The economy was mainly pastoral. Seventy-five per cent of the inhabitants
were nomadic, dependent on their flocks of sheep, goats and camels.
Settled agriculture, which was limited to the irrigable river valleys.
There had been a gradual increase in the cultivable areas along
the Shabelle and Juba rivers, as well as in dry areas.
There were two large state farms, financed by the U.S.S.R. Cash
crops were grown where rainfall permits, and where irrigation was
The economy had been supported by aid from Russia, Italy, the Federal
Republic of Germany, the United Arab Republic, and the United States.
There were no railways, and roads, though generally poor, provided
the principal means of transport.
There was an extensive road development program designed to link
north and south and all the main towns and villages. Nomads relied
on pack transport. The ports of Mogadishu and Kismayo were connected
by regular services with ports of Eastern Africa and Italy.
There were airfields at Mogadishu, Hargeisa, Kismayo, Baidoa,
Belet Weyne, Galkayo, Bosaso, Burao, and Borama.
There was a Regular army of about 8,000, supplemented by 6,000
Police. The Soviet Union was helping to enlarge and moderinize the
army and to form and Air Force and Navy.
There was no state system of Social Insurance but plans were under
way for improving social welfare facilities. Medical treatment was
free at Government hospitals and dispensaries.
Elementary education and some Intermediate education were free
for all children able to secure places in Government schools. There
were 233 elementary schools, 26 intermediate schools, 6 technical
and vocational schools and 8 secondary schools (1968-69).
A Somali University Institute catered for students of Law, Economics
and Public Administration, and Teacher's Training College.
Tourism in Somalia was relatively undeveloped. There were many
places of historical interest including: Merka, Old Amoud, Taleh,
Zeila, Mait, and Endisha. There were also good beaches and in the
south good shooting grounds.
Footbal was the most popular game. Hockey was played in the north
only, but basketball, volleyball and boxing were growing in importance.
Shooting and swimming also had their followers.
Birth of the Prophet, June 26 (Independence Day), July 1 (Foundation
of the Republic), October 24 (UN Day), Id-Ul-Fitr, Id-Ul-Adha, and
Ashoura were the Public Holidays.
The Metric System was in force in six southern regions and the
Imperical System in the two northern regions.