Villa Somalia (Somali:Madaxtooyada Soomaaliya, Arabic:فيلا الصومال) is a building inMogadishu, the capital of Somalia. It serves as the official residentialpalace and principal workplace of the President of Somalia.
Villa Somalia (originally called Villa del Vicere' when inaugurated in October 1936) was on high ground that overlooked Italian Mogadishu on the Indian Ocean, with access to both the harbour and Petrella airport. It was originally a large, squarish stucco building with a tiled roof.
The story of Mogadishu’s Modernist buildings begins during the time of Italian colonial rule. Unlike Asmara in Eritrea and Tripoli in Libya, where the Italians built their colonial city alongside the native walled town, in Mogadishu the walls of the old medina were torn down and the occupiers’ buildings imposed in the city centre.....Another prominent building of the period is Villa Somalia, an Art Deco palace which served as the residence of the Italian governor.....it is still in good condition today, thanks to the fact that it remained the seat of whoever was internationally recognised as the leader of Somalia, with all the security that entailed.–Rakesh Ramchum
Following independence in 1960, the building became the presidential palace of the President of the Somali Republic. After the start of the civil war and the overthrow of the Siad Barre administration in the early 1990s, various local faction leaders fought for control of and installed themselves in the residence.
On 8 January 2007, Transitional Federal Government President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed entered Mogadishu for the first time since being elected to office. The government subsequently relocated to Villa Somalia from its interim location at Baidoa.