Somaliland Embassy

Somaliland Diplomatic Mission in Sweden

Somaliland Abroad

Stockholm,Sweden

Sheikh Mountains of Somaliland

Introduction

GEOGRAPHY





Location

Somaliland is situated on the eastern horn of Africa and lies between the 0800' - 1130' parallel north of the equator and between 4230' - 4900' meridian east of the Greenwich. It shares borders with Republic of Djibouti to the west, Federal Republic of Ethiopia to the south and Somalia to the east. Somaliland has a coastal line to the north of the country which extends 460 miles along the Red Sea.

AREA

Somaliland is about the size of England and Wales with an area of 137,600km (68,000 sq. miles).

TOPOGRAPHY

The major topography features are:

  • The low-lying coastal plains known as the Guban, running some 70 km inland with a very hot summer climate
  • A high escarpment running east-west, parallel to the coast and rising to over 2000m at Eri Gavo, and a plateau to the south of the mountains known as Ogo, extending to Ethiopia, with an average altitude of 1200m.
  • CLIMATE

    The country has a tropical monsoon type of climate; however, there are four distinct seasons. A main rainy spring season from April to June is followed by a dry summer season from July to September. There is then a short autumn rainy period from October to November, and finally a long dry winter from December to March. The latter is the most difficult for the animal herding rural population and to the farmers to a lesser scale. If the April-June rains fail, the result is a drought that could kill most animals which have already been weakened by the December-March dry season, which also severely hits the country's economy.

    Annual average precipitation ranges from less than 1000 mm on the coast to 500 mm inland except for limited areas where it may reach 900 mm. Rain variability is very high. Hargeisa, the capital, for instance, with a long term average of some 400 mm has recorded variations from 209 to 810 mm per annum.

    Temperatures also show some seasonal variations. The winter months are normally cool with average December temperatures in the range of 15 - 26C, while the summer months are the hottest averaging 26 - 32C in June.

    POPULATION

    Overview

    The population of Somaliland is estimated at around 3.5 million. The average population growth rate is 3.1%. Population density is estimated at approximately 25 persons per sq. kilometer. Fifty-five percent of the population is either nomadic or semi-nomadic, while 45% live in urban centers or rural towns. The average life expectancy for the male is 50 and for females it is 55.

    Administrative regions

    The country is divided into 6 regions namely

    • Togdheer
    • Sahil
    • Awdal
    • Marodi Jeex
    • Sanag
    • Sool

    LANGUAGES

    Somali is the official language. Arabic and English are widely spoken.

    RELIGION

    Islam - Sunni.

    CAPITAL CITY AND MAIN TOWNS

    Hargeisa is the capital of Somaliland with an estimated population of 0.5 million. The other main towns are Burao, Borama, Berbera, Erigabo and Las Anod.

    ECONOMY

    CURRENCY

    The official Somaliland currency is the Somaliland shilling (SlSh). The exchange rate of the shilling against the US Dollar in end of September 2009 was:

    US$1 = SlSh 6,200

    IMPORTS & EXPORTS

    The backbone of the economy is livestock. The total livestock in the country is estimated at 24 million. In 1996, 3 million heads of livestock were exported to the Middle Eastern countries.

    The country also exports hides, skins, myrrh and frankincense in smaller scale. A major source of income is the remittances by the Somalilanders in diaspora.

    In 2007 the volume of remittance was estimated at 500 million USD. Nearly 250,000 Somalilanders visited the country between the months of May and July (Source: Immigration Department)

    AGRICULTURE

    Somaliland has total area of about 137,600 sq.kms. Land under cultivation is currently estimated at 3% of the total geographic area. Another 7% of the area has potential for agriculture development. Rain-fed farming and irrigation farms are the main agricultural production system. The main crops grown in Somaliland are cereals (sorghum, millet, maize, barely, etc).

    Total cereal harvest area has been estimated at 37,221 hectares with total cereal production of 26,744 tonnes.

    MINING

    Somaliland is not yet declared a major producer of minerals, but samples of important minerals are identified in Somaliland territory. The geologic environment and indications of mineralization are favourable for the discovery and development of several types of non-fuel mineral deposits. Several areas were geologically and geochemically studied including Degah-Kureh Cu-Zn-pb anomaly, Arapsiyo Zn- Cu-Pb-Cr- Ni anomaly, Bawn Zn Cu- Cr anomaly, QOLUJEIT Pb Zn Cu anomaly, Udan Cu-Ni-Cr anomaly, Sheikh Cu-Cr Anomaly.

    Working hours and holidays

    Working hours

    Government

    Saturday - Thursday 7:00-13:00

    Business

    Saturday-Thursday-7:30-12:30, 16:00-20:00

    Public Holidays

    Eid Al Fitri (after Ramadhan) 2 days

    Eid Al Adha (after Hajj) 2 days

    Birthday of Prophet (Mawliid) 1 day

    Islamic New Year day 1 day

    International Labour Day 1st of May

    National days (18-19 may) 2 days

    Independence Day (26june) 1 day