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Anyone going to Somalia should first take a look at this page. Somalia is a country with much to know about. A trip to Somalia will not be good unless you check this page out.

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Map of Somalia

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Somalia
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The SIAD BARRE regime was ousted in January 1991; turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy have followed for thirteen years. In May of 1991, northern clans declared an independent Republic of Somaliland that now includes the administrative regions of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool. Although not recognized by any government, this entity has maintained a stable existence, aided by the overwhelming dominance of a ruling clan and economic infrastructure left behind by British, Russian, and American military assistance programs. The regions of Bari and Nugaal and northern Mudug comprise a neighboring self-declared autonomous state of Puntland, which has been self-governing since 1998, but does not aim at independence; it has also made strides towards reconstructing a legitimate, representative government, but has suffered civil strife in 2002. Puntland disputes its border with Somaliland as it also claims portions of eastern Sool and Sanaag. Beginning in 1993, a two-year UN humanitarian effort (primarily in the south) was able to alleviate famine conditions, but when the UN withdrew in 1995, having suffered significant casualties, order still had not been restored. The mandate of the Transitional National Government (TNG), created in August 2000 in Arta, Djibouti, expired in August 2003. Discussions regarding the establishment of a new government are ongoing in Kenya. Numerous warlords and factions are still fighting for control of Mogadishu and the other southern regions. Suspicion of Somali links with global terrorism further complicates the picture.

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   Geography    Somalia
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
10 00 N, 49 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 637,657 sq km
land: 627,337 sq km
water: 10,320 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2,340 km
border countries: Djibouti 58 km, Ethiopia 1,600 km, Kenya 682 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
3,025 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
principally desert; December to February - northeast monsoon, moderate temperatures in north and very hot in south; May to October - southwest monsoon, torrid in the north and hot in the south, irregular rainfall, hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Shimbiris 2,416 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
uranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, likely oil reserves
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 1.67%
permanent crops: 0.04%
other: 98.29% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
2,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer; floods during rainy season
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
famine; use of contaminated water contributes to human health problems; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location on Horn of Africa along southern approaches to Bab el Mandeb and route through Red Sea and Suez Canal

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   People    Somalia
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,304,601
note: this estimate was derived from an official census taken in 1975 by the Somali Government; population counting in Somalia is complicated by the large number of nomads and by refugee movements in response to famine and clan warfare (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 44.7% (male 1,860,451; female 1,849,484)
15-64 years: 52.7% (male 2,197,572; female 2,176,762)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 94,905; female 125,427) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 17.6 years
male: 17.5 years
female: 17.6 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.41% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
46.04 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17.3 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.37 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 118.52 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 127.95 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 108.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 47.71 years
male: 46.02 years
female: 49.46 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.91 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
43,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Somali(s)
adjective: Somali
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Somali 85%, Bantu and other non-Somali 15% (including Arabs 30,000)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Sunni Muslim
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 37.8%
male: 49.7%
female: 25.8% (2001 est.)

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   Government    Somalia
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Somalia
former: Somali Republic, Somali Democratic Republic
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
no permanent national government; transitional, parliamentary national government
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Mogadishu
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
18 regions (plural - NA, singular - gobolka); Awdal, Bakool, Banaadir, Bari, Bay, Galguduud, Gedo, Hiiraan, Jubbada Dhexe, Jubbada Hoose, Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Shabeellaha Dhexe, Shabeellaha Hoose, Sool, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
1 July 1960 (from a merger of British Somaliland, which became independent from the UK on 26 June 1960, and Italian Somaliland, which became independent from the Italian-administered UN trusteeship on 1 July 1960, to form the Somali Republic)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Foundation of the Somali Republic, 1 July (1960); note - 26 June (1960) in Somaliland
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
25 August 1979, presidential approval 23 September 1979
note: the Transitional National Government formed in August 2000 had a three-year mandate to create a new constitution and hold elections, this goal was not achieved but the process is ongoing
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
no national system; Shari'a and secular courts are in some localities
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: ABDIKASSIM Salad Hassan (since 26 August 2000); note - as of December 2002, there was no executive branch in southern Somalia; Interim President ABDIKASSIM was chosen for a three-year term by a 245-member National Assembly serving as a transitional government but has little power; the political situation, particularly in the south, with interclan fighting and random banditry, remains fluid
head of government: Prime Minister Muhammad Abdi YUSUF (since 8 December 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister and sworn in on 20 October 2000; as of 1 January 2002, the Cabinet was in caretaker status following a no-confidence vote in October 2001 that ousted HASSAN's predecessor
election results: ABDIKASSIM Salad Hassan was elected president of an interim government at the Djibouti-sponsored Arta Peace Conference on 26 August 2000 by a broad representation of Somali clans that comprised a transitional National Assembly
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly
note: fledgling parliament; a transitional 245-member National Assembly began to meet on 13 August 2000 in the town of Arta, Djibouti and is now based in Mogadishu
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
following the breakdown of national government, most regions have reverted to either Islamic (Shari'a) law with a provision for appeal of all sentences, or traditional clan-based arbitration
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
none
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
numerous clan and subclan factions are currently vying for power
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, CAEU, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, LAS, NAM, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
Somalia does not have an embassy in the US (ceased operations on 8 May 1991); note - the TNG and other factions have representatives in Washington and at the United Nations
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
the US does not have an embassy in Somalia; US interests are represented by the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya at Mombasa Road; mailing address: P. O. Box 30137, Unit 64100, Nairobi; APO AE 09831; telephone: [254] (2) 537800; FAX [254] (2) 537810
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
light blue with a large white five-pointed star in the center; blue field influenced by the flag of the UN
Government - note:
Definition Field Listing
although an interim government was created in 2000 other governing bodies continue to exist and control various cities and regions of the country, including Somaliland, Puntland, and traditional clan and faction strongholds

