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Countries of the World: Somalia
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, Yemen. 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 the north. 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 Somali Republic). 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 elections). 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. Defense: 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. State Department)

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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