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Somalia Table of Contents


Chapter 3. The Economy


Bananas, one of Somalia's principal commercial crops

ALREADY SERIOUSLY WEAKENED by a devastating civil war, the Somali economy was further undermined by the fall of President Mahammad Siad Barre's government in late January 1991 and the subsequent absence of political consensus. Economic statistics from the early post-Siad Barre period were not available in early 1992; however, one can gain some understanding of Somalia's economic situation during that period by looking at the country's prior economic history.

Generally, interventions in the Somali economy, whether by Italian fascists, Somali Marxists, or International Monetary Fund ( IMF--see Glossary) economists, have had minimal impact on economic development. Yet the shrewd Somalis have been able to survive and even prosper in their harsh desert homeland.