Attendees at the TEDx conference (via TEDxMogadishu)
Somalia’s capital city Mogadishu hosted their first ever TEDx (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference earlier in March of this year. Between 50 and 100 people from diverse backgrounds attended the conference, held at the First Somali Bank, and discussed how to best to rebuild the war-torn capital and bring in new businesses after two decades of conflicts.
The forum was also a way of changing the world’s opinion about the country to show that there is more going on than terrorism and piracy in the hopes that new businesses will bring forth foreign investors (capitalists?). The event (called ‘Rebirth’) featured short films, music and speakers that included a University founder, property developers and health-care specialists. Only those who were invited (most of the invitee’s never heard of the TEDx conference) attended the talks due to security concerns, however, the forum was broadcasted over the internet for those who were interested. The talks came with mixed reviews as some thought that rebuilding Mogadishu gave them hope while others thought the focus should have been on rebuilding the country of Somalia itself. Still, no matter how you look at it any step forward is a monumental undertaking and a beacon of hope for that country.