Somalia is a rich country
Somalia is rich with enormous wealth and has an animal wealth of 40 million head of camels, cows and sheep, as well as agricultural wealth. It is estimated that 8 million hectares of arable land will make Somalia a food basket for the countries of the region.
60% of Somalia’s 15 million people live in rural areas and are engaged in livestock and agriculture, which has been hit by crises since 2011 due to repeated droughts, and the war between government forces and Al-Shabaab, which has caused the displacement of some 2.9 million pastoralists and farmers, exposing the country to food crises.
Somalia is also rich with oil reserves and natural gas, and its exploration work had begun even before the country’s independence in 1960. Some believed that Somalia would become an oil country, however, years later, the situation remains the same, and the dream has not come true due to the interference of foreign countries in thrusting Somalis into conflict, thus allowing America and some European countries to plunder its wealth. In addition, Somalia is rich in minerals like Uranium, gypsum, copper, bauxite, iron… but only salt is extracted.
Illegal fishing in Somali waters
On the other hand, Somalia has the longest second coast in Africa with various species of fish and marine animals, which would contribute to improving the economic situation in the country if it was well-used. However, Somali fishermen lack ships, fishing boats, sophisticated fishing materials, and they fish on their traditional boats, machinery and nets. Their yield barely covers the local market. Local fishermen also suffer a vicious war of foreign illegal fishing in Somali waters, destroying their boats and nets, taking advantage of the lack of a strong coast guard to deter them and protect local fishermen.
Such practices turned Somali fishermen more than 10 years ago into pirates to target and hijack all foreign vessels that passed through Somali waters without dispersal, which incited the world to eliminate pirates without illegal fishing, which annually takes 132,000 metric tons of fish worth $306 million from Somali waters, according to the Global Fisheries Security Facility in 2015.
Somalia crisis, famine and conflicts
Despite this wealth, Somalia is one of the least developed countries in the world, ranked 165th in the development index, with a very high poverty rate of 73%, while unemployment is high at 67% in the youth group, which makes up 70% of the country’s population.
UNICEF expects more than 1.4 million children in Somalia – about half of children under the age of five – to suffer from severe malnutrition due to the persistent drought that has left 4.1 million people on the brink.
Three consecutive seasons of no rainfall and ongoing conflicts in many parts of Somalia have resulted in a quarter of the population requiring immediate food assistance. The situation has also been exacerbated by increases in basic food prices, inflation and reduced demand for agricultural labor and further deteriorating the ability of families to buy food.
Ultimately, foreign intervention in Somalia carries with it winds of peace and stability for this African country, but it often imposes its policies and agendas, which are part of the threats and challenges facing this Arab country as an independent State. This is reflected by many Somali officials who are motivated by foreign policies to believe that Somalia remains in the custody of the Reserve or within the European Mandate, as a result of this international intervention.
We call on foreign countries to stop fueling conflicts and to push for peace in Somalia, to allow it to benefit from its resources, improve its economy and overcome famine and crises.