General Information about Somalia

Located in northeast Africa, it occupies most of the Somali Peninsula. The area is 637.657 thousand km2, the population is 7.75 million people. (2002, estimate). The official languages are Somali and Arabic. The capital is the city of Mogadishu (1.2 million people, 2003, estimate). The national holiday is the Day of the Formation of the Republic on July 1 (since 1960). The monetary unit is the Somali shilling (equal to 100 cents).

Member of the UN (since 1960), Arab League (since 1974), AU (since 1963), OIC, Non-Aligned Movement.

Geography of Somalia

It is located between 49° East longitude and 10° North latitude. It is washed by the waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. The coastline is slightly indented, the length is 3025 km. It borders Djibouti to the northwest and Ethiopia and Kenya to the west.
The country is located on stepped plateaus (height 1000-1500 m), the relief is predominantly flat, mountains rise in the north (the highest point is Mount Shimbiris, 2406 m). In the south, between the Jubba and Veli-Shebel rivers, the relief is lowered. These rivers, the only constantly flowing ones, form the most fertile (alluvial soil) region of the country. In the rest of the territory, the soils are red-brown and reddish-brown. Grass-shrub vegetation predominates, and there are many ether-bearing shrubs that yield valuable aromatic resins (gum, frankincense, myrrh, etc.). The animal world is rich – antelope, zebra, giraffe, lion, leopard, hyena, jackal. Elephants, warthogs live in the thickets of river valleys, crocodiles and hippos live in the rivers. Lots of birds and various insects. Coastal waters are rich in valuable commercial fish. In the south, the climate is equatorial monsoon, in the north – tropical desert and semi-desert. Most of the country’s territory is arid regions with minimal rainfall. There are reserves of gypsum, bauxite, salt, deposits of iron, uranium-vanadium, tin, copper and other ores, ore occurrences of lead, beryllium, and gold are known. A natural gas field has been discovered, there is a possibility of oil reserves.

Population of Somalia

According to Countryaah, the population is 7,114,431 people. (3,741,664 men and 3,372,767 women).

Birth rate 46.83%, mortality 17.99%, infant mortality 122.15 people. per 1000 newborns. The average life expectancy is 45.33 years. Sex and age structure of the population (2002): 0-14 years – 44.7% (men 1,737,491, women 1,730,237), 15-64 years – 52.6% (men 2,054,243, women 2,019,980), 65 years and older – 2.7% (men 92,617, women 118,742). Share of urban population 37.9% (1992). The economically active population is 3714 thousand people, of which more than 68% are employed in agriculture (1993). To the beginning 1993 3/4 of the population changed their place of residence. In con. In 1997, there were 250 thousand displaced persons in the country. More than 524,000 Somalis have left the country. Of these, ok. 249 thousand settled in Ethiopia and 174 thousand in Kenya.

Among the population over the age of 15, 37.8% can read and write (2001 estimate). 85% of the population are Somalis, a single ethnic group with a common language, culture and religion. Somalis retain tribal division. The six largest tribes are: (nomadic tribes) Hawiya, Darod, Isaac, Dir and (agricultural tribes practicing transhumance) Rahan Wein and Digil. 15% of the population are Bantu-speaking ethnic groups (gosh, etc.), Arabs, etc. The Somali language has five dialects. Islam is the state religion, and the vast majority of Somalis are Sunni Muslims.

Science and culture of Somalia

Scientific potential of the country until 1991: National University of Somalia in Mogadishu, founded in 1954. There are a number of colleges that provide incomplete higher education: Islamic School, Industrial School, School of Navigation and Fisheries, Veterinary College – all in Mogadishu; Burao Technical College and Hargeisa Technical College. The National Library under the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education (founded in 1934; over 8,000 volumes), the National University Library, and the National Museum are in Mogadishu.

Scientific institutions: Department of Cartography (founded in 1966), Academy of Culture (1972) with departments of history, geography, literature, folklore, etc., Somali Institute of Development and Management (1966), Department of Geology (1964) with chemical, geophysical and other laboratories, Institute of Vaccines and Serums, Laboratory of Hygiene and Disease Prevention (all in Mogadishu); Central Agricultural Research Station (1965, in Afgoi).

Somalia has long been known as a country of poets. The poetic traditions of folklore date back to the 16th century. Traditional dances and different song genres are popular among different segments of the population. Wood and weaving are widely used in artistic crafts. Among the ceramic products molded without a potter’s wheel, glazed vessels made of white clay, pots and pans made of red clay are typical. Among nomads, products made from the skin of bulls, elephants and rhinos are common.

People of Somalia