My adopted home of Minnesota is A Very Great Place in part because it is home to the largest Somali community outside Somalia. Recently, the African Development Center of Minnesota (in Cedar Riverside aka West Bank neighbourhood) hosted a delegation of Swedish politicians and academics to explore the success of Somali Minnesotans.MPR reports: In the past five years alone, Somali Minnesotans have established about 1,500 businesses, according to local estimates. That figure is nearly incomprehensible in Sweden, where the Somali community is largely struggling and out of work.
The tale of these two communities raises an obvious question: Why do so many Somalis in the United States seem to be thriving, while their counterparts in Sweden continue to languish?
This week, a Swedish delegation of government officials and scholars is touring Minneapolis to find the answer.
…They’ve walked through the bustling area once called Snus Boulevard, named after the tobacco snuff favored by Swedish immigrants. Today, it’s known as Cedar-Riverside, believed to be the largest Somali-American neighborhood in the country.