View Afgooye Town Main Features in a larger map
Afgooye is a town in the southeastern Lower Shebelle region of Somalia situated about 25 kilometres west of Mogadishu, the nation’s capital. The Shabelle River passes through the middle of the town.
During the Middle Ages, Afgooye and much of the surrounding area in southern Somalia was governed by the Ajuuraan State. The city later came under the administration of the Geledi Sultanate in the 1800s. The Istunka festival that is held annually in the town during the Somali new year dates from this period.
At the turn of the 20th century, Afgooye was incorporated into Italian Somaliland. The Italians occupied the town in 1908 and in the process abolished the local slave market.
In the 1980s, Afgooye was a common destination for investors from the Gulf states. The Emir of Kuwait also reportedly used to visit the town during the holy month of Ramadan.
After the outbreak of the civil war in 1991, parts of the town became a place of refuge for many of southern Somalia’s internally displaced people.
On May 25, 2012, Somali government forces backed by AMISOM tanks re-captured Afgooye from Al-Shabaab, which had established a base in the area. Liberation of the town is considered a significant victory, as it previously gave the militants direct access to the capital.
Afgooye has a population of 74,900 people.