Somalia is a country located on the eastern coastline of the African continent. The official name of the country is Somali Republic and it was previously known as the Somali Democratic Republic. The country shares a border with Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia. Let’s take a look at some fun facts about this country.
Interesting Facts About Somalia
- Somalia was formed in 1884 as a British protectorate called British Somaliland. It went through many changes until eventually gaining independence in 1960.
- Somalia is the 43rd largest country in the world with an area of 637,657 km2 (246,200 sq mi). The population is estimated to be just under 10 million people.
- The Capital city of Somalia is Mogadishu, also known as Xamar. It is also the largest city in the country with an estimated population of 2 million people.
- Somalia has been the subject of much political and religious turmoil. Unfortunately this has led to much violence, including the Somali Civil War that began in 1991. It is estimated that over 300,000 people have been killed since the war began and the situation in the country is still unstable. Since the beginning of the war no government has controlled the whole country.
- Somaliland is a self declared country that takes up most of the northern part of Somalia. It is not recognized internationally as an independent nation, but is recognized as a autonomous region of Somalia.
- The turmoil experienced by the country has led to Somalia becoming one of the poorest countries in the world. The currency of the country is called the Somali shilling. It is controlled by the Central Bank of Somalia. Due to the problems in the country, which caused a large loss in value of the Somali shilling, the US dollar is also widely accepted.
- The dominant religion in Somalia is Islam. There are many different branches of this religion in the country, but the most common is the Sunni branch of Islam.
- The official languages of the country are Somali and Arabic, although English and Italian are also given official status as “second languages.”
- Somalia is located close to the equator and has a very hot climate. The average temperature year round is 30 to 40 °C (86 to 104 °F). Some parts in the north of the country sometimes experience temperatures above 45 °C (113 °F).
- Somalia has a low rate of HIV infection and has one of the lowest rates of this disease in all of Africa.
- The highest point in Somalia is Mount Shimbiris in the north of the country with a height of 2,460 meters (8,071 ft) above sea level.