Country Profile: Somalia
Capital and largest cityMogadishu
Other citiesBalad, Bardera, Oog, Eyl, Gabiley, Dhamasa, Docol, Doolow
Official languagesArabic, Somali
Other languagesBoni, Boon, Dabarre, English, Garre, Jiiddu, Maay,
Mushungulu, Oromo, Swahili, Tunni
Area637, 661 sq km
Population9, 558, 666 (2008 est.)
English and Arabic are widely taught as well as spoken in Somalia, but the language of Somali is the country's national language and is spoken by much of the population. Other languages include Boni, Boon, Dabarre, English, Garre, Jiiddu, Maay, Mushungulu, Oromo, Swahili and Tunni.
Somalia's economy is relatively prosperous compared with other African states, and has moved from being centrally governed to being a strong market economy. Agriculture is the main sector of the economy, with agricultural produce including bananas, sorghum, corn, rice, coconuts, sugarcane, sesame seeds, mangoes, beans, cattle, goats, fish and sheep. Main industries in Somalia are light manufacturing such as sugar refining, textiles and wireless communication. The country's major trading partners are UAE, Yemen, Oman, Djibouti, India, Brazil and Kenya. Somalia's limited natural resources are uranium, unexploited reserves of iron ore, gypsum, bauxite, tin, copper, salt and natural gas.
Somalia relies on fossil fuels for all of its energy production, and although it does not have any oil reserves, there is the possibility of extracting oil from Puntland. However, the country cannot continue to use only unsustainable energy sources, and in the future it must look for more environmental and long-term alternative power supplies.
Goldman Environmental Prize winner Fatima Jibrell has spoken out against the country's use of burning charcoal and logging, as well as other manmade environmentally damaging practices employed in Somalia. She is currently undertaking a range of initiatives aimed at protecting the coastal and rural habitats of the country.
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