The target of the Al Shabaab attacks—the Westgate Mall—is a popular destination not only for well-off Kenyans, but also for expats and international tourists. Among those killed last weekend were the Ghanaian poet and former ambassador Kofi Awoonor, and the nephew of the Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta.
The mall itself is located in the heart of Nairobi, Kenya's capital city. It's the youngest big city in the region, and also one of the fastest growing.
Mwangi S. Kimenyi is a senior fellow and director of the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution and currently serves as advisory board member of the School of Economics, University of Nairobi. He explains the history and layout of the city, and why these attacks reverberated so painfully across the city.