Thank you country #206 Somalia Population: 10,251,568


It’s been a really long time since a new country has visited our blog but I am psyched to say # 206th country Somalia has stopped by…that is 206 countries….all I can say is WOW…

 Background
Britain withdrew from British Somaliland in 1960 to allow its protectorate to join with Italian Somaliland and form the new nation of Somalia. In 1969, a coup headed by Mohamed SIAD Barre ushered in an authoritarian socialist rule characterized by the persecution, jailing, and torture of political opponents and dissidents. After the regime’s collapse early in 1991, Somalia descended into turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy. In May 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 and continues efforts to establish a constitutional democracy, including holding municipal, parliamentary, and presidential elections. The regions of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug comprise a neighboring semi-autonomous state of Puntland, which has been self-governing since 1998 but does not aim at independence; it has also made strides toward 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. In 2000, the Somalia National Peace Conference (SNPC) held in Djibouti resulted in the formation of an interim government, known as the Transitional National Government (TNG). When the TNG failed to establish adequate security or governing institutions, the Government of Kenya, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), led a subsequent peace process that concluded in October 2004 with the election of Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed as President of a second interim government, known as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of the Somali Republic. The TFG included a 275-member parliamentary body, known as the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP). President YUSUF resigned late in 2008 while United Nations-sponsored talks between the TFG and the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) were underway in Djibouti. In January 2009, following the creation of a TFG-ARS unity government, Ethiopian military forces, which had entered Somalia in December 2006 to support the TFG in the face of advances by the opposition Islamic Courts Union (ICU), withdrew from the country. The TFP was doubled in size to 550 seats with the addition of 200 ARS and 75 civil society members of parliament. The expanded parliament elected Sheikh SHARIF Sheikh Ahmed, the former ICU and ARS chairman as president in January 2009. The creation of the TFG was based on the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC), which outlined a five-year mandate leading to the establishment of a new Somali constitution and a transition to a representative government following national elections. In 2009, the TFP amended the TFC to extend TFG’s mandate until 2011 and in 2011 Somali principals agreed to institute political transition by August 2012. The transition process ended in September 2012 when clan elders appointed 275 members to a new parliament replacing the TFP and the subsequent election, by parliament, of a new president.
 Geography
Strategic location on Horn of Africa along southern approaches to Bab el Mandeb and route through Red Sea and Suez Canal
Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia
Geographic coordinates: 10 00 N, 49 00 E
Area: total: 637,657 sq km land: 627,337 sq km water: 10,320 sq kmSize comparison: 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; northeast monsoon (December to February), moderate temperatures in north and hot in south; southwest monsoon (May to October), 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: 1.64% permanent crops: 0.04% other: 98.32% (2005)
Irrigated land: 2,000 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer; floods during rainy season
Current Environment Issues: famine; use of contaminated water contributes to human health problems; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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 People
Population: 10,251,568 (July 2013 est.) 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
Age structure: 0-14 years: 44.3% (male 2,270,282/female 2,273,506) 15-24 years: 18.9% (male 978,197/female 955,253) 25-54 years: 31% (male 1,643,803/female 1,538,723) 55-64 years: 3.5% (male 165,408/female 188,992) 65 years and over: 2.3% (male 93,434/female 143,970) (2013 est.) population pyramid:
Median age: total: 17.8 years male: 17.9 years female: 17.8 years (2012 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.596% (2012 est.)
Birth rate: 42.12 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Death rate: 14.55 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Net migration rate: -11.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 103.72 deaths/1,000 live births male: 112.62 deaths/1,000 live births female: 94.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 50.8 years male: 48.86 years female: 52.8 years (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate: 6.17 children born/woman (2013 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 0.7% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 34,000 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 1,600 (2009 est.)
Nationality: noun: Somali(s) adjective: Somali
Ethnic groups: Somali 85%, Bantu and other non-Somali 15% (including 30,000 Arabs)
Religions: Sunni Muslim (Islam) (official, according to the Transitional Federal Charter)
Languages: Somali (official), Arabic (official, according to the Transitional Federal Charter), Italian, English
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 37.8% male: 49.7% female: 25.8% (2001 est.)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Federal Republic of Somalia conventional short form: Somalia local long form: Jamhuuriyadda Federaalkaa Soomaaliya local short form: Soomaaliya former: Somali Republic, Somali Democratic Republic
Government type: in the process of building a federated parliamentary republic
Capital: name: Mogadishu geographic coordinates: 2 04 N, 45 20 E time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 18 regions (plural – NA, singular – gobolka); Awdal, Bakool, Banaadir, Bari, Bay, Galguduud, Gedo, Hiiraan, Jubbada Dhexe (Middle Jubba), Jubbada Hoose (Lower Jubba), Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Shabeellaha Dhexe (Middle Shabeelle), Shabeellaha Hoose (Lower Shabeelle), Sool, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed
Independence: 1 July 1960 (from a merger of British Somaliland that became independent from the UK on 26 June 1960 and Italian Somaliland that 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: Provisional Constitution for the Federal Republic of Somalia, approved by a constitutional assembly 1 August 2012 note: The Constitution will become permanent after a referendum before the end of Parliament’s first term (date to be determined)
Legal system: mixed legal system of civil law, Islamic law, and customary law (referred to as Xeer)
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President HASSAN SHEIKH Mahamud (since 10 September 2012) head of government: Prime Minister Abdi Farrah SHIRDON Said (since 6 October 2012) cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president approved by the National Parliament (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by the National Parliament; election last held 10 September 2012 election results: HASSAN SHEIKH Mahamud elected president; National Parliament vote – HASSAN SHEIKH Mahamud 190, Sheikh SHARIF Sheikh Ahmed 79; president chooses the prime minister, who is then elected by National Parliament
