GDP in 2006 .University student rolls doubled in Burkina Faso between 2007 and 2012. Burkina Faso has one of the subregion’s highest ratios of PhD students: one in 20 graduates goes on to enroll in a PhD. The number of PhDs in engineering fields remained low in 2012 but there had been none at all five years earlier. Burkina Faso trains a much greater number of PhDs in the field of health than its neighbours. In 2012, one in three PhD candidates in health sciences was a women, compared to about one in five in science and engineering.Before he died in December 2013, Nelson Mandela, a champion of education, lent his name to two graduate universities entrusted with the mission of producing a new generation of Africa-focused researchers, the African Institutes of Science and Technology in Tanzania and Nigeria. A third is planned for Burkina Faso.

In 2012, the West African Economic and Monetary Union designated 14 centres of excellence in the region. This label entitles these institutions to financial support from WAEMU for a two-year period. Four of these are in Burkina Faso: International Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering, Higher Institute of Population Sciences, International Centre for Research and Development into Animal Husbandry in Subtropical Zones and the Centre for Research in Biological and Food Science and Nutrition. In April 2014, the World Bank launched the African Centres of Excellence project. Eight governments are to receive a total of almost US$150 million in loans to fund research and training at 19 of the subregion’s best universities. Within the framework of its Policy on Science and Technology , ECOWAS intends to establish several centres of excellence of its own on a competitive basis.

In January 2011, the government created the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation. Up until then, management of science, technology and innovation had fallen under the Department of Secondary and Higher Education and Scientific Research. Within this ministry, the Directorate General for Research and Sector Statistics is responsible for planning. A separate body, the Directorate General of Scientific Research, Technology and Innovation, co-ordinates research. This is a departure from the pattern in many other West African countries where a single body fulfils both functions. It is a sign of the government’s intention to make science and technology a development priority.In 2012, Burkina Faso adopted a National Policy for Scientific and Technical Research, the strategic objectives of which are to develop R&D and the application and commercialization of research results. The policy also makes provisions for strengthening the ministry’s strategic and operational capacities. One of the key priorities is to improve food security and self-sufficiency by boosting capacity in agricultural and environmental sciences. The creation of a centre of excellence at the International Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering in Ouagadougou within the World Bank project cited above provides essential funding for capacity-building in these priority areas.A dual priority is to promote innovative, effective and accessible health systems. The growing number of doctoral candidates in medicine and related fields is a step in the right direction. The government wishes to develop, in parallel, applied sciences and technology and social and human sciences. To complement the national research policy, the government has prepared a National Strategy to Popularize Technologies, Inventions and Innovations and a National Innovation Strategy .Other policies also incorporate science and technology, such as that on Secondary and Higher Education and Scientific Research , the National Policy on Food and Nutrition Security and the National Programme for the Rural Sector .In 2013, Burkina Faso passed the Science, Technology and Innovation Act establishing three mechanisms for financing research and innovation, a clear indication of high-level commitment.

Social Wellness and Human Resources

Burkina Faso’s 19.8 million people belong to two major West African cultural groups—the Gur (Voltaic) and the Mandé. The Voltaic are far more numerous and include the Mossi, who make up about one-half of the population. The Mossi claim descent from warriors who migrated to present-day Burkina Faso and established an empire that lasted more than 800 years. Predominantly farmers, the Mossi are still bound by the traditions of the Mogho Naba, who hold court in Ouagadougou. About 12,000 Europeans reside in Burkina Faso, the majority of whom are French.

Most of Burkina Faso’s population is concentrated in the south and center of the country, with a population density sometimes exceeding 48 inhabitants per square kilometer (120 inhabitants per square mile). This population density, high for Africa, causes annual migrations of hundreds of thousands of Burkinabé to Ivory Coast and Ghana for seasonal agricultural work. About a third of Burkinabé adhere to traditional African religions. The introduction of Islam to Burkina Faso was initially resisted by the Mossi rulers. Christians, predominantly Roman Catholics, are largely concentrated among the urban elite. Few Burkinabé have had formal education. Schooling is free but not compulsory, and only about 29% of Burkina’s primary school-age children receive a basic education. The University of Ouagadougou, founded in 1974, was the country’s first institution of higher education. The Polytechnic University of Bobo-Dioulasso in Bobo-Dioulasso was opened in 1995. According to the 2019 revision of the World Population Prospects the total population was 19,751,466 in 2018, compared to only 4,284,000 in 1950. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 45.3%, 52.4% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 2.2% was 65 years or older.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouagadougou

