Developing Countries Research Paper

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  • Topic: Somalia, Somali people, Piracy
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Developing Countries Research Paper
Effects of Poverty in Somalia
Strayer University
Sociology of Developing Countries

The Third World was a term coined to distinguish nations that neither aligned with the First World developed countries nor the Second World Communist Countries during the Cold War. However, modern day usage denotes countries with low Human Development Index (HDI) that suffer from political, social and economic underdevelopment. The United Nations finds "Third World" term slightly pejorative and prefers the label "less developed countries" (LDCs). Terminology notwithstanding, LDCs suffer from underdevelopment and poverty. "At the grassroots level, economic underdevelopment connotes widespread scarcity, substantial unemployment, substandard housing, poor health conditions, and inadequate nutrition”. (Handleman, 2011, p. 3) The underdevelopment plunges countries into devastating turmoil that can result in extreme poverty creating harsh environments and political difficulties. The African nation of Somalia is a country that has experienced this turmoil for decades. Somalia is listed among the poorest countries in the world and suffers from the effects of poverty that impacts society, government, food production, environmental issues and economic development. Turbulent History

Somalia is located in eastern Africa and forms the cap of the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Kenya in the south, Ethiopia in the west and Gulf of Aden to the north. It covers a land mass similar to the size of Texas and it is mostly flat. In order to acutely understand this land, it is necessary to trace Somalia’s turbulent history. There are few written accounts of Ancient Somalia as this knowledge was mainly passed on verbally. However, inhabitant’s existence can be linked as far back as 2200 B.C. when nomads roamed the region. Early on this area was home to many ethnic groups such as Egyptians, Afar, Bantu, and Somali people. They made a living mostly by herding livestock, agriculture, hunting and fishing. Approximately 700 A.D., nomadic Persians and Arabs began to establish settlements along the north coast. Somalia quickly turned into a trading port for goods to and from Asia. The traders sold animal hides, frankincense, slaves and ivory to foreign merchants. Two hundred years later, the city of Mogadishu was formed as a central merchant location. The Arab culture and merchant trade had a large impact on Somalia. In 1100 A.D., Arab merchants brought the religion of Islam to the Somalis and introduced the system of tracing ancestors though the father. As the Somali population expanded they migrated across the land. These migrators were Muslims influenced by the Arab culture and their Ethiopian neighbors were Christians. At first, the populations lived conflict free but in the early 1400's, the Sultan of Islam considered the Christians to be infidels for not believing in the Islamic religion. His armies invaded Ethiopia destroying land and forced captives to convert to Islam or suffer the consequences. With help from foreign treasure seekers, the Portuguese army, the Ethiopian King defeated the Sultan and aggressively punished the Islamic armies. The next few centuries saw turmoil between the Islam population of Somalia and the Christian population of Ethiopia. In 1869, the Suez Canal linked the Mediterranean and Red seas. The canal shortened the travel between Europe and Asia and increased the strategic importance of Africa and the Middle East. The British, Portuguese, French, and Italy all competed for control of Somalia and its surrounding territories. As the British signed treaties with Somali clans, they also guaranteed prosperity and freedom. This allