The African continent is known for its densely populated countries. Despite a significant demographic strength, the continent is occupied majorly by least developed countries. They lack economic, political and social stability which makes them stand among the least developed nations of the globe.
Most of these countries are torn apart because of political upheavals and poverty. One such country pleading for a better future is Somalia. Officially known as the Federal Republic of Somalia, this country lies in the region called the Horn of Africa. It shares its borders with Ethiopia in the West, Djibouti in the Northwest, and the Gulf of Aden in the north, the Indian Ocean in the East and Kenya in the southwest. It covers the major coastal area of the mainland belonging to Africa.
Geographically, it is comprised of plateaus, plains, and highlands. As far as weather is concerned the periodic monsoon winds hit the country, but most of the time it is hot round the year. 85% of the total population OF 10.8 MILLION is the Somalia natives, who are residing mostly in the northern region. The southern part’s demographic composition mainly reveals the minorities. The people are mostly Sunni Muslims. The commonly spoken languages are Arabic and Somali.
Somalia , The Case Study
Despite occupying a great demographic and geographical significance, Somalia is among the top five countries in the list of 170 least developed nations. The ranking was issued in 2012 by the Human Development Index. The country has still not been able to develop itself the technological field. There are some factors contributing to the retarded technological development of Somalia. It appears that the scientific progress has come to a standstill. There is a slight chance of development expected in the scientific fields in the future. The factors contributing to this state of underdevelopment of science and technology are due to the following reasons:
- Political turmoil
- Weak educational system
- Natural disasters
Grounds for lack of technological advancements
Political instability: Political regimes ensure development. It is the stable government that ensures progress and prosperity of any country. Somalia is one of the troubled countries looking forward to standing in the technologically advanced countries, but the long-term civil conflicts and the lack of fully functioning governments have been a great hindrance to developing a proper policy for science and technology. In the due course of political instability it difficult to create a fair system. After the fall of Siad Barre, the anarchy was established in the state. There were some efforts to create an elected regime to rule the country, but none of them was fruitful. This resulted in the strengthening of militia groups which endangered the innocent lives. Scientific development needs policies, but equally important are the research institutes. In such turbulent conditions, it is not possible to maintain any such environment for the research project. Hence, the scientific development came to a standstill. The country is majorly agricultural. Due to the lack of scientific innovations, the agriculture has suffered a great deal also. Almost no work is done for the progress of irrigation also. 20% to 30% of the land is not being irrigated due to the less developed agricultural technology.
Poverty: any country that wants to emerge in the field of science and technology must have all necessary facilities and economic resources. Without essential resources, it is not possible to progress. The war hit Somalia has a collapsed economy and most of the population lives in rural areas and lives below the poverty lines. The political instability and the civil wars forced the country into a situation where more expenditure was done to deal with the security problems. In such a scenario, it is not possible to carry out the research for the sake of technological development. The restricted economy has also resulted in brain drain. Many learned and capable scientists were forced to leave the country. Those left behind hardly had any resources to carry out the tasks. The economic restraints and the proper policies to regulate the economies have checked the pace of technological development. The unstable political regime is not staying in control for a long time, so they cannot come up with sustainable economic plans to help in the technological advancements.
Weak education system:
education is the key to success and development. No country can progress without a sound education system; unfortunately, just like other fields of life education system has also collapsed. Fall of the state and the disintegration of infrastructure have resulted in the downfall of education, especially at higher education level. The universities changed into deserted ruins. The students were not able to have access to laboratories, libraries and other research supporting institutions. Thus, it pushed back the nation away from the technological development. The universities which were working in the period of the upheavals were not accessible to the education seekers. There was no regulatory body to help the system prosper.
Natural disasters: Somalia is at war with two natural disasters. On one hand the coastal areas are threatened by the flooding, while the remaining suffers from drought. Thus, the resources have to be mobilized to come over to the impact of the disasters. The population is left with tiny for the educational activities. The research is even in need of proper resources. Hence, it is difficult to carry out the research-based activities in limited resources.
Moving towards a better future
Somalia has lacked a functioning government since 1991. In 2006 Ethiopian army entered the scene to help and support the shaky regime. They extended support to the government in turmoil. The role of the NGOs and especially the United States government cannot be ignored. A sum of $362 million has so far been extended to the governments. Internally, the people into technological development are compelled to improve the situation by working constructively. The libraries and laboratories in the institutions are being reorganized. Scholarships for technology research in foreign universities are being offered. Better incentives are being offered for a technological sound Somalia.