Legislative branch: bicameral National Parliament consisting of the House of the People of the Federal Parliament (275 seats, elected by Somali citizens) and the Upper House of the Federal Parliament (54 seats, elected by people of the Federal member states) note: the inaugural House of the People in September 2012 was appointed by clan elders; as of January 2013, the Upper House has not been formed
Judicial branch: Constitutional Court; Federal Government-level courts; Federal Member-level courts note: these courts have yet to be established; in their absence most regions have reverted to local forms of conflict resolution, either secular, traditional Somali customary law, or sharia (Islamic) law with a provision for appeal of all sentences
Political parties and leaders: none
Political pressure groups and leaders: other: numerous clan and sub-clan factions exist both in support and in opposition to the transitional government
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, CAEU (candidate), FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, LAS, NAM, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU (NGOs), 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 Transitional Federal Government is represented in the US through its Permanent Mission to the UN
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Somalia; US interests are represented by the US Special Representative for Somalia, James C. Swan operating out of the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya at United Nations Avenue, Nairobi; mailing address: Unit 64100, Nairobi; APO AE 09831; telephone: [254] (20) 363-6000; FAX [254] (20) 363-6157
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 Economy
Despite the lack of effective national governance, Somalia has maintained a healthy informal economy, largely based on livestock, remittance/money transfer companies, and telecommunications. Agriculture is the most important sector with livestock normally accounting for about 40% of GDP and more than 50% of export earnings. Nomads and semi-pastoralists, 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 the machinery sold as scrap metal. Somalia’s service sector has grown. 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 transfer/remittance services have sprouted throughout the country, handling up to $1.6 billion in remittances annually. Mogadishu’s main market offers a variety of goods from food to the newest electronic gadgets. Hotels continue to operate and are supported with private-security militias. Somalia’s arrears to the IMF have continued to grow. Somalia’s capital city – Mogadishu – has enjoyed a rebirth following the departure of al-Shabaab in August 2011. Mogadishu has witnessed the development of the city’s first gas stations, supermarkets, and flights between Europe (Istanbul-Mogadishu) since the collapse of central authority in 1991. This economic growth has yet to expand outside of Mogadishu.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $5.896 billion (2010 est.) $5.75 billion (2009 est.) $5.607 billion (2008 est.) note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $2.372 billion (2010 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 2.6% (2010 est.) 2.6% (2009 est.) 2.6% (2008 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): GDP – per capita (PPP): $600 (2010 est.) $600 (2009 est.) $600 (2008 est.) note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 59.3% industry: 7.2% services: 33.5% (2011 est.)
Labor force: 3.447 million (2007)
Labor force – by occupation: agriculture: 71% industry and services: 29% (1975)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA% note: businesses print their own money, so inflation rates cannot be easily determined
Investment (gross fixed): Investment (gross fixed): 20% of GDP (2009 est.)
Budget: revenues: $NA expenditures: $NA
Agriculture – products: bananas, sorghum, corn, coconuts, rice, sugarcane, mangoes, sesame seeds, beans; cattle, sheep, goats; fish
Industries: a few light industries, including sugar refining, textiles, wireless communication
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity – production: 315 million kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 169
Electricity – consumption: 293 million kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity – exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity – imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Natural gas – production: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – consumption: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – imports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – proved reserves: 5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Exports: $515.8 million (2010 est.) $300 million (2006 est.)
Exports – commodities: livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal, scrap metal
Exports – partners: UAE 51%, Yemen 19.1%, Oman 12.9% (2011)
Imports: $1.263 billion (2010 est.) $798 million (2006 est.)
Imports – commodities: manufactures, petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials, qat
Imports – partners: Djibouti 26.6%, India 13.6%, Kenya 6.9%, Pakistan 6.3%, China 6.1%, Egypt 4.8%, Oman 4.8%, UAE 4.6%, Yemen 4.3% (2011)
Debt – external: $2.942 billion (31 December 2010 est.) $3 billion (2001 est.)
Exchange rates: Somali shillings (SOS) per US dollar – 1,600 (2012 est.)
Fiscal year: NA
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 Communications
Telephones in use: 100,000 (2010) country comparison to the world: 146
Cellular Phones in use: 655,000 (2011)
Telephone system: general assessment: the public telecommunications system was almost completely destroyed or dismantled during the civil war; private companies offer limited local fixed-line service and private wireless companies offer service in most major cities while charging the lowest international rates on the continent domestic: local cellular telephone systems have been established in Mogadishu and in several other population centers with one company beginning to provide 3G services in late 2012 international: country code – 252; Mogadishu is a landing point for the EASSy fiber-optic submarine cable system linking East Africa with Europe and North America (2010)
Radio broadcast stations:
Television broadcast stations:
Internet country code: .so
Internet hosts: 186 (2012)
Internet users: 106,000 (2009)
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 Transportation
Airports: 62 (2012) country comparison to the world: 80
Airports (paved runways): total: 7 over 3,047 m: 4 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2012)
Airports (unpaved runways): total: 55 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m: 4 1,524 to 2,437 m: 20 914 to 1,523 m: 24 under 914 m: 6 (2012)
Roadways: total: 22,100 km paved: 2,608 km unpaved: 19,492 km (2000)
Merchant marine: total: 1 by type: cargo 1 (2008)
Ports and terminals: Berbera, Kismaayo
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 Military
Military branches: National Security Force (NSF): Somali Army (2011)
Military service age and obligation: note: since 2005, the UN has listed the Transitional Federal Government and its allied militias as persistent violators in recruiting children (2010)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 2,260,175 females age 16-49: 2,159,293 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 1,331,894 females age 16-49: 1,357,051 (2010 est.)

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