CIA World Fact Book, 2004/Somalia

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CIA WFB Seal.png Somalia Flag of Somalia.svg
Somalia-CIA WFB Map (2004).png
 
Introduction Somalia
Background: The SIAD BARRE regime was ousted in January 1991; turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy have followed in the years since. 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 and northern Mudug 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 a legitimate, representative government, but has suffered some civil strife. Puntland disputes its border with Somaliland as it also claims portions of eastern Sool and 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. The mandate of the Transitional National Government (TNG), created in August 2000 in Arta, Djibouti, expired in August 2003. New Somali President Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed has formed a new Transitional Federal Government (TFG) consisting of a 275-member parliament. It was established in October 2004 to replace the TNG but has not yet moved to Mogadishu. Discussions regarding the establishment of a new government in Mogadishu are ongoing in Kenya. Numerous warlords and factions are still fighting for control of the capital city as well as for other southern regions. Suspicion of Somali links with global terrorism further complicates the picture.
 
Geography Somalia
Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia
Geographic coordinates: 10 00 N, 49 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 637,657 sq km
water: 10,320 sq km
land: 627,337 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries: total: 2,340 km
border countries: Djibouti 58 km, Ethiopia 1,600 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
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Shimbiris 2,416 m
Natural resources: uranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, likely oil reserves
Land use: arable land: 1.67%
other: 98.29% (2001)
permanent crops: 0.04%
Irrigated land: 2,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer; floods during rainy season
Environment - current issues: famine; use of contaminated water contributes to human health problems; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements: party to: Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
Geography - note: strategic location on Horn of Africa along southern approaches to Bab el Mandeb and route through Red Sea and Suez Canal
 
