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Somalia

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Background

The SIAD BARRE regime was ousted in January 1991; turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy have followed for eleven years. 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 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 legitimate, representative government. Puntland also claims Sool and eastern 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. A Transitional National Government (TNG) was created in August 2000 in Arta, Djibouti which was attended by a broad representation of Somali clans. The TNG has a three-year mandate to create a permanent national Somali government. The TNG does not recognize Somaliland as an independent republic but so far has been unable to reunite either Somaliland or Puntland with the unstable regions in the south. Numerous warlords and factions are still fighting for control of Mogadishu and the other southern regions. Suspicion of Somali links with global terrorism complicate the picture.

One of the world's poorest and least developed countries, Somalia has few resources and is prone to drought. Moreover, much of the economy has been devastated by civil war since 1991. Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings. Nomads and semi-nomads, who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood, make up a large portion of the population. Livestock, hides, charcoal, and bananas are Somalia's principal exports, while sugar, sorghum, corn, fish, 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 security is provided by militias. Ongoing civil disturbances and clan rivalries, however, have interfered with any broad-based economic development and international aid arrangements. The failure of spring rains caused major food shortages in the south in 2001. Economic data is scare and prone to a wide margin of error.

Holidays

Jan 1 - New Year's Day
Jan 21* - Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)
Feb 19* - Ashoura
Apr 21* - Mouloud (Birth of the Prophet)
May 1 - Labour Day
Jun 26 - Independence Day (North, ex-British Somaliland)
Jul 1 - Foundation of the Republic (Independence Day - South, ex-Italian Somaliland)
Nov 14-16* - Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)

Ps: Muslim festivals(*) are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations.

Phone Codes

Country Code: 252

Resources

Market Research

CIA - The World Factbook - Somalia
This website indicates a wide range of detail information about Somalia by introducing under 8 different fields as its geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, transnational issues. 

About Somalia
There is available to find out Somalia's general outlook on the issues of its social and business profile, passport/visa, money, accomodation, government, duty free, health and so forth.

Business Directory - Somalia
Wow-directory offers business resources and services by creating cross-referenced categories in business opportunities for Somalia as business to business, classifieds, cooperatives, directories, organizations & trade.

Seychelles Offshore Business Sectors
There is available to get information about offshore business sectors in Somalia which is a significant sector in terms of offering a range of very attractive investment incentives.

Somalia Business
Mbendi serves as business oriented directory providing an ultimate African Business Source for the potential investors seeking new business opportunities in Somalia including the list of industries for Somalia.

Somalia News
There is available to find Somalia business, economic and political news.

Business in Somalia
This website provides an extensive information gateway for Somalia in terms of doing business with Somalia, legal guides to establishing business in Somalia and so forth.

World Bank Group - Gateway for Somalia
World Bank Group represents a list of useful websites for Somalia.

Somalia - INDEX
There is available to find out a list of sites were you can expect to find specific information about Somalia when searching their database on the word "Somalia".

Trade Guide for Somalia
There is available to get comprehensive information not only about Somalian imports, export regulations and other formalities and documents related to commercial transactions but also main exported and imported products & trading partners in Somalia and so forth.

U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs - For Somalia
U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs creates a wide range of research named as Consular Information Sheet about Somalia in terms of analyzing its social, political, cultural & economic environments.

Trade Information

Embassy Listings For Somalia
There are listed the embassies of Somalia including the embassies' contact information.

Somalia Government
It displays the structure of Somalian government by looking at its political units, branches, ministries and so forth in details.

 
 
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