Somalia 1997Somalia

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The Fives Hotels

Somalia - Introduction 1997
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Background: Intermittent civil war has been a fact of life in Somalia since 1977. In 1991 the northern portion of the country declared its independence as Somaliland; although de facto independent and relatively stable compared to the tumultuous south it has not been recognized by any foreign government. 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.

Somalia - Geography 1997
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Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia

Geographic coordinates: 10 00 N, 49 00 E

Map referenceAfrica

Total: 637,660 km²
Land: 627,340 km²
Water: 10,320 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries
Total: 2,366 km
Border countries: (3) Djibouti 58 km; , Ethiopia 1,626 km; , Kenya 682 km

Coastline: 3,025 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea:200 nm

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

Extremes lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Shimbiris 2,450 m

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

Land use
Arable land: 2%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 69%
Forests and woodland: 26%
Other: 3% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,800 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer

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

Somalia - People 1997
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Population: 6,590,325 (July 1997 est.)
Note: this estimate was derived from an official census taken in 1987 by the Somali Government with the cooperation of the UN and the US Bureau of the Census; population estimates are updated year by year between census years by factoring growth rates into them and by taking account of refugee movements and of losses due to famine; lower estimates of Somalia's population in mid-1996 (on the order of 6.0 million to 6.5 million) have been made by aid and relief agencies, based on the number of persons being fed; population counting in Somalia is complicated by the large numbers of nomads and by refugee movements in response to famine and clan warfare
Growth rate: 3.03% (1997 est.) (1997 est.)

Noun: Somali(s)
Adjective: Somali

Ethnic groups: Somali 85%, Bantu, Arabs 30,000

Languages: Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English

Religions: Sunni Muslim

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 44% (male 1,449,037; female 1,452,171)
15-64 years: 53% (male 1,777,131; female 1,718,389)
65 years and over: 3% (male 89,346; female 104,251) (July 1997 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 3.03% (1997 est.) (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 45.49 births/1000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 18.34 deaths/1000 population (1997 est.) (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.12 migrant(s)/1000 population (1997 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: famine; use of contaminated water contributes to human health problems; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female (1997 est.)
Under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 125.8 deaths/1000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 46.23 years
Male: 44.66 years
Female: 47.85 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.76 children born/woman (1997 est.)

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

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 24%
Male: 36%
Female: 14% (1990 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Somalia - Government 1997
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Somalia
Former: Somali Republic

Government type: none

Capital: Mogadishu

Administrative divisions: 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

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: NA

Constitution: 25 August 1979, presidential approval 23 September 1979

Legal system: NA

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: Somalia has no functioning government; the United Somali Congress (USC) ousted the regime of Major General Mohamed SIAD Barre on 27 January 1991; the present political situation is one of anarchy, marked by interclan fighting and random banditry

Legislative branch: unicameral People's Assembly or Golaha Shacbiga
Note: the Golaha Shacbiga is not functioning

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (not functioning)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGADD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, 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: Somalia does not have an embassy in the US (ceased operations on 8 May 1991)
From the us: the US does not have an embassy in Somalia; US interests are represented by the US Embassy in Nairobi at Moi Avenue and Haile Selassie Avenue; mail address:P. O. Box 30,137, Unit 64,100, Nairobi; APO AE 9,831; telephone:[254] (2) 334,141; FAX [254] (2) 340,838

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 1997
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Economy overview: One of the world's poorest and least developed countries, Somalia has few resources. Moreover, much of the economy has been devastated by the civil war. Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings. Nomads and seminomads, who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood, make up a large portion of the population. 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; most facilities have been shut down because of the civil strife. The greatly increased political turmoil of 1991-93 resulted in a substantial drop in agricultural output, with widespread famine. In 1994 economic conditions stabilized in the countryside, followed in 1995 by slight improvements. However, ongoing civil strife in Mogadishu and outlying areas is interfering with any substantial recovery.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2% (1995 est.)

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: 65.5%
Industry: 8.7%
Services: 25.8% (1990 est.)

Agriculture products: bananas, sorghum, corn, mangoes, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, goats; fishing potential largely unexploited

Industries: a few small industries, including sugar refining, textiles, petroleum refining (mostly shut down)

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force
Total: 3.7 million (very few are skilled laborers)(1993 est.)
By occupation agriculture(mostlypastoralnomadism): 71%
By occupation industry and services: 29%
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

Revenues: $N/A
Expenditures: $N/A, including capital expenditures of $N/A

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

Total value: $130 million (1994 est.)
Commodities: bananas, live animals, fish, hides (1995)
Partners: Saudi Arabia 57%, Yemen 14%, Italy 13%, US (bananas) (1995 est.)

Total value: $269 million (1994 est.)
Commodities: manufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials (1995)
Partners: Kenya 24%, Djibouti 18%, Pakistan 6% (1995 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $2.6 billion (1994 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Somali shillings (So. Sh.) per US$1 - 4,100 (November 1996 est.), 7,000 (January 1996 est.), 5,000 (1 January 1995), 2,616 (1 July 1993), 4,200 (December 1992)

Somalia - Energy 1997
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 60 million kWh (1991)

Electricity consumption
Per capita: NA kWh

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 1997
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: the public telecommunications system was completely destroyed or dismantled by the civil war factions; all relief organizations depend on their own private systems
Domestic: recently, local cellular telephone systems have been established in Mogadishu and in several other population centers
International: international connections are available from Mogadishu by satellite

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Somalia - Military 1997
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Somalia - Transportation 1997
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 47 (1996 est.)
With paved runways total: 11
With paved runways over 3047 m: 3
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 4 (1996 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 36
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 4
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 13
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 19 (1996 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 11
Over 3047 m: 3
2438 to 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 2
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 4 (1996 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 36
2438 to 3047 m: 4
15-24 to 2437 m: 13
914 to 1523 m: 19 (1996 est.)


Pipelines: crude oil 15 km

Railways: 0 km



Merchant marine
Total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,529 GRT/6,892 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 1 (1996 est.)

Ports and terminals

Somalia - Transnational issues 1997
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Disputes international: most of the southern half of the boundary with Ethiopia is a Provisional Administrative Line; territorial dispute with Ethiopia over the Ogaden

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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