https://www.britannica.com/place/Ouagadougou

https://facts.uk/16-outstanding-facts-about-ouagadougou/

https://www.worldscapitalcities.com/capital-facts-for-ouagadougou-burkina-faso/

https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/burkinafaso/overview

https://international.groupecreditagricole.com/en/international-support/burkina-faso/business-environment

Mogadishu

Introduction

Mogadishu , locally known as Xamar or Hamar, is the capital and most populous city of Somalia. It is located just north of the Equator on the Indian Ocean. One of the earliest Arab settlements on the East African coast, its origins date to the 10th century. It declined in the 16th century after a period of extensive trade with the Arab states, but it had commercial relations with the Portuguese and the imams of Muscat before coming under the control of the sultan of Zanzibar in 1871. The city has served as an important port connecting with traders over the Somali Sea for millennia and currently has a population of 3,790,000 residents.Mogadishu is the nearest foreign mainland city to Seychelles, at a distance of 835 mi over the Somali Sea. The territorial extent and scope of the term Benadir has varied in definition throughout its history, with medieval usage extending it to huge swaths of the Somali coast, the early modern period which extended the meaning of Benadir to the interior midway towards the Hirshabelle region, to the contemporary period wherein sometimes the nonstandard and incorrect misnomer of usage being interchangeable with the city of Mogadishu is used. This Benadir municipality is bordered to the north by Hirshabelle and to the southwest by South West, and is the only Somali gobol which is both a municipality and a gobol.Mogadishu has a long history, which ranges from hunter-gatherers during the Lowland East Cushite and proto-Somali era during prehistoricity, the Zengisa Acra polity during the ancient period, the Muzaffar dynasty during the medieval era, the Ajuran Sultanate during the renaissance period, and the Geledi-Qais alliance in the early modern period. The onset of European colonialism occurred in incremental stages, with Italian treaties in the 1880s followed by economic engagement between various Somali clans, including the Reer Mataan and the Shaansi clans like reer Xamar and the Italian Benadir Company and then direct governance by the Italian government after 1906, British Military Administration of Somalia after World War two and the UN Trust Territory in the 1950s.

Data and Facts

  • Somalian census data is notoriously hard to obtain. Nevertheless, Demographia estimates that Mogadishu’s population was 2.3 million people in 2015, over a land area measuring 35 square miles (91 square kilometers)
  • Population density is much higher within Somalia’s capital city with an average 64,700 Mogadishans per square mile (25,000 per square kilometer)
  • A transitional government was set up in 2000. Abdulkassim Salat Hassan was appointed as president. However, a deal to set up a new parliament wasn’t signed until 2004
  • Somalia has one of the lowest enrollment rates in the world. More men are enrolled in educational programs than women (12 – 36 percent for males in comparison to 7 – 24 percent for females). This educational gender gap increases as one reaches higher education. In fact, the literacy rate for women aged 15-24 is only 25 percent
  • With the creation of First Somali Bank – the first fully functioning bank in the country – the city is beginning to rebuild its economy

Administration 

The Transitional Federal Government was the internationally recognized central government of Somalia between 2004 and 2012. Based in Mogadishu, it constituted the executive branch of government. The Federal Government of Somalia was established on 20 August 2012, concurrent with the end of the TFG’s interim mandate. It represents the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the civil war.The Federal Parliament of Somalia serves as the government’s legislative branch.

