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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Somalia  
Flag of Somalia
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Somalia

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Somalia
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The SIAD BARRE regime was ousted in January 1991; turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy have followed for eleven 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 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 legitimate, representative government. Puntland also claims Sool and eastern 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. A Transitional National Government (TNG) was created in August 2000 in Arta, Djibouti which was attended by a broad representation of Somali clans. The TNG has a three-year mandate to create a permanent national Somali government. The TNG does not recognize Somaliland as an independent republic but so far has been unable to reunite either Somaliland or Puntland with the unstable regions in the south. Numerous warlords and factions are still fighting for control of Mogadishu and the other southern regions. Suspicion of Somali links with global terrorism complicate the picture.
   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
total: 637,657 sq km
water: 10,320 sq km
land: 627,337 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: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 98% (1998 est.)
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
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban
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
   People    Somalia
Population:
Definition Field Listing
7,753,310
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 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 44.7% (male 1,737,491; female 1,730,237)
15-64 years: 52.6% (male 2,054,243; female 2,019,980)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 92,617; female 118,742) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.46% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
46.83 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
17.99 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.75 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
122.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 46.96 years
female: 48.65 years (2002 est.)
male: 45.33 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
7.05 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
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.)
   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 has a mandate to create a new constitution and hold elections within three years
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 - Interim President ABDIKASSIM was chosen for a three-year term by a 245-member National Assembly serving as a transitional government; the present political situation is still unstable, particularly in the south, with interclan fighting and random banditry
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
head of government: Prime Minister HASSAN Abshir Farah (since 12 November 2001)
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
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral People's Assembly or Golaha Shacbiga
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 Islamic (Shari'a) law with a provision for appeal of all sentences
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, AL, AMF, CAEU, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)
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
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 at Mombasa Road; mail 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
An interim Transitional National Government - with a president, prime minister, and 245-member National Assembly - was established in Mogadishu in October 2000. However, other governing bodies continue to exist and control various cities and regions of the country, including Somaliland, Puntland, and traditional clan and faction strongholds.
   Economy    Somalia
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
One of the world's poorest and least developed countries, Somalia has few resources and is prone to drought. Moreover, much of the economy has been devastated by civil war since 1991. Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings. Nomads and semi-nomads, who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood, make up a large portion of the population. Livestock, hides, charcoal, and bananas are Somalia's principal exports, while sugar, sorghum, corn, fish, 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 security is provided by militias. Ongoing civil disturbances and clan rivalries, however, have interfered with any broad-based economic development and international aid arrangements. The failure of spring rains caused major food shortages in the south in 2001. Economic data is scare and prone to a wide margin of error.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $4.1 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $550 (2001 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
over 100% (businesses print their own money) (2000 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
3.7 million (very few are skilled laborers) (1993 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture (mostly pastoral nomadism) 71%, industry and services 29%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
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
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
250 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
232.5 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
cattle, sheep, goats; bananas, sorghum, corn, coconuts, rice, sugarcane, mangoes, sesame seeds, beans; fish
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$186 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal (1999)
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Saudi Arabia 29%, UAE 29%, Yemen 28% (calculated through partners) (2000)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$314 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
manufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat (1995)
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Djibouti 27%, Kenya 12%, India 9% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$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
   Communications    Somalia
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
NA
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: international connections are available from Mogadishu by satellite (2001)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 0, FM 1, shortwave 5 (2001)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
470,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
3
note: two in Mogadishu; one in Hargeisa (2001)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
135,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.so
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
3 (one each in Boosaaso, Hargeisa, and Mogadishu) (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
200 (2000)
   Transportation    Somalia
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 22,100 km
paved: 2,608 km
unpaved: 19,492 km (1996)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
none
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 (2002 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
54 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6
over 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 48
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 27
under 914 m: 3 (2001)
   Military    Somalia
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
A Somali National Army is being reformed 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: 1,881,634 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,040,662 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$15.3 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
0.9% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    Somalia
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
most of the southern half of the boundary with Ethiopia is a provisional administrative line; in the Ogaden, regional states have established a variety of conflicting relationships with the Transitional National Government in Mogadishu, feuding factions in Puntland region, and the economically stabile break-away "Somaliland" region; Djibouti maintains economic ties and border accords with "Somaliland" leadership while politically supporting Somali Transitional National Government in Mogadishu; arms smuggling and Oromo rebel activities prompt strict border regime with Kenya

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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