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There is a growing tendency towards building and opening new hotels in Garowe, Puntland, Somalia, continually. The imitation or modeling of this hospitality industry one after another is intensive here. Occupancy is at minimum with many of the hotels in city empty. That is because hotel occupancy heavily depends on the presence of the State President in town, many anxiously waiting for his return to Garowe once he is shortly unavailable.

This is one of the factors that critics call Puntland successive administrations “Madax-Ka-Nool” or a government by one figure head. Nothing moves here without that figure, the biggest employer in town, after private small businesses. Since many of Puntland residents are unskilled due to poor educational background and total absence of vocational training, it is easier for them to seek government jobs through recommendations to the State President, who has the sole power to hire without the need for personnel screening or vetting candidates through professional and security agencies. That is why hotels in Garowe are built upon unsound business propositions with duplications upon duplications of typical Somali imitation from the other guy or the neighbor, to accommodate these government job hunters or in pursuit of favors from the State officials. Occasionally, Garowe hotels are lucky to host dignitaries and delegations from South-Central Somalia. Nobody visits Garowe hotels from Somaliland or Djibouti. Puntlanders, though, are frequent guests in Mogadishu, Hargeisa and Djibouti, for business and pleasure.

Garowe isn’t familiar yet with the idea of guest-housing called BnB (bed and breakfast lodging). They don’t build furnished apartments for rent. Since the city was historiclly one of backward towns in Northeast Somalia before the foundation of Puntland in 1998, luckily acquiring capital city status, locals are trying their best to catch up with lost time and lack of economic resources in the past. They are now taking advantage of Puntland’s Madax-Ka-Nool situation. Like Mogadishu does in Somalia, Garowe is privileged to siphon in more than its fair share of Puntland’s economic resources and benefits of the State that come with being the Capital City.

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