Coordinates: 11°17′19″N 49°10′55″E / 11.28861°N 49.18194°E / 11.28861; 49.18194
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Bosaso is located in Somalia
Location within Somalia
Bosaso is located in Horn of Africa
Location within the Horn of Africa
Bosaso is located in Africa
Location within Africa
Coordinates: 11°17′19″N 49°10′55″E / 11.28861°N 49.18194°E / 11.28861; 49.18194
Country Somalia
Regional State Puntland
Founded18th century
 • TypeMunicipality
 • Total159 km2 (61 sq mi)
15 m (49 ft)
 • Total700,906
 • Density1,037.14/km2 (2,686.2/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)

Bosaso (Somali: Boosaaso, Arabic: بوصاصو), historically known as Bender Cassim is a city in the northeastern Bari province (gobol) of Somalia. It is the seat of the Bosaso District. Located on the southern coast of the Gulf of Aden, the municipality serves as the region's commercial capital and is a major seaport within the autonomous Puntland state.[2]

Bosaso had an estimated population of around 164,906 residents in 2005.[1] More recent reports put the figure as high as 700,000.[3] The city has a diverse economy centred on education, government, banking, tourism, aviation, food, clothes, logistics, steel, energy, health care, hospitality, retail and technology. The area's many colleges and universities make it a regional hub of higher education, including law, medicine, engineering, business and entrepreneurship.[2]


The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea indicates that Ancient Greek merchants sailed to Bosaso, providing notes about the strategic and geographical location of the current Bosaso area, which was known as Mosylon in ancient times.

About 3+12 hours' walk from Bet Qasim, we came to Bander Kasin (also called by the Arabs: the native name is Bosaso), which was built about sixty years ago. The Kaptallah was considered as first settlers. [4][failed verification]

Overview of Bosaso

For centuries the city was among the areas ruled by Dishiishe clan. [5] later forming a part of Italian Somaliland.[6] The town would eventually be administered through the official Bari region in the post-independence period.

Bosaso's population is estimated at 700,000 residents. It is the third largest city in Somalia after Mogadishu and Hargeisa.[3] While Bosaso is a melting pot, with residents hailing from all the major clans of Somalia, most of its population is from the Harti confederation of Darod sub-clans.[3]

Bosaso was previously known as Bandar Qasim, a name derived from a local trader of the same name who is said to have first settled in the area during the 14th century. It is believed that Qasim's favourite camel was called Boosaas, from which derived the current name of the town. The town was thus first called Bandar Qassim after its founder ("Qasim's town"), then later dubbed Bosaso after its founder's trusted camel. Historically, Bosaso has been a Harti stronghold, and evolved as a coastal town.[7]

Near Bosaso, at the end of the Baalade valley, lies a 2-to-3-kilometre-long (1.2-to-1.9-mile) earthwork.[8][9] Local tradition recounts that the massive embankment marks the grave of a community matriarch. It is the largest such structure in the wider Horn region.[9][3][10][11][12][13]


Location and habitat

Bosaso is situated in northeastern Somalia, on the Gulf of Aden coast. Nearby settlements include to the east Rehiss (3.5 km or 2.5 miles), to the northeast Marero (14 km or 8.5 miles), to the west Baalade (3.5 km or 2 miles), to the southwest Laas Geel (16.5 km or 10 miles), to the south Lasgoriga (20.5 km or 13 miles), and to the southeast El Dhurre (36 km or 22.5 miles).[14] The largest cities in the country most proximate to Bosaso are Erigavo (212 km or 132 miles), Burao (442 km or 275 miles), and Berbera (465 km or 289 miles). Shimbiris, the highest peak in Somalia, is located some 220 km (140 miles) to the southwest in the Cal Madow mountain range.[15]

In June 2014, the Puntland government launched a new tree-planting campaign in the state, with the regional Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism slated to plant 25,000 trees by the end of the year. Bosaso is among the seven cities and towns earmarked for the reforestation initiative, which also include Garowe, Qardho, Dhahar, Buuhoodle, Baran and Galkayo. The campaign is part of a broader partnership between the Puntland authorities and EU to set up various environmental protection measures in the region, with the aim of promoting reforestation and afforestation.[16]

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Bedding van de rivier Balada in de omgeving van Bender Gasem TMnr 60027146 (Eng; Baalade Valley near Bendergazim) photographed by Georges Revoil c. 1881


