Somalia 1989Somalia

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Somalia - Introduction 1989
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Background: Intermittent civil war has been a fact of life in Somalia since 1977.

Somalia - Geography 1989
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries:
2,340 km total
Djibouti 58 km, Ethiopia 1,600 km, Kenya 682 km

Coastline: 3,025 km

Maritime claims: Territorial sea:200 nm

Climate: desert; northeast monsoon (December to February), cooler southwest monsoon (May to October; irregular rainfall; hot, humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons

Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north


Natural resources: uranium, and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt
Land use

Land use: 2% arable land; NEGL% permanent crops; 46% meadows and pastures; 14% forest and woodland; 38% other; includes 3% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: strategic location on Horn of Africa along southern approaches to Bab el Mandeb and route through Red Sea and Suez Canal

Somalia - People 1989
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Population: 8,248,133 (July 1989), growth rate 3.2% (1989)

Nationality: noun - Somali(s; adjective - Somali

Ethnic groups: 85% Somali, rest mainly Bantu; 30,000 Arabs, 3,000 Europeans, 800 Asians

Languages: Somali (official; Arabic, Italian, English

Religions: almost entirely Sunni Muslim

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 47 births/1000 population (1989)

Death rate: 15 deaths/1000 population (1989)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1000 population (1989)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 128 deaths/1000 live births (1989)

Life expectancy at birth: 53 years male, 53 years female (1989)

Total fertility rate: 7.3 children born/woman (1989)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 60% (government est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Somalia - Government 1989
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Country name: conventional long form: Somali Democratic Republic

Government type: republic

Capital: Mogadishu

Administrative divisions: 16 regions (plural - NA, singular - gobolka; Bakool, Banaadir, Bari, Bay, Galguduud, Gedo, Hiiraan, Jubbada Dhexe, Jubbada Hoose, Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Shabeellaha Dhexe, Shabeellaha Hoose, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed

Dependent areas

Independence: 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: Anniversary of the Revolution, 21 October (1969)

Constitution: 25 August 1979, presidential approval 23 September 1979

Legal system

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal over age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State President and Commander in Chief of the Army Maj. Gen. Mohamed SIAD Barre (since 21 October 1969; Head of Government Prime Minister Lt. Gen. Mohamed Ali SAMANTAR (since 1 February 1987)

Legislative branch: Somali National Army (including Navy, Air Force, and Air Defense Force), National Police Force

Judicial branch

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AfDB, Arab League, EAMA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB - Islamic Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador Abdullahi Ahmed ADDOU; Chancery at Suite 710, 600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington DC 20,037; telephone (202) 342-1575; there is a Somali Consulate General in New York; US - Ambassador T. Frank CRIGLER; Embassy at Corso Primo Luglio, Mogadishu (mailing address is P. O. Box 574, Mogadishu; telephone Õ252å (01) 20,811

Flag descriptionflag of Somalia: light blue with a large white five-pointed star in the center; design based on the flag of the UN (Italian Somaliland was a UN trust territory)

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Somalia - Economy 1989
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Economy overview: One of the world's least developed countries, Somalia has few resources. In 1987 per capita GDP was less than $200. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, with the livestock sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings. About 50% of the population are nomads and seminomads who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihoods. Crop production generates only 10% of GDP and employs about 20% of the work force. The main export crop is bananas; sugar, sorghum, and corn are grown for the domestic market. The small industrial sector is based on the processing of agricultural products and accounts for less than 10% of GDP. At the end of 1987 serious economic problems facing the nation were the external debt of $1.9 billion and double-digit inflation.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: mainly a pastoral country, raising livestock; bananas, sugarcane, cotton, cereals

Industries: a few small industries, including sugar refining, textiles, petroleum refining

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: 2,200,000; very few are skilled laborers; 70% pastoral nomad, 30% agriculture, government, trading, fishing, handicrafts, and other; 53% of population of working age (1985)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $74.7 million; expenditures $477.6 million, including capital expenditures of $280.7 million (1987)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $95.0 million (f.o.b., 1987)
Commodities: livestock, hides, skins, bananas, fish
Partners: US 0.5%, Saudi Arabia, Italy, FRG (1986)

Imports: $418.0 million (c.i.f., 1987)
Commodities: textiles, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials
Partners: US 13%, Italy, FRG, Kenya, UK, Saudi Arabia (1986)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $2.0 billion (1988 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Somali shillings (So. Sh.) per US$1 - 264.25 (December 1988), 170.45 (1988), 105.18 (1987), 72.00 (1986), 39.49 (1985)

Somalia - Energy 1989
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Somalia - Communication 1989
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Somalia - Military 1989
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: NA

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Somalia - Transportation 1989
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 63 total, 47 usable; 8 with permanent-surface runways; 2 with runways over 3,659 m; 5 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 20 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: 15 km crude oil




Merchant marine: 2 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,563 GRT/5,718 DWT

Ports and terminals

Somalia - Transnational issues 1989
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Disputes international: southern half of boundary with Ethiopia is a Provisional Administrative Line; territorial dispute with Ethiopia over the Ogaden; possible claims to Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya based on unification of ethnic Somalis

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Iberostar Hotels

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