Mogadishu’s municipal government is currentlyled by Yusuf Hussein Jimaale, who succeeded Mayor Hassan Mohamed Hussein Mungab, a former military court chairman.Among the administration’s development initiatives are a US$100 million urban renewal project, the creation of garbage disposal and incineration plants, the launch of a citywide cleanup project, the creation of asphalt and cement plants, rehabilitation of the Town Hall and parliament buildings, reconstruction of the former Defence Ministry offices, reconstruction of correctional facilities, rehabilitation and construction of health facilities, establishment of a Police Training Center and a permanent base in Jasiira for the new Somali Armed Forces, rebuilding of the Somali Postal Service headquarters, and rehabilitation of public playgrounds in several districts. It also began distributing national identity cards in March of the same year. In addition, the municipal authorities started renovating important local government centers in September 2014, including the capital’s former Fisho Guverno compound. In January 2015, the Benadir administration also opened a new Health & Safety Office to supervise health and safety practices in the city, and launched a municipal beautification campaign ahead of various international conferences that are slated to be held there.In March 2015, the Benadir administration completed the SECIL project in conjunction with the EU and UNHABITAT. The 3.5 million EUR initiative lasted three and a half years, and saw the establishment in Mogadishu of a new sustainable waste collection system, a Technical Training Centre, water quality testing laboratories, ameliorated access to clean drinking water, improved employment and livelihood opportunities in the low-cost fuel production sector, strengthened skills training and regulation in the construction sector, and laboratories for the testing of construction material quality.

A number of countries maintain foreign embassies and consulates in Mogadishu. He indicated that although there was no set timetable for the premises’ relaunch, the US government had immediately begun upgrading its diplomatic representation in the country. President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke also presented to Kerry the real estate deed for land reserved for the new US embassy compound. Mohamud concurrently signed an Establishment Agreement with the EU Head of Delegation in Somalia Michele Cervone d’Urso, which facilitates the opening of more embassies in Mogadishu by European Union member states. The EU also announced that it had opened a new EU Delegation office in the city.In February 2014, Somalia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Abdirahman Duale Beyle announced that the federal government was slated to reopen the former Institute of Diplomacy in Mogadishu.

Economy

Mogadishu traditionally served as a commercial and financial centre. Before the importation of mass-produced cloth from Europe and America, the city’s textiles were forwarded far and wide throughout the interior of the continent, as well as to the Arabian peninsula and as far as the Persian coast.Mogadishu’s economy has grown rapidly since the city’s pacification in mid 2011. The SomalFruit processing factory was reopened, as was the local Coca-Cola factory, which was also refurbished. In May 2012, the First Somali Bank was established in the capital, representing the first commercial bank to open in southern Somalia since 1991. The Somali civil engineer and entrepreneur Nasra Agil also opened the city’s first dollar store. Additionally, the Historic Central Bank was regenerated, with the Moumin Business Center likewise under construction.The galvanization of Mogadishu’s real estate sector was in part facilitated by the establishment of a local construction yard in November 2012 by the Municipality of Istanbul and the Turkish Red Crescent. With 50 construction trucks and machines imported from Turkey, the yard produces concrete, asphalt and paving stones for building projects. The event was organized by the First Somali Bank to showcase improvements in business, development and security to potential Somali and international investors. A second consecutive TEDx entrepreneurial conference was held the following year in the capital, highlighting new enterprises and commercial opportunities, including the establishment of the city’s first dry cleaning business in several years.A number of large firms also have their headquarters in Mogadishu. Among these is the Trans-National Industrial Electricity and Gas Company, an energy conglomerate founded in 2010 that unites five major Somali companies from the trade, finance, security and telecommunications sectors.Other firms based in the city include Hormuud Telecom, the largest telecommunications company in southern and central Somalia. Telcom is another telecommunications service provider that is centered in the capital. The local Somali Energy Company specializes in the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power to residents and businesses within its service area in Banaadir.Villa and Mansion Architects, an international architectural firm founded by the Somali-British architect Alexander Yusuf, likewise has its regional offices in Mogadishu. Additionally, the International Bank of Somalia, which opened downtown in 2014, offers Islamic finance and international banking services via a swift code system. The draft bill was prepared by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in conjunction with government attorneys. Approved by the Cabinet, it establishes a secure legal framework for foreign investment in Mogadishu and elsewhere in the country.In October 2014, the firm Tawakal Money Express also began construction of the seven-storey Tawakal Plaza Mogadishu. The new high rise is slated to be completed by the end of 2015, and will feature a Tawakal Global Bank customer and financial services center, a large, 338 square meter supermarket, a 46-room luxury hotel, restaurant and coffee shop facilities, and conference and event halls. In addition, the Nabaad Supermarket provides major retail service to local shoppers. Open daily until 10 pm, the convenience chain imports most of its products from the United Arab Emirates and China. The Al Buruuj firm also launched a major real estate project in January 2015, Daru-Salam City.