People Somalia
Population: 8,304,601
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 2004 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 44.7% (male 1,860,451; female 1,849,484)
15-64 years: 52.7% (male 2,197,572; female 2,176,762)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 94,905; female 125,427) (2004 est.)
Median age: total: 17.6 years
male: 17.5 years
female: 17.6 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate: 3.41% (2004 est.)
Birth rate: 46.04 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate: 17.3 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate: 5.37 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 118.52 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 108.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 127.95 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 47.71 years
male: 46.02 years
female: 49.46 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate: 6.91 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 43,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Major infectious diseases: typhoid fever, dengue fever, malaria, rabies, schistosomiasis
overall degree of risk: very high (2004)
Nationality: noun: Somali(s)
adjective: Somali
Ethnic groups: Somali 85%, Bantu and other non-Somali 15% (including Arabs 30,000)
Religions: Sunni Muslim
Languages: Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English
Literacy: 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: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Somalia
former: Somali Republic, Somali Democratic Republic
Government type: no permanent national government; transitional, parliamentary national government
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
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: Foundation of the Somali Republic, 1 July (1960); note - 26 June (1960) in Somaliland
Constitution: 25 August 1979, presidential approval 23 September 1979
note: the Transitional National Government formed in August 2000 had a three-year mandate to create a new constitution and hold elections, this goal was not achieved but the process is ongoing
Legal system: no national system; Shari'a and secular courts are in some localities
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed (since 14 October 2004); note - a new Transitional Federal Government consisting of a 275-member parliament was established in October 2004 replacing the Transitional National Government created in 2000
election results: Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed, the leader of the Puntland region of Somalia, was elected president by the Transitional Federal Government
head of government: Prime Minister Ali Muhammad GHEDI (since 3 November 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly
note: fledgling parliament; a 275-member Transitional Federal Government replaced the Transitional National Government created in 2000; the new parliament consists of 61 seats assigned to each of four large clan groups (Darod, Digil-Mirifle, Dir, and Hawiye) with the remaining 31 seats divided between minority clans
Judicial branch: following the breakdown of national government, most regions have reverted to either Islamic (Shari'a) law with a provision for appeal of all sentences, or traditional clan-based arbitration
Political parties and leaders: none
Political pressure groups and leaders: numerous clan and subclan factions are currently vying for power
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, CAEU, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, LAS, NAM, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the US: 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 and at the United Nations
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Somalia; US interests are represented by the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya at Mombasa Road; mailing address: P. O. Box 30137, Unit 64100, Nairobi; APO AE 09831; telephone: [254] (2) 537800; FAX [254] (2) 537810
Flag description: light blue with a large white five-pointed star in the center; blue field influenced by the flag of the UN
Government - note: although an interim government was created in 2000 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: Somalia's economic fortunes are being driven by its deep political divisions. The northern area has declared its independence as "Somaliland"; the central area, Puntland, is a self-declared autonomous state; and the remaining southern portion is riddled with the struggles of rival factions. Economic life continues, in part because much activity is local and relatively easily protected. Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock normally accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings, but Saudi Arabia's recent ban on Somali livestock, because of Rift Valley Fever concerns, has severely hampered the sector. Nomads and semi-nomads, who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood, make up a large portion of the population. Livestock, hides, fish, charcoal, and bananas are Somalia's principal exports, while sugar, sorghum, corn, 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 militias provide security. The ongoing civil disturbances and clan rivalries, however, have interfered with any broad-based economic development and international aid arrangements. In 2002 Somalia's overdue financial obligations to the IMF continued to grow. Statistics on Somalia's GDP, growth, per capita income, and inflation should be viewed skeptically.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $4.361 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.1% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $500 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 65%
industry: 10%
services: 25% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices): note - businesses print their own money, so inflation rates cannot be sensibly determined (2003 est.)
Labor force: 3.7 million (very few are skilled laborers)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture (mostly pastoral nomadism) 71%, industry and services 29%
Unemployment rate: NA
Budget: revenues: NA
expenditures: NA, including capital expenditures of NA
Agriculture - products: cattle, sheep, goats; bananas, sorghum, corn, coconuts, rice, sugarcane, mangoes, sesame seeds, beans; fish
Industries: a few light industries, including sugar refining, textiles, petroleum refining (mostly shut down), wireless communication
Industrial production growth rate: NA
Electricity - production: 245.1 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 227.9 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption: 4,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports: NA (2001)
Oil - imports: NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 2.832 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Exports: $79 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities: livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal
Exports - partners: UAE 37.2%, Yemen 22.3%, Oman 10.1%, China 6%, Kuwait 4.4%, Nigeria 4% (2003)
Imports: $344 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities: manufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat
Imports - partners: Djibouti 33.9%, Kenya 15.5%, Brazil 6.6%, UAE 5.1%, Thailand 4.2% (2003)
Debt - external: $2.6 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $60 million (1999 est.)
Currency: Somali shilling (SOS)
Currency code: SOS
Exchange rates: 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: NA
 
Communications Somalia
Telephones - main lines in use: 100,000 est (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 35,000 (2002)
Telephone system: 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: country code - 252; international connections are available from Mogadishu by satellite
Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 11, shortwave 1 in Mogadishu; 1 FM in Puntland, 1 FM in Somaliland (2001)
Radios: 470,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 4
note: two in Mogadishu; two in Hargeisa (2001)
Televisions: 135,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .so
Internet hosts: 4 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 3 (one each in Boosaaso, Hargeisa, and Mogadishu) (2000)
Internet users: 89,000 (2002)
 
Transportation Somalia
Highways: total: 22,100 km
paved: 2,608 km
unpaved: 19,492 km (1999 est.)
Ports and harbors: Boosaaso, Berbera, Chisimayu (Kismaayo), Merca, Mogadishu
Merchant marine: none
Airports: 60 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 6
over 3,047 m: 4
2438 to 3047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 54
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m: 29
under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)
 
Military Somalia
Military branches: A Somali National Army was attempted 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 - military age and obligation: 18 years of age (est.) (2001)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 2,010,152 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 1,109,405 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $18.9 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 0.9% (2003)
This page was last updated on 1 January 2003



This is a snapshot of the CIA World Fact Book as it existed on 26 March 2005