Last updated: May 16, 2019

The Federal Republic of Somalia with around eleven million inhabitants is a coastal state in the Horn of Africa, which borders Kenya to the south, Ethiopia to the west and Djibouti to the northwest. Somalia is around 1.8 times larger than Germany. The capital is Mogadishu in the southeast of the country directly on the Indian Ocean.

Somalia is a parliamentary democracy that has been headed by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed since February 2017. His election in difficult times and the peaceful change of power are seen by observers as a sign that the country is coming together and not falling apart. The fact that around a quarter of MPs are women also contributes to this. Somalia is a member of the UN, the African Union (AU), the Arab League, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) – a regional organization in the Horn of Africa – and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

An economic upswing is particularly noticeable in northern Somalia in the Somaliland region. Maritime trade via local ports is increasing and Somalia remains the largest exporter of live cattle to the Arabian Peninsula. The port of Berbera, run by the French operator Bolloré, is to be expanded into an alternative for Ethiopian exports in order to be able to handle up to 30 percent of Ethiopian transit trade. Other investors come mainly from Dubai and China.

The agricultural sector is the most important economic sector. Somalia is the world’s largest producer of camel milk. In addition to cattle, important export goods are bananas, dates and incense. At the same time, Somalia is the largest recipient of food aid in the world. The economic exchange is largely based on money transfer and telecommunications companies. These reliably supply the country with wireless Internet at the cheapest rates worldwide.