Business Environment

Improved security in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has boosted the local economy. The return of many people from the Somali diaspora, in conjunction with further improvements to Mogadishu’s security situation, has resulted in a minor economic boom, including a surge in rental prices in certain areas. Many long-abandoned seafront villas are being rebuilt as part of a construction boom that has seen rents triple in recent months in the city’s prime locations. A new higher education facility, Somali International University, opened in Mogadishu on January 7th and a new Japanese-financed immigration building at the city’s international airport was officially handed over to local authorities on January 14th, a few days after a new artificial pitch was laid at the national football stadium.

The bank is “branchless”—deposits, transfers and withdrawals are made through agents using point-of-sale handsets that use a mobile-phone network—and Camelcash users are identified by their fingerprints. Telecommunications is also booming. Hormuud Telecom Somalia, one of several companies serving Mogadishu, introduced its third-generation mobile network service, the first in the capital, at the end of December, promising that the network would be available in other major southern cities within a year. Hormuud’s marketing director, Abdihakim Hassan Idow, said on January 7th that over 150,000 customers had signed up for the 3G service. A number of countries, including Italy, the UK and China, are planning to reopen their embassies in Mogadishu «very soon», according to the foreign minister, Fowsiyo Yusuf Hagi Adan, who announced this during her European tour in January. Central to Mrs Adan’s mission was a review of Somalia’s global assets, which the country intends to recover. On January 11th the president, Hassan Sheikh Mohammed, held talks at his residence with a visiting delegation from the World Bank. In a press release, Mr Hassan said that Somalia was ready to re-engage with the World Bank after a 22-year break in bilateral relations caused by the collapse of government in 1990. The local economy’s rapid growth is likely to continue and a re-engagement with international financial institutions can be expected during the forecast period.

Infrastructure

Roads leading out of Mogadishu connect the city to other localities in Somalia as well as to neighbouring countries. The capital itself is cut into several grid layouts by an extensive road network, with streets supporting the flow of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. In October 2013, major construction began on the 23 kilometer road leading to the airport. Overseen by Somali and Turkish engineers, the upgrade was completed in November and included lane demarcation. The road construction initiative was part of a larger agreement signed by the Somali and Turkish governments to establish Mogadishu and Istanbul as sister cities, and in the process bring all of Mogadishu’s roads up to modern standards. Following the treaty, the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency launched a citywide cleaning project in conjunction with the municipal cleaning department. The initiative saw around 100 rubbish collection vehicles and other equipment operated by TIKA clean the city’s roads, with the Benadir municipality taking over operation of the cleaning project in March 2015. In 2012–2013, Mogadishu’s municipal authority in conjunction with the British and Norwegian governments began a project to install solar-powered street lights on all of the capital’s major roads. With equipment imported from Norway, the initiative cost around $140,000 and lasted several months. The solar panels have helped to improve night-time visibility and enhance the city’s overall aesthetic appeal.

Minibuses are the most common type of public transportation in Mogadishu. The next most frequently used public vehicles in the city are auto rickshaws . They are generally preferred for shorter commutes.In June 2013, two new taxi companies also started offering road transportation to residents. Part of a fleet of over 100 vehicles, Mogadishu Taxi’s trademark yellow cabs offer rides throughout the city at flat rates of $5. City Taxi, the firm’s nearest competitor, charges the same flat rate, with plans to add new cabs to its fleet.In January 2014, the Benadir administration launched a citywide street naming, house numbering and postal codes project. Officially called the House Numbering and Post Code System, it is a joint initiative of the municipal authorities and Somali business community representatives. The project is part of the ongoing modernization and development of the capital. According to former Mayor Mohamed Ahmed Nur, the initiative also aims to help the authorities firm up on security and resolve housing ownership disputes. In March 2015, the Benadir administration likewise launched a renovation project on the Hawo Asir-Fagah major road in Mogadishu. The government-public partnership aims to facilitate vehicle access in the area. According to Karaan district commissioner Ahmed Hassan Yalah’ow, the reconstruction initiative will also make the road all-weather resistant and is slated to be completed shortly.