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   Economy    Somalia
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Somalia's economic fortunes are being driven by its deep political divisions. The northern area has declared its independence as "Somaliland"; the central area, Puntland, is a self-declared autonomous state; and the remaining southern portion is riddled with the struggles of rival factions. Economic life continues, in part because much activity is local and relatively easily protected. Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock normally accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings, but Saudi Arabia's recent ban on Somali livestock, because of Rift Valley Fever concerns, has severely hampered the sector. Nomads and semi-nomads, who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood, make up a large portion of the population. Livestock, hides, fish, charcoal, and bananas are Somalia's principal exports, while sugar, sorghum, corn, qat, and machined goods are the principal imports. Somalia's small industrial sector, based on the processing of agricultural products, has largely been looted and sold as scrap metal. Despite the seeming anarchy, Somalia's service sector has managed to survive and grow. Telecommunication firms provide wireless services in most major cities and offer the lowest international call rates on the continent. In the absence of a formal banking sector, money exchange services have sprouted throughout the country, handling between $200 million and $500 million in remittances annually. Mogadishu's main market offers a variety of goods from food to the newest electronic gadgets. Hotels continue to operate, and militias provide security. The ongoing civil disturbances and clan rivalries, however, have interfered with any broad-based economic development and international aid arrangements. In 2002 Somalia's overdue financial obligations to the IMF continued to grow. Statistics on Somalia's GDP, growth, per capita income, and inflation should be viewed skeptically.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $4.361 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.1% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $500 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 65%
industry: 10%
services: 25% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
note - businesses print their own money, so inflation rates cannot be sensibly determined (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.7 million (very few are skilled laborers)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture (mostly pastoral nomadism) 71%, industry and services 29%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: NA
expenditures: NA, including capital expenditures of NA
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
cattle, sheep, goats; bananas, sorghum, corn, coconuts, rice, sugarcane, mangoes, sesame seeds, beans; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
a few light industries, including sugar refining, textiles, petroleum refining (mostly shut down), wireless communication
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
245.1 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
227.9 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.832 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$79 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
UAE 38.9%, Yemen 23.2%, Oman 10.5%, China 6.3%, Kuwait 4.2% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$344 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
manufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Djibouti 32.5%, Kenya 14.8%, Brazil 10.7%, UAE 4.9%, Thailand 4.1% (2003 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.6 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$60 million (1999 est.)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Somali shilling (SOS)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
SOS
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Somali shillings per US dollar - 11,000 (November 2000), 2,620 (January 1999), 7,500 (November 1997 est.), 7,000 (January 1996 est.), 5,000 (1 January 1995)
note: the Republic of Somaliland, a self-declared independent country not recognized by any foreign government, issues its own currency, the Somaliland shilling
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
NA

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   Communications    Somalia
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
100,000 est (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
35,000 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: the public telecommunications system was almost completely destroyed or dismantled by the civil war factions; private wireless companies offer service in most major cities and charge the lowest international rates on the continent
domestic: local cellular telephone systems have been established in Mogadishu and in several other population centers
international: country code - 252; international connections are available from Mogadishu by satellite
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 0, FM 11, shortwave 1 in Mogadishu; 1 FM in Puntland, 1 FM in Somaliland (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
4
note: two in Mogadishu; two in Hargeisa (2001)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.so
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4 (2004)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
89,000 (2002)

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   Transportation    Somalia
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 22,100 km
paved: 2,608 km
unpaved: 19,492 km (1999 est.)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 15 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Boosaaso, Berbera, Chisimayu (Kismaayo), Merca, Mogadishu
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
none
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
60 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6
over 3,047 m: 4
2438 to 3047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 54
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m: 29
under 914 m: 2 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Somalia
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
A Somali National Army was attempted under the interim government; numerous factions and clans maintain independent militias, and the Somaliland and Puntland regional governments maintain their own security and police forces
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 2,010,152 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,109,405 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$18.9 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.9% (2003)

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   Transnational Issues    Somalia
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
"Somaliland" secessionists provide port facilities to land-locked Ethiopia and establish commercial ties with regional states; "Puntland" secessionists clash with "Somaliland" secessionists to establish territorial limits and clan loyalties, each seeking support from neighboring states; Ethiopia maintains only an administrative line with the Oromo region of southern Somalia and maintains alliances with local Somali clans opposed to the unrecognized Transitional National Government in Mogadishu

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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