Economy in Somalia

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Economy—overview: One of the world's poorest and least developed countries Somalia has few resources. Moreover much of the economy has been devastated by the civil war. 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. Crop production generates only 10% of GDP and employs about 20% of the work force. After livestock bananas are the principal export; sugar sorghum corn and fish are products for the domestic market. The small industrial sector based on the processing of agricultural products accounts for less than 10% of GDP; most facilities have been shut down because of the civil strife. Moreover ongoing civil disturbances in Mogadishu and outlying areas are interfering with any substantial economic advance.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$8 billion (1996 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 4% (1996 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$600 (1996 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 59%

industry: 10%

services: 31% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: NA%

Labor force:

total: 3.7 million (very few are skilled laborers)(1993 est.)

by occupation: agriculture (mostly pastoral nomadism) 71% industry and services 29%

Unemployment rate: NA%


revenues: $NA

expenditures: $NA including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: a few small industries including sugar refining textiles petroleum refining (mostly shut down)

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 144 000 kW prior to the civil war but now largely shut down due to war damage; some localities operate their own generating plants providing limited municipal power; note—UN and relief organizations use their own portable power systems

Electricity—production: 245 million kWh (1995 est.)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 33 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture—products: bananas sorghum corn sugarcane mangoes sesame seeds beans; cattle sheep goats; fishing potential largely unexploited


total value: $130 million (1994 est.)

commodities: bananas live animals fish hides (1997)

partners: Saudi Arabia 57% Yemen 14% Italy 13% UAE 10% US (bananas) (1995 est.)


total value: $269 million (1994 est.)

commodities: manufactures petroleum products foodstuffs construction materials (1995)

partners: Kenya 24% Djibouti 18% Pakistan 6% (1995 est.)

Debt—external: $2.6 billion (1994 est.)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $NA

Currency: 1 Somali shilling (So. Sh.) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Somali shillings (So. Sh.) per US$1—7 500 (November 1997 est.) 7 000 (January 1996 est.) 5 000 (1 January 1995) 2 616 (1 July 1993) 4 200 (December 1992)

note: the Republic of Somaliland a self-declared independent country not recognized by any government issues its own currency the Somaliland shilling (Sol. Sh.); estimated exchange rate Sol. Sh. per US$1—4 000 (November 1997)

Fiscal year: NA  

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