Saturday, May 25, 2013

Somalia Government And Economy

Somalia has seen one of the most volatile political situations for more than a decade now. The history has seen a civil war in the 1990s followed by the interim Transitional National Government formation in the 2000 and the Transitional Federal Government in 2004. This period saw the reestablishment of the Military of Somalia and other national infrastructure. By 2006 most of the conflict zones were over taken by the government despite resistance by the Al-Shabaab. In 2012, a provisional constitution was adopted along with a roadmap towards democracy. This also made Somalia a federation. The interim TFG was ended its tenure in the same year. After this, the first Federal Government of Somalia was formed headed by Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (President). This federal government is well structured and has different branches such as executive branch, council of ministers and a judiciary. As of today, this government is battling a civil war as well as undergoing an intense reconstruction. The laws introduced were divided into three sections: civil law, religious law and customary law. The most intriguing is the customary law or Xeer which include excerpts like blood money for libel, theft, rape etc. and donating livestock for the poor. 

The economy of Somalia has been healthy despite the civil unrest prevailing in the land. The steadiness of the economy is due to its telecommunication, livestock and money transfer.Statistics show a GDP of $5.896 billion and a corresponding growth of 2.6%. Agriculture is the major contributor to this GDP with 60% share. Services stand at 32% and industry at 8%. The semi-arid climate plays a major role in this economy. Owning a camel in Somali is considered as the most noble among Somalis. The GDP per capita is $333 which is better than its neighbor ($100). 1 USD is the amount in which nearly 43% of the population live in, showing that the life of those people can be considered as hand to mouth. 

Agriculture constitutes 65% of the workforce and 60% of the GDP. The main exports of the country include livestock, fish, charcoal and corn. On the other hand the manufacturing industry is a nascent one and contributes to 10% of its GDP. The civil war hit this sector and it saw a massive fall in the 1990s. But after the reestablishment of the government, new factories of pasta, detergent, soap, mineral water etc., have cropped up in the area around the capital Mogadishu. The flagship of all these companies was the opening of the Coca-Cola plant in Mogadishu that has shown business confidence in the war affected country. The hospitality and airline sectors also have seen a growth post the civil war. Airlines cover local cities as well as few planes to Dubai and Jeddah. With the construction of new hotels and buildings in urban areas particularly Mogadishu, hospitality has seen a large growth. 
The telecommunications and media sector offers world class facilities for telecom and internet in the area. Several big players like Telenor and Sprint have made tie ups in the region leading to clear calls with low rates. As for the media industry, there are 20 newspapers companies and 12 television stations in Somalia. BBC has also reached a tie up in Somalia with a private company recently. 

A more stable government along with good economic policies is the need of the hour in Somalia.
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