A Brighter Future for Somalia? Part II

5: The pirate business fades away

Attempts to hijack ships in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia have also decreased in the past year. The piracy business in Somalia flourished in 2008 and is often seen as a result of a weak state with a lack of police and coastguard. With the absence of state power, international trawlers could also engage in illegal predatory fishing off the coast of Somalia and thus take the livelihood of local fishermen. The absence of state power also contributed to the illegal dumping of toxic waste in these parts of Somalia. In turn, this has led to pollution and the spread of diseases. But first and foremost, it is the desire for quick profits that has driven the piracy business in recent years.

In 2011, Somali pirates accounted for about half of all ship hijacking attempts in the world, but in 2012, hijacking attempts were far fewer off the coast of Somalia. The number of hijacking attempts, however, has risen off the west coast of Africa. An increased international military effort against the Somali pirates in combination with strengthened security on ships is said to be part of the explanation for this reduction. Nevertheless, such an effort will hardly be a sustainable solution.

The effort is not aimed at the underlying reasons why young men in particular enter the piracy business. Poverty, unemployment and the desire for a better life will be real challenges for large sections of the Somali population in the coming years as well. And many Somalis see piracy as an opportunity to make big money fast. Nevertheless, we can also see a growing awareness in local communities along the Somali coast about the negative aspects of piracy. Not least, this is due to attitude campaigns promoted by religious and local leaders.

6: The Somali diaspora

As a result of the civil war, millions of people have fled Somalia. Most have moved across the borders to neighboring countries, and many live or stay in Kenya or Ethiopia. The famine that hit the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia, in 2011, was the worst drought in 60 years and helped even more people cross the country’s borders. Many of these ended up in Dadaab , the world’s largest refugee camp located in Kenya on the border with Somalia. Dadaab was originally built for around 90,000 people, but today houses more than 460,000 refugees.

Somali refugees have also traveled to other parts of the world such as Canada, the United States and various countries in Europe. Somalis are the fourth largest group of immigrants to Norway and in 2012 counted close to 30,000 people who mainly came here as refugees. People moving from Somalia, the so-called diaspora, continue to support many of those who have remained in Somalia by sending money home. This support is an important part of the income base for many in Somalia.

Now that Somaliland, Puntland and the rest of war-torn Somalia seem to be moving towards peaceful times, more members of the diaspora want to return home. There are officially one million Somalis living in neighboring Kenya, but the real number is probably at least twice as high. Thousands of them have already begun moving back to Somalia.

As a result of the civil war, education in Somalia has become so-so in the last 20 years. Many in the diaspora have been educated in the countries they moved to and gained important experience from other parts of the world. These could be valuable forces in the work of rebuilding Somalia, a country with an enormous need for skilled and educated labor.

7: Summary: Hope Still for Somalia?

Finally, much seems to be going in the right direction in Somalia, a country located in Africa according to globalsciencellc.com. A new president and new parliament have been put in place, and several government institutions are expected to follow suit. The piracy business seems to be waning, and al-Shabaab experienced several defeats in 2012 and is now significantly weakened.

Although Somalia’s future looks brighter than in a long time, the country and its people are still facing major challenges. Poverty, high unemployment and low education characterize large sections of the population who are also very affected by the particularly violent conflict. Nevertheless, many in and outside Somalia have more hope for the future than in a long time.


“There are mainly six large clan families:

  • Issaq is the dominant clan family in the northwest.
  • The numerically smaller Dir also lives here .
  • In the border area between Somaliland and Puntland, there are Darod clan
  • Hawiye is located in the southern parts around the river Shabelle and in Mogadishu, and is divided into at least 10 sub-clans.
  • Agriculture in the south has traditionally been run by the agropastoralist clan families Rahanwayn and Digil , as well as Bantu groups. Since the 1980s, droughts and strife have led to major changes in the settlement pattern in Somalia, affecting local conflicts within and within clans. In Mogadishu today all clans are represented, although the Hawiye clans are the strongest.
  • Outside the clan system are Bantu people who mainly live in the agricultural areas of southern and central Somalia. The so-called benadir population lives in urban areas along the coast . These are of mixed descent, including Arabic, and are not part of the Somali clan system. “


Sharial law: religious laws (parts of which are only oral) that are based on traditional commandments and prohibitions in the Qur’an and on the interpretation and interpretation of these by scribes. Sharia law should be a guide for the individual Muslim. The punitive methods in some areas seem to be very strict – at least seen with modern, western eyes: stoning, whipping, cutting hands …

A Brighter Future for Somalia 2

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