This study is conducted for the Youth and Capability Development domain in Mogadishu. The report highlights the methodology used for this research, stakeholders involved, the ways in which urban politics, policy interventions, and city systems relate to, are shaped by, and influence young people’s lives. It also explores the challenges, opportunities, and aspirations that young people experience and hold alongside the programs and historical trends that shape their lives and future.
Study findings reveal a range of critical challenges that face young people in Mogadishu, increasing their vulnerability and limiting their future horizons. Chronic violence, inequity, and little recourse to access justice have characterized the environment in which Mogadishu’s youth have grown up. Today in Somalia, entire generations have lived in a context of chronic violence, and they have existed in survival mode for decades. This exposure to violence has had a long-lasting effect on young people as they grow up, but this has not been well accounted for historically in most youth initiatives. High levels of trauma act as a barrier to the creation of individual, collective and community resilience and empowerment. This, in turn, impacts the ability of young people to engage positively in political, economic, and social arenas.
These vulnerabilities are exacerbated by a range of city system failures. Most prominently here, the collapse of the Somali state in 1991 led to the breakdown of critical health and education services as well as the social fabric that play a central role in young people’s futures. The public provision of both sectors remains limited, and the costs of private provision are often unattainable for the majority of the population.
The gendered nature of these challenges is also revealed through this research. The challenges facing young women and girls are particularly acute. These start early in the life-course through the structural and cultural norms that underpin this gender inequity, which is evident in the higher rates of school dropout and unemployment for young women. They also face regular sexual violence and harassment.