The Somali Republic (or "Somalia" for short) is a country in the horn of Africa (a peninsula in Northeast Africa). In fact, the easternmost point on mainland Africa, Cape Guadarfui, is found in Somalia. In other words, Somalia is the easternmost country on the African mainland.
Somalia shares borders with the Republic of Yemen (and the Gulf of Aden) to the north, the Republic of Djibouti to the northwest, the Republic of Kenya to the southwest, the Republic of Ethiopia to the west. Somalia also borders the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia. The Somali Republic has a total land area of about 637,657sq.km (about 10,320sq.km of which is covered by water). Somalia has a coastline of about 3,025sq.km (the longest coastline in all of Africa).
The Somali Republic has a population of about 15 million people with the population growth rate hovering around 1.6%. Just about 37% of Somalia's population lives in urban areas.
A greater part of Somalia's population lives in rural areas mainly as poor subsistence farmers who grow crops and rear animals just to feed themselves and their families. Mogadishu the capital of Somalia contains about 2.7 million people.
Somalia is an Islam-dominant country with almost all of its population being Sunni Muslims. Somalis (the most populous ethnic group) make up about 85% of the total population. Bantus and other non-Somalis (including about 30,000 Arabs) make up the remaining 15% of the total population. Somali and Arabic are the two official languages spoken in Somalia today.
The Somali Republic or Somalia for short, is blessed with abundance of natural resources including natural gas, copper, uranium, unexploited reserves of iron ore, oil reserves (likely), gypsum, tin, salt, bauxite, etc. However, despite the abundance of natural resources, the Somali Republic remains one of the poorest countries in Africa today.
Somalia has a literacy rate of 37.8% for the total population and 25.8% for the female population. In other words, just about 37.8% of the total population of Somalia above age 15 can read and write. Also, just about 25.8% of Somalia's female population above age 15 can read and write which is very bad compared to other African countries. The illiteracy level remains all-time high in Somalia today. Children of school-going age pick up guns instead of books which explains the extreme poverty, hunger, war, instability, etc. in Somalia today. The poor, especially women and children, are almost always on the run in Somalia due to the numerous conflicts across the country. Quality education which breeds peace and tolerance is something lacking in Somalia today.
Poverty and Hunger levels are on the rise in Somalia today and innocent people especially women and children continue to die from extreme poverty and hunger. About 37% of all Somali children under age 5 are underweight according to the World Health Organization.
Although Somalia has a low HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate of 0.7%, about 34,000 people were living with HIV/AIDS in 2009 with about 1600 deaths recorded within the same year. Typhoid fever, dengue fever, malaria, Rift valley fever, Rabies, Schistosomiasis, protozoal and bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, etc. continue to threaten several lives in Somalia today.
Because there is no central government to maintain law and order in Somalia, lawlessness is on the rise. Corruption, terrorism, robbery, piracy, etc. are very rampant in Somalia today. In other words, Somalia remains not just one of the poorest but also one of the most violent countries in the world today.