22 November 2012
Last updated at 11:55
BBC Africa correspondent Andrew Harding interviews the mayor of Mogadishu, Mohamed Nur, on a street in the Somali capital, for the BBC World Service's Assignment programme. The mayor lived in exile in London before returning to Somalia to take up office. All photographs by BBC producer Kate Forbes.
The mayor - known by his childhood nickname of Tarzan races around the city like a small tornado, trying to get things like street lighting and rubbish collection up and running. Here, he surveys a plot of land he wants to turn into a shopping mall - and, as always, is accompanied by armed guards.
A local businessman catches the mayor as he rushes from a development project to his car. The mayor cannot walk the streets for too long, as he is a target for assassination and has received death threats from the Islamist group, al-Shabab.
One sign of progress in Mogadishu is the new Chamber of Commerce, where the mayor discusses plans to license new businesses with his team and local entrepreneurs.
The mayor is not the only expatriate to return to Somalia. Cafe owner Ahmed Jama (right) returned to the city four years ago from Birmingham, Warwickshire, where he studied catering. He is one of many entrepreneurs returning to help rebuild the war-ravaged capital.
Peering through a Somali-star-shaped window at Ahmed Jama's busy cafe gives a view onto the terrace. Ahmed has three restaurants in Mogadishu - one was recently attacked by suicide bombers and 14 people were killed and several more injured. Ahmed says he will re-open the restaurant and not give up.
Next stop for the mayor is an orphanage, where excited school girls wave at his convoy as he arrives.
Here the mayor addresses a class at the orphanage. An orphan himself, he tells the children not to be swayed by radicals and terrorist elements and to support a "new Somalia".
Many Somalis are still unable to find homes, despite the fast pace of rebuilding taking place. This refugee camp is in the ruins of the old Italian Cathedral in the centre of Mogadishu.
These children live at the refugee camp in central Mogadishu - nearly half the population in Somalia is under 15-years-old.
People play on Mogadishu's sandy beach - something that was not seen for a long time, in a country at war for more than 20 years.
Although Mogadishu is no longer a warzone, it remains an extremely dangerous city. The Somali army has a very visible presence.
The mayor joins soldiers to pray at a check-point. The army commander admits that some of his soldiers have links to Islamic extremists.
Shortly after the BBC team left the convoy, it was blown up by a roadside bomb. The bomb was aimed at the mayor and killed six soldiers. This man survived, but he suffered internal injuries and was rendered deaf in one ear. Find out more about the mayor of Mogadishu at www.bbcworldservice.com/assignment.