During the post-independence period, Mogadishu International Airport offered flights to numerous global destinations.In the mid-1960s, the airport was enlarged to accommodate more international carriers, with the state-owned Somali Airlines providing regular trips to all major cities. By 1969, the airport’s many landing grounds could also host small jets and DC 6B-type aircraft.The facility grew considerably in size in the post-independence period after successive renovation projects. With the outbreak of the civil war in the early 1990s, Mogadishu International Airport’s flight services experienced routine disruptions and its grounds and equipment were largely destroyed. In the late 2000s, the K50 Airport, situated 50 kilometers to the south, served as the capital’s main airport while Mogadishu International Airport, now renamed Aden Adde International Airport, briefly shut down. The company also assisted in comprehensive infrastructure renovations, restored a dependable supply of electricity, revamped the baggage handling facilities as well as the arrival and departure lounges, put into place electronic check-in systems, and firmed up on security and work-flow. Additionally, SKA connected the grounds’ Somali Civil Aviation and Meteorological Agency and immigration, customs, commercial airlines and Somali Police Force officials to the internet. By January 2013, the firm had introduced shuttle buses to ferry travelers to and from the passenger terminal. In January 2015, a new, state-of-the-art terminal was opened at the airport. Featuring modern passenger facilities and a glass façade, it will enable the airport to double its number of daily commercial flights to 60, with a throughput of around 1,000 passengers per hour.As of January 2015, the largest airline services using Aden Adde International Airport include the Somali-owned private carriers Jubba Airways, Daallo Airlines, and African Express Airways, in addition to UN charter planes, Turkish Airlines, and Felix Airways . The airport also offers flights to other cities in Somalia, such as Galkayo, Berbera and Hargeisa, as well as to international destinations like Djibouti, Jeddah,and Istanbul.In July 2012, Mohammed Osman Ali , the General Director of the Ministry of Aviation and Transport, also announced that the Somali government had begun preparations to revive the Mogadishu-based national carrier, Somali Airlines. The first new aircraft were scheduled for delivery in December 2013.

The Port of Mogadishu, also known as the Mogadishu International Port, is the official seaport of Mogadishu. Classified as a major class port, it is the largest harbour in the country.After incurring some damage during the civil war, the federal government launched the Mogadishu Port Rehabilitation Project,an initiative to rebuild, develop and modernize the port. The renovations included the installation of Alpha Logistics technology.A joint international delegation consisting of the Director of the Port of Djibouti and Chinese officials specializing in infrastructure reconstruction concurrently visited the facility in June 2013. According to Mogadishu Port manager Abdullahi Ali Nur, the delegates along with local Somali officials received reports on the port’s functions as part of the rebuilding project’s planning stages.In 2013, the Port of Mogadishu’s management reportedly reached an agreement with representatives of the Iranian company Simatech Shipping LLC to handle vital operations at the seaport. Under the name Mogadishu Port Container Terminal, the firm is slated to handle all of the port’s technical and operational functions.In October 2013, the federal Cabinet endorsed an agreement with the Turkish firm Al-Bayrak to manage the Port of Mogadishu for a 20-year period.

Technology

Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu is defined by a complex mix of challenges and opportunities. Despite political and economic struggles, Somalis are innovating to break the chronic cycle of vulnerability. Supported in many cases by the international Somali diaspora, people in Mogadishu are using technology to solve problems and tap into new markets.iRise co-facilitated an innovation camp with UNDP last September, and will be launching its first incubation program for local entrepreneurs this week, challenging the idea that technology and incubation hubs are limited to high-income countries.

