East African Community
East African communities in Minneapolis originate mainly from Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya. Primary languages spoken are Somali and Oromo. The East Africans came to the United States as a result of a civil war and armed conflicts in their home countries. Precise population numbers are difficult to determine for the East African community, many community members do not participate in the census due to cultural reasons. However, community members estimate that there are roughly 50,000 East Africans that call Minneapolis their home.
- Money Service Business (MSB): NCR is closely working with internal and external stakeholders to address this critical issue. Members of the East African community rely on this system to send money to their loved ones in East Africa.
- Creating access to jobs: NCR has partnered with CPED to hold job fairs in the community. So far there have been two job fairs held with great participation from community members. Another job fair is being planned for August or September. Having access to good jobs is a priority for the East African Community.
- Somali Business Forum: East African's are culturally business minded people. There are many East African business owners in Minneapolis and the City’s Business Licensing department and NCR are working together to connect the community to the proper staff to help them run good businesses.
Connecting with the community
This is a culturally oral society, so disseminating information through physical appearance, radio, and television, rather than in writing is most effective. Faith institutions (mosques), specific community based organizations, and specific non-profits organizations and institutions are also a great way to effectively reach out to, and engage the East African community.
NCR's East African Community Specialist, Numan Shaikh, provides information to neighborhood organizations and City departments about effective and culturally appropriate strategies to engage the East African communities in Minneapolis. You can contact Numan at Numan.Shaikh@minneapolismn.gov or by phone at 612-673-3958.
*Abdirashid Ahmed is on leave and will return in November 2018.
Important Dates & Events
Photo: Job Fair at Bryan Coyle held in April 2015 with the City's Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department. Photo courtesy of Rose Lindsay, CPED.
Last updated May 16, 2018