OverviewThe Banaadir region is bordered by the Middle Shebelle (Shabeellaha Dhexe) and Lower Shebelle (Shabeellaha Hoose), as well as the Indian Ocean. "Benaadir" is derived from the Somali ''banaadir'', which means "coast", in reference to the southern Somali coastal cities of , Merka and . The place name reflects the region's medieval position as a key trade center with , and the Swahili coast. Its capital is Mogadishu known as Xamar (pronounced: Hamar), although the administrative region itself is coextensive with the city. Benaadir is much smaller than the historical region of Benadir, which covers most of the country's central and southern seaboard opposite the and up to the Juba River, including Mogadishu. Thabit M. Abdi was appointed mayor of Mogadishu and governor of Banaadir in 2017, succeeding Yusuf Hussein Jimale who held that post since November 2015.
PopulationThe 1,650,227 residents of Benaadir are 50.7% female and come from 303,021 households. It has the highest percentage of residents who are internally displaced persons among the regions of Somalia, because of its relative safety, economic opportunities and availability of resources.
PoliticalTradition and old records assert that southern Somalia, including the Mogadishu area, was historically inhabited by s. These were later joined by Cushitic-speaking populations, who would go on to establish local aristocracies. During its medieval , Mogadishu was ruled by the Muzaffar dynasty, and later by the . This is found mainly in Banaadiri oral tradition, who are considered the native population. It subsequently fell under the control of an assortment of local Sultanates and polities, most notably the Sultanate of the Geledi. The sultanate of the Geledi were in an alliance with the Zanzibar Dynasty. The city later became the capital of Italian Somaliland (1889–1936) in the colonial period. When the Italians arrived in Mogadishu the city had two towns only. These towns were Xamar Weyne and Shingaani. The people who lived in these towns were known as "reer xamar" who were the original population and the people that lived outside these towns, what is modern day Hodan, Boondhere and all the districts were known as Xamar Daye. These tribes mainly included Reer Mataan sub tribes. The Xamar Daye, being nomadic people used their lands as grazing lands and used them for things such as camel herding. They sold their cattle in bulk to the reer xamar merchants, who were urban dwellers and seafarers; they in turn traded these items throughout the Indian Ocean and brought back luxury goods such as ivory. After the Somali Republic became independent in 1960, Mogadishu became known and promoted as the ''White Pearl of the Indian Ocean''. After the ousting of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 and the ensuing Somali Civil War, various militias fought for control of the city, later to be replaced by the Islamic Courts Union in the mid-2000s. The ICU thereafter splintered into more radical groups, notably the al-Shabaab (militant group), al-Shabaab, which fought the Transitional Federal Government (2004–2012) and its African Union Mission to Somalia allies. With a change in administration in late 2010, government troops and their military partners had succeeded in forcing out Al-Shabaab by August 2011. Mogadishu has then subsequently experienced a period of intense reconstruction.
EconomicIn 694 AD the Benadir towns of , Merka, Brava and Kismayo sprang into historical existence thanks to the enterprise of Abdul Malik bin Muriami. He placed one of his own followers as governor in each town and declared himself the Sultan. These towns on the Benadir coast of the Indian Ocean share, to a great extent, the characteristics of the Swahili culture further south. The trading centres, welcoming Arab, Persian and other immigrants, evolved into distinctive amalgams, both of people groups and languages, with tangible forms of settled government and the presence of Islam as the main religion. The famous explorer Ibn Battuta gave us the best description of the city of Mogadishu and its society in the Horn of Africa during the tenth century. From the tenth century, settlers in the region, of Arab and Persian origin settled and mixed with the local populations. Shamsud-Din Abu Abdalla Muhammed known as Ibn Battuta during his visit to the area in 1331 AD noted that Arabic, Swahili and Somali was the language of commercial and literary people on the Benadir coast and islands. Mogadishu, was the center of a thriving weaving industry known as ''toob benadir'' (specialized for the markets in Egypt and Syria), together with Merca and Barawa also served as transit stops for Swahili people, Swahili merchants from Mombasa and Malindi and for the gold trade from Kilwa Sultanate, Kilwa. Jewish merchants from the Hormuz Island, Hormuz brought Indian textiles and fruits to the Somali coast in exchange for grain and wood. The Portuguese reached Benadir by the end of the fourteenth century. (Brava) was sacked for three days in 1499 and burnt. In 1516, the Portuguese Duarte defined Mogadishu as a city of black inhabitants named ''Magadoxo'' that was ruled by a sultan. The Portuguese wanted to occupy the coast of Benadir, but never succeeded. The Portuguese finally left the region after 1698 AD. Successive Somali sultanates dominated the regional trade of Benadir, including the Ajuran Empire, Ajuran kingdom, the Adal Sultanate, the Warsangali Sultanate, and the Geledi Sultanate. In the XVII century the entire Benadir coast was controlled by the Omani Sultan and when this sultanate was divided into the Sultanate of Muscat and the Sultanate of Zanzibar, Benadir went under the jurisdiction of Zanzibar. In 1861, Zanzibar and Oman were divided into two separate principalities: Sayyid Majid bin Said Al-Busaid became the Sultan of Zanzibar, while Thuwaini bin Said, Sultan of Muscat and Oman, Sayyid Thuwaini bin Said al-Said, became the Sultan of Oman. The Sultan of Zanzibar controlled a large portion of the African Great Lakes Coast, known as Zanj, as well as trading routes extending much further across the continent, as far as Kindu on the Congo River, and reaching the Benadir. The Kingdom of Italy, Italian penetration of the Benadir coast of Somalia began in 1885 by a commercial company (called "Compagnia del Benadir") which leased the Sultan's territory of Obbia. The territory embraced between 4 degrees latitude north of the Juba river, which bordered British East Africa, was also administered by a private company. The main river was the Ueli Xebeli (Wadi Shebeli) and the major cities were , Merka, Brava ( ) and Warseij. The Benadir colony was renamed on 16 March 1905 and became Italian Somaliland with the Italian administration directly in control of Benadir, and with the protected Sultanates of Obbia (Hobyo) and Majertenia (Majeerteen). In 1926 the territory of Benadir was between the "Basso Uebi-Scebeli", Mogadishu and the "Alto-Uebu Scebeli". The Italians settled in huge numbers and named the city as Mogadiscio (known as the "White Pearl of Indian Ocean" and was practically a fully Italianised city with over 40% of inhabitants being Italians or descendants of Italians) and the 3 main cities in the Shebelle river farm area (Villaggio Duca degli Abruzzi, Villabruzzi with 3000 colonists, Genale with 700 and Vittorio di Africa, Vittorio with 400). But little communities of Italian colonists existed also in the Benadir cities of Merca (250 Italians), Brava (150), Chisimaio (120), Baidoa (300) and Itala (50). In the 1930s, the Benadir section inside the "triangle Mogadiscio-Merca-Villabruzzi" was the most developed area of "Somali Italiana", with a 114 km railway and many paved roads with the Petrella Airport, Petrella international airport and the Port of Mogadishu, Mogadiscio port. Most of the Italian Somalians lived in this area. In 1951 the "Basso Uebi-Scebeli" and Mogadishu were united in the ''District of Benadir'', and as such, integrated into the Republic of after oobtaining independence in 1960. The district existed until 1982 when it was renamed as the ''Banadir region''.
DistrictsThe Banaadir region consists of seventeen districts.Districts of Somalia