Bosaso has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh). It has a mean annual relative humidity of around 60%. The average daily mean temperature year-round is 30 °C (86 °F), with an average annual high of 35 °C (95 °F) and an average annual low of 25 °C (77 °F). Average low temperatures are coolest during the winter months of December to February, when thermometer readings typically level out at 20 °C (68 °F). The weather slowly heats up in the spring, as the April rainy season begins. Average high temperatures later peak during the summer months of June to August, when they consistently exceed 40 °C (104 °F). Come September, cooler weather starts to set in again. Rainfall reaches a high over this period, with an average precipitation of 7 mm (0.28 inches) in November. Total rainfall year-round is around 19 mm (0.75 inches).[17]

Climate data for Bosaso
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 38.5
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 29.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.0
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 20.6
Record low °C (°F) 12.5
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0
Average relative humidity (%) 66 68 64 64 62 48 40 48 56 70 74 71 61
Percent possible sunshine 80 80 87 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 81
Source 1: Arab Meteorology Book[17]
Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes),[18] Food and Agriculture Organization: Somalia Water and Land Management (percent sunshine)[19]


A residential area in Bosaso

Bosaso's total population is estimated at around 164,906 residents (2005 est.).[1][20]

Furthermore, Bosaso is a major port for boats carrying emigrants from within the country as well as adjacent territories across the Gulf of Aden to settle (sometimes illegally) in the Persian Gulf states.[21]

While Bosaso today is a melting pot, with residents hailing from many different parts of Somalia, most of the city's population is from Warsangeli, Majeerteen, Deshiishe and other Harti groups confederation of Darod. The city is also home of IDPs [22][23][24]


The Bosaso horizon

Bosaso city affairs are managed by the Bosaso Municipality, its leadership is appointed by members of the area's 29 District Councilors. The municipal authority is currently led by Mayor Abdisalam Bashiir Abdisalam[25] who succeeded Yasin Mire Mohamud[26] who himself succeeded Hassan Abdallah Hassan in office.[27]

Each of the city's various districts also has its own municipal sub-authorities, complete with a mayor and civil servants.[2]


Bosaso is a city that is experiencing rapid growth. Prior to the Somali civil war, it had a population of under 50,000 inhabitants. Since the conflict, Somalis belonging to the Harti Darod sub-clans began migrating back to their ancestral areas of Puntland.[28] As a consequence of these migrations, Bosaso's population and the local housing industry have grown tremendously.

An Amal Bank branch in Bosaso

In December 2011, a new commercial market opened in Bosaso's northern Dayaha ("Star") neighborhood, near the port. Approximately one-half kilometre (550 yd) in size, it was designed to ensure easy vehicle access. The market is the result of careful planning between Puntland government officials and civil society representatives.[29] In September 2013, Puntland Minister of Fisheries Mohamed Farah Adan also announced that the Ministry in conjunction with the FAO would open a new fish market in the city, complete with modern refrigerators.[30]

Bosaso is home to Golis Telecom Somalia, the largest telecommunications operator in northeastern Somalia. Founded in 2002 with the objective of supplying the country with GSM mobile services, fixed line and internet services, it has an extensive network that covers all of the nation's major cities and more than 40 districts in both Puntland and Somaliland.[31] According to The Economist, Golis offers one of the cheapest international calling rates on the planet, at US$0.2 less than anywhere else in the world.[32] In addition, Netco has its headquarters in the city. Other telecommunication firms serving the region include Telcom and NationLink.

In September 2013, Puntland Deputy Minister of Environment Burhan Elmi Hirsi also announced a plan by the Puntland government to establish a gas manufacturing plant in Bosaso. The new project is part of a broader campaign by the Puntland environmental authorities to avert deforestation and promote alternative sources of fuel.[33]

Cement making machines on the outskirts of Bosaso

The Hafun Fishing Company was established in 1992 in Bosaso.[34][35] It was named after the northeastern port town of Hafun, where HFC also has an office. The firm exports a wide range of fish products, which it mainly sends to partners in the Middle East. The company is exploring additional global markets for its fish goods. It also maintains commercial interests in Puntland's housing market, which are represented by the firm's growing local real estate sales and development division.[34]

Additionally, the Bosaso Tannery is based in the city. A ten-year-old manufacturing, distributing, wholesale and import/export company, it processes wet salted, dry salted, wet blue, limed, pickled, and air/frame dried sheep and goat hides and skin.[36] Principle wet blue exports are to Turkey, Pakistan, India and China.[36] Raw camel hides and sheep and goat skin are also exported to the United Arab Emirates.[37]

Commercial banks serving Bosaso include Amal Bank and Salaam Bank. Salaam Bank provides personal banking and corporate banking services. Its Islamic banking services and facilities include Mudarabah, Murabaha, Musharakah and Istisnaa. Additionally, the bank offers electronic banking, SMS banking, mobile banking and internet debit.[38] In August 2011, the bank also launched an independent (Kaaftoon) service partnering with Golis Telecom Somalia.[39]