With the right support, there is huge potential for home-grown digital solutions. Existing examples include the high prevalence and use of mobile money, which allows rural and inaccessible communities to receive remittances and humanitarian support. Abaaraha crisis mapping platform provides relief responders with timely geospatial information.These cases demonstrate the breadth of innovation, which is not isolated from the contextual challenges in Mogadishu. During the devastating bombing in October 2017, iRise was busy coordinating efforts and established an ad hoc national emergency call center and information support team, collaborating with mobile operators, the government, and civil society.

These initiatives could not have been possible without the internet. The internet brings local skills to an international market, and solutions to challenges in Somalia readily find applications elsewhere. However, one area that has lagged in Somalia is the availability of reliable and relevant data to support the implementation of businesses and social projects. While this has not yet taken off in the private sector in Africa, projects like Missing Maps and the Humanitarian Openstreetmap Team have shown the potential for humanitarian and development work.Yet, the limitations to developing digital skills are significant. Although more and more residents are gaining access to high-speed internet, there are limited opportunities to acquire the skills that are needed to succeed in the digital economy. Moreover, as the Somali government mobilizes more revenue from its traditional sectors, it has become important for the country to diversify its economy through digital innovations.

Supported by a small grant from the World Bank’s Youth Innovation Fund and a contribution from the Digital Development team, we are working with iRise to develop these skills and allow young people in Mogadishu to work on life-improving innovations.

Social Wellness and Human Resources

Apart from the Somalis, several minorities had historically lived in the city. With the beginning of Islam, Arab and Persian migrants began to settle; forming the first immigrants. Centuries of intermarriage between the various ethnic groups, which also include Bantus, produced a minority people called ‘Ad’ad. In the colonial period, European expatriates, primarily Italians, would also contribute to the city’s cosmopolitan populace. Following a greatly improved security situation in the city in 2012, many Somali expatriates began returning to Mogadishu for investment opportunities and to take part in the ongoing post-conflict reconstruction process.

Through both private efforts and public initiatives like the Somali Diaspora Corps, they have participated in the renovation of schools, hospitals, banks and other infrastructure, and have played a leading role in the capital’s recovery.They have also helped to propel the local real estate market.According to Demographia, Mogadishu has a population of around 2,425,000 residents as of April 2017. It is the 210th largest city in the world by population size. The urban area occupies 91 square kilometres , with a population density of around 26,800 inhabitants per square kilometre . As Somalia’s capital city, many important national institutions are based in Mogadishu. It is the seat of the Federal Government of Somalia established in August 2012, with the Somalia Federal Parliament serving as the government’s legislative branch. Abdirahman Omar Osman has been the Mayor of Mogadishu since January 2018. Villa Somalia is the official residential palace and principal workplace of the President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. In May 2012, the First Somali Bank was established in the capital, which organized Mogadishu’s first ever Technology, Entertainment, Design conference. The establishment of a local construction yard has also galvanized the city’s real-estate sector. Arba’a Rukun Mosque is one of the oldest Islamic places of worship in the capital, built circa AH 667 . The Mosque of Islamic Solidarity in Mogadishu is the largest masjid in the Horn region. The National Library of Somalia is undergoing a US$1.5 million Somali federal government funded renovation, including a new library complex.

Mogadishu is home to a number of scholastic and media institutions. As part of the municipality’s urban renewal program, 100 schools across the capital are scheduled to be refurbished and reopened. The Somali National University was established in the 1950s, and professors from the university later founded the non-governmental Mogadishu University . Benadir University was established in 2002 with the intention of training doctors. Various national sporting bodies have their headquarters in Mogadishu, including the Somali Football Federation and the Somali Olympic Committee. Mogadishu Stadium was constructed in 1978 during the Siad Barre administration, with the assistance of Chinese engineers. It hosts football matches with teams from the Somali First Division and the Somalia Cup.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mogadishu

https://www.britannica.com/place/Mogadishu

https://borgenproject.org/10-facts-mogadishu/

https://www.worldscapitalcities.com/capital-facts-for-mogadishu-somalia/

https://kids.kiddle.co/Mogadishu

http://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=1820055166&Country=Somalia&topic=Economy&subtopic=Forecast&subsubtopic=Economic+growth

https://blogs.worldbank.org/digital-development/mogadishu-s-first-tech-hub