Countries of the World:
Resources about Somalia including maps, facts about the land, people, history, government, political
conditions, and economy.
Economy of Somalia
GDP (2008 est.): U.S. $5.524 billion.
Annual growth rate (2008 est.): 2.6%.
Per capita GDP (2008 est.): $600.
Avg. inflation rate: N/A.
Natural resources: Largely unexploited reserves of iron ore,
tin, gypsum, bauxite, uranium, copper, salt; likely
petroleum and natural gas reserves.
Agriculture: Products--livestock, fish, bananas, corn,
sorghum, sugar. Arable land--13%, of which 2% is cultivated.
Industry: Types--Telecommunications, livestock, fishing,
textiles, transportation, limited financial services.
Somalia's surprisingly innovative private sector has
continued to function despite the lack of a functioning
central government since 1991.
Trade: Exports--$300 million (f.o.b., 2006 est.): livestock,
bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal. Major markets--
United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Saudi Arabia. Imports--$798
million (f.o.b., 2006 est.): food grains, animal and
vegetable oils, petroleum products, construction materials,
manufactured products, qat. Major suppliers--Djibouti,
India, Kenya, United States, Oman, United Arab Emirates,
Aid disbursed: N/A.
Remittances (2008 est.): $2 billion.
Geography of Somalia
Area: 637,657 sq. km.; slightly smaller than Texas.
Cities: Capital--Mogadishu. Other cities--Beledweyne, Kismayo,
Baidoa, Jowhar, Merca, Gaalkayo, Bosasso, Hargeisa, Berbera.
Terrain: Mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in
Climate: Principally desert; December to February--northeast
monsoon, moderate temperatures in north, and very hot in the
south; May to October--southwest monsoon, torrid in the north,
and hot in the south; irregular rainfall; hot and humid
periods (tangambili) between monsoons.
Government of Somalia
Type: Transitional government, known as the Transitional
Federal Government (TFG), established in October 2004 with a
5-year mandate leading to the establishment of a permanent
government following national elections in 2009. In January
2009, the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) extended
this mandate an additional two years to 2011 and expanded to
include 200 members of Parliament (MPs) from the opposition
Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia and 75 MPs from
civil society and other groups, doubling the size of the TFP
to 550 MPs.
Independence: July 1, 1960 (from a merger between the former
Somaliland Protectorate under British rule, which became
independent from the U.K. on June 26, 1960, and Italian
Somaliland, which became independent from the Italian-
administered UN trusteeship on July 1, 1960, to form the
Constitution: None in force. Note: A Transitional Federal
Charter was established in February 2004 and is expected to
serve as the basis for a future constitution in Somalia. In
August 2004, the Somali TFP was established as part of the
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-led
Somalia National Reconciliation Conference in accordance
with the Charter. The Somalia National Reconciliation
Conference concluded following the election of a
Transitional President in October 2004. Consideration of a
constitution still continues. (the rift was not just over
the constitution but rather that sharmarke was ineffective.)
Branches: Executive--On January 30, 2009, Sheikh Sharif
Sheikh Ahmed was elected by the TFP as President of the TFG
following the December 29, 2008, resignation of former TFG
President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed. On February 13, 2009,
President Sharif appointed Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as
the new Prime Minister of the TFG. A cabinet, known as the
Council of Ministers, also exists. Legislative--Transitional
Federal Parliament, established in August 2004. Sheikh Adan
Mohamed Nur “Madobe” was elected Speaker of the Parliament
on January 31, 2007. Judicial--Supreme Court not
functioning; no functioning nationwide legal system;
informal legal system based on previously codified law,
Islamic (shari'a) law, customary practices, and the
provisions of the Transitional Federal Charter.
Political party: None.
Note: In 1991, a congress drawn from the inhabitants of the
former Somaliland Protectorate declared withdrawal from the
1960 union with Somalia to form the self-declared Republic
of Somaliland. Somaliland has not received international
recognition, but has maintained a de jure separate status
since that time. Its form of government is republican, with
a bicameral legislature including an elected elders chamber
and a house of representatives. The judiciary is
independent, and three official political parties exist. In
line with the Somaliland Constitution, Vice President Dahir
Riyale Kahin assumed the presidency following the death of
former President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal in 2002. Kahin was
elected President of Somaliland in elections determined to
be free and fair by international observers in May 2003.
Presidential elections originally scheduled to be held in
April 2008 have now been postponed four times. Elections for
the 84-member lower house of parliament took place on
September 29, 2005 and were described as transparent and
credible by international observers.
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal (no nationwide
Administrative subdivisions: 18 regions (plural--NA;
singular--Gobolka). Awdal, Bakool, Banaadir, Bari, Bay,
Galguduud, Gedo, Hiraan, Jubbada Dhexe, Jubbada Hoose,
Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Shabeellaha Dhexe, Shabeellah Hoose,
Sool, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed.
Central government budget: N/A.
National holiday: July 1 (June 26 in Somaliland).
Map of Somalia
This Map of Somalia shows the borders of the country, as well
as rivers, and cities including Mogadishu the capital of
Somalia. (Maps from the U.S. State Department)
Official Name of Somalia
The Official Name of Somalia is Somalia. (Facts from the U.S.
People of Somalia
Nationality: Noun--Somali(s). Adjective--Somali.
Population (2009 est., no census exists): 9.8 million (of
which an estimated 2 million in Somaliland).
Annual growth rate (2009 est.): 2.815%.
Ethnic groups: Somali, with a small non-Somali minority
(mostly Bantu and Arabs).
Religion: 99.9% Muslim.
Languages: Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English.
Education: Literacy--total population that can read and write,
37.8%: male 49.7%; female 25.8%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--109.19/1,000 live births. Life
expectancy at birth--total population: 49.63 yrs.
Work force (3.447 million; very few are skilled workers):
Pastoral nomad--60%. Agriculture, government, trading,
fishing, industry, handicrafts, and other--40%.
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