The Bender Qassim International Airport in 2007, prior to renovations

Bosaso is traversed by a 750-kilometre (470 mi) north–south highway. It connects major cities in the northern part of the country, such as Galkayo and Garowe, with towns in the south.[40] In June 2012, the Puntland Highway Authority (PHA) launched an upgrade and repair project on the large thoroughfare between Bosaso and Garowe.[41] The transportation body also began rehabilitation work in October 2012 on the central artery linking the city with Qardho.[42] Additionally, plans are in the works to construct new roads connecting littoral towns in the region to the main highway.[41] In June 2014, Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali along with Bosaso Mayor Hassan Abdallah Hassan and other state officials also inaugurated a new 5.9-kilometre (3.7 mi) paved road in the city. The construction project leads to the Bosaso seaport, and was completed in conjunction with UNHABITAT. According to Ali, his administration plans to invest at least 23 million Euros in contributions from international partners in similar road infrastructure development initiatives.[43]

The city has a major seaport, the Port of Bosaso. It was constructed during the mid-1980s by the Siad Barre administration for annual livestock shipments to the Middle East. In January 2012, a renovation project was launched, with KMC contracted to upgrade the Bosaso Port's harbor. The initiative's first phase saw the clean-up of unwanted materials from the dockyard and was completed within the month. The second phase involves the reconstruction of the port's adjoining seabed, with the objective of accommodating larger ships.[44]

Besides its busy seaport, Bosaso has a major airport, the Bender Qassim International Airport. In 2008, the Puntland government signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Dubai's Lootah Group, a regional industrial group operating in the Middle East and Africa. According to the agreement, the first phase of the investment is worth Dhs170m ($46.28m) and will see a set of new companies established to operate, manage and build Bosaso's free trade zone and sea and airport facilities. The Bosaso Airport Company is slated to develop the airport complex to meet international standards, including a new 3.4-kilometre (2.1 mi) runway, main and auxiliary buildings, taxi and apron areas, and security perimeters.[45] In December 2014, the foundation stone for a new runway was also laid at the airport. The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation is now slated to upgrade the airport's existing gravel runway, pave it with asphalt, and convert it from 1.8 to 2.65 km (1.12 to 1.65 miles) in accordance with the code 4C operations clause.[46]


Entrance to East Africa University's Bosaso campus

Bosaso has a number of academic institutions. According to the Puntland Ministry of Education, there are 74 primary schools in the Bosaso District. Among these are the Iftin School, Alfurqan, Umul-Qura and Garisa.[47] Secondary schools in the area include Hamdan, Shafi'i, Ugaas Yasin, Najah, Bosaso and Haji Yasin.[48]

Tertiary education is provided by Bosaso College (BC),[49] as well as the Puntland Nursing Institute (PNI). East Africa University (EAU) also has a Bosaso branch, one of its seven campuses in Puntland.[50] Additionally, the Sam Greathouse School of Modern Technology (SG-SMT) has been working with the local government to construct a large scale dial-up network linking Bosaso to other northern Somali cities, including Berbera and Las Anod.


Bosaso panorama at dusk
Bosaso cityscape
Rays Garden

Tourist attractions

Biyo Kulule is a hot spring located southeast of the city, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) outside the city.

Mareero located (25 kilometres (16 mi) eastern direction of Bosaso, it is known for its white sand beach.

Ga'a, Laag, Karin, Yalho among other places all are considered as places to visit.

Biyo Kulule
Mareero Beach


Bosaso is home to a number of private media outlets. Radio Daljir, Puntland's largest radio station, has its main headquarters in the city. The broadcaster's network of 7 FM transmitters reaches most of Puntland as well as part of the neighboring Galmudug region to the south. Also centered in Bosaso with its studios in Garowe is the Somali Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), Puntland's oldest and second largest private radio station. Additionally, Horseed Radio, Al Xigma, and One Nation Radio have headquarters in the city.[51] In May 2013, Radio Garowe likewise launched a new FM station in Bosaso.[52]

The city also has its own private television channels and studios, the Eastern Television Network (ETN TV) and SBC TV.[51]


Bosaso is subdivided into sixteen administrative villages[citation needed].

Sister cities

Mayors Yasin Mire Mohamud and Betsy Hodges signing sister city agreement in 2016

On 12 August 2016 Mayor Yasin Mire Mohamud of Bosaso and Mayor Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis jointly signed the memorandum of understanding that formalizes the Sister City relationship, the agreement was previously approved by Minneapolis council later embraced by Bosaso local council.

Country City
 United States Minneapolis[53]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Regions, districts, and their populations: Somalia 2005 (draft)" (PDF). United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. United Nations Development Programme. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Bosaso Municipality - Districts". Bosaso Municipality. Archived from the original on 2 February 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d "Bosaso, Somalia". 2014.
  4. ^ "Internet History Sourcebooks Project: Ancient History". Retrieved 2024-01-24.
  5. ^ La Migiurtinia Ed Il Territorio Del Nugál. p. 57.
  6. ^ Fergusson, James (2013-05-01). The World's Most Dangerous Place: Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0306821585.
  7. ^ "Historical Background". Biyokulule. Retrieved Jan 19, 2024.
  8. ^ Hodd, Michael (1994). East African Handbook. Trade & Travel Publications. p. 640. ISBN 0844289833.
  9. ^ a b Ali, Ismail Mohamed (1970). Somalia Today: General Information. Ministry of Information and National Guidance, Somali Democratic Republic. p. 295.
  10. ^ S. B. Miles, On the Neighbourhood of Bunder Marayah, Vol. 42, (Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the institute of British Geographers): 1872), p.61-63.
  11. ^ Bile Dubbe, Maxamuud. "Taariikh Nololeedkii Ugaas Yassin Ugaas Cabdiraxmaan". Somalitalk (in Somali). Retrieved January 1, 2002.
  12. ^ International Labour Office; League of Nations (1956). Record of proceedings. International Labour Office. p. 249.
  13. ^ H. E. Hagi Bashir Ismail Yousuf Archived 2013-02-02 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Boosaaso, Somalia". Falling Rain. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Bosaso (Bender Cassim)". Weather-Forecast. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Somalia: World Environment Day celebrated in Puntland, Govt calls for tree plantation". Garowe Online. 5 June 2014. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Meteorological Data" (PDF). May 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  18. ^ "Klimatafel von Bosaso (Bender Cassim) / Somalia" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  19. ^ "Long term mean monthly sunshine fraction in Somalia". Food and Agriculture Organization. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  20. ^ USAID Report Bosaso Urban Household Economy Study Archived 2012-03-20 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Lucie Peytermann (September 12, 2007). "Somalia's port of Bosaso: bottleneck of East Africa's misery". Reliefweb. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  22. ^ "Bringing school closer to internally displaced children in Bosaaso". Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  23. ^ The Weekly Review, p. 40.
  24. ^ Life & Peace Review, Vol. 8, No. 4, 04/94
  25. ^ "Abdisalam Bashir elected as Bossaso mayor". 6 September 2018.
  26. ^ Somalia: Second session of Boosaaso local council officially opened today
  27. ^ Bosaso District Council Elects New Mayor Archived 2012-05-27 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "President Farole - the Pride of Puntland". 2010-05-12. Archived from the original on 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
  29. ^ "Somalia: New market opens in Bossaso". Garowe Online. 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  30. ^ "Somalia: Puntland to open maritime training schools". Garowe Online. 10 September 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  31. ^ "Golis Telecom Somalia Profile". Golis Telecom website. Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-17.
  32. ^ "Somalia calling; Mobile phones.(Golis Telecom Somalia)". Economist. 2005-12-20. Retrieved 2005-12-20.
  33. ^ "Somalia: Puntland rolls out new measures to avert deforestation". Garowe Online. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  34. ^ a b "Hafun Fishing Company". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  35. ^ "Hafun Fishing". Hotfrog. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  36. ^ a b "Bosaso Tannery". International Trade Centre. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  37. ^ "Bosaso Tannery". Gulf Business. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  38. ^ "Personal Banking". Salaam Bank. Archived from the original on 6 August 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
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  40. ^ The First 100 Days in Office Archived 2013-02-23 at the Wayback Machine
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  44. ^ "Somalia: Bossaso port renovation project completes first phase". Garowe Online. 29 January 2012. Archived from the original on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  45. ^ "Government of Punt Land State of Somalia, Lootah Investment sign strategic agreements worth Dhs170m". Retrieved 2010-12-30.
  46. ^ "Somalia: Puntland President lays foundation stone for Bossaso airport runway". Garowe Online. 4 December 2014. Archived from the original on 9 July 2023. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  47. ^ "Puntland - Primary schools". Ministry of Education of Puntland. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
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  49. ^ "Bosaso College". Archived from the original on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  50. ^ "A programme for improving governance, leadership and management capacity of the three health authorities in Somalia". Mannion Daniels Limited. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  51. ^ a b Planning and Statistics Department, Puntland Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (2006). The Statistical Abstract of Bosaso Municipality. Bosaso Municipal Council. p. 58.
  52. ^ "Somalia: Radio Garowe launches new FM station in Bossaso". Garowe Online. 24 May 2013. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  53. ^ "Minneapolis City Council Approves New Sister City In Somalia". CBS. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.


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