Somalia Vs United States
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Somalia vs United States
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 institutions of higher education were also available to the community. Due to the war, education in Somalia has decreased dramatically. The education system, which was under the control of the central government, collapsed and many of the schools closed (“Somalia”). Now, though, the people are trying to reopen some schools and reestablish the education system. The other problem with the education in Somalia is that many children at a young age start to work or help out with the family livestock, not having much time for school. This leaves the children uneducated and deprives them of basic day-to-day communication skills (Kraus).
Life in Somalia is relatively hard. Many of the major cities have been demolished due to constant fighting. Before the war, Somalia was flourishing with many developments. Day-to-day life was easy and promising. But when fighting broke out between the clans, the country regressed back to pre-development. Many of the homes and buildings, which were destroyed during the war, still remain in piles of rubble. As of now, several relief programs have been established in order to revive Somalia as a country.
The United States, unlike Somalia, has the most powerful, diverse, and most advanced economy in the world. The United States has been the worlds leading industrial nation since the early 20th century (“United States Economy”). “Leading manufacturing industries of durable goods include non-electrical machinery, electric and electronic equipment, motor vehicles and equipment, and other transportation equipment” (“United States of America”). The US is extremely rich in natural resources but depends increasingly on foreign sources for raw materials such as oil (Birdsall). The US economy consists of 3 main sectors. The first sector is directed towards natural resources, which is 2% of the GDP. The secondary sector is mainly manufacturing and construction, which is 18% of the GDP. The third, and most important sector includes output services like trade, banking, etc., which is 80% of the GDP. The US also produces a huge share of the worlds agricultural commodities because of its climate, which provides the growth of a favorable variety of crops (“United States”).
The United States has a democratic government, meaning that it is “elected by the people and for the people.” The supreme law of the land is the Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1879. Every adult over the age of 18