Online and social media connectivity has increased rapidly across cities in the Horn of Africa, particularly amongst younger generations. Taking the post-conflict city of Hargeisa—capital of the de facto independent Republic of Somaliland—as its starting point, this report focuses on how educated young men engage with digital and social media platforms in relation to both ‘outward’ migration and ‘upward’ (socio-economic) mobility.

The findings of the research shed light on how digital and social media platforms play into important cross-border dynamics affecting young men in urban centres. These dynamics are intertwined with wider issues of social stability and human (im)mobility and have potential policy implications when it comes to young people’s digital literacy and reducing vulnerabilities to various forms of (online) danger.

When placed alongside wider socio-economic and political dynamics in Somaliland and beyond, these issues relating to misinformation and susceptibility to online harms could constitute forms of cross-border threat, with implications for social and economic stability in the region.

This report is also available in Somali.