Somalia, which is about the size of Texas, is a small country located in Eastern Africa next to the Indian Ocean. The United States, which is located on the Western Hemisphere, is bordered by Mexico and Canada and is between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
Separated not only by the Atlantic Ocean, Somalia and the United States are also separated by the differences in economies and populations. These two countries that are quite opposite in size have some similarities in their governments and education systems.
Somalia is one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries (Campbell). Because of the Civil War, which broke out in 1991, much of Somalia’s economy has been devastated. The war left many homeless and drove them to raise livestock as a means of survival. The economy used to be based on exports of cattle, goats, and bananas but as of early 1992 much of the economic trade had come to a halt. Now the economy is primarily based on the raising of livestock, which accounts for 40% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Alhaus). Due to overgrazing, soil erosion, and the clearing away of many trees, Somalia has very few natural resources, which have not been exploited.
Known deposits include petroleum, copper, magnesium, gypsum, and iron (“Somalian Economy").
Before the war, Somalia had a well-functioning democratic republic government. Under the 1979 Constitution, the president held executive power. The president was the head and leader of the country’s sole legal political party, The Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party. Elected to serve a 7-year term, the president was nominated by the party’s central committee. Ever since the civil war in 1991, when the government collapsed, Somalia has been in a state of civil war and anarchy (“Somalian Government”).
Somalia is one of the countries in the world with the least diversity among the people.
98.8% of the population is made up of ethnic Somalis (Kraus). Other minority groups include Arabs, Indians, Italians, and Pakistanis. Most Somalis are nomadic or semi nomadic herders of livestock. The rest are either crop farmers or inhabitants of the few urban centers. The official languages of the country are Somali and Arabic and the state religion is Islam (“Somalian People”).
Primary education for children of at least six years was mandatory for Somalians. Many ...
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8. “Somalian Government.” 1 March 1999. Country Profiles. 8 Sep. 2001 Photius.com/wfb/wfb1999/Somalia/Somalia_government.html>.
9. “Somalian People.” 1 March 1999. Country Profiles. 8 Sep. 2001 Photius.com/wfb/wfb1999/Somalia/Somalia_people.html>.
10. “United States.” The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia 6th Edition. Columbia
University Press, 2001. 8 Sep. 2001 13247.html.
11. “United States of America.” Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations, 2nd ed.
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Columbia University Press, 2001. 8 Sep. 2001 articlesnews/13247Economy.html.
13. “United States People.” The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia 6th Edition. Columbia
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14. Vick, Karl. “Building a government form scratch. After 10 chaotic years, Somalia has a president.” Washington Post 24 Nov. 2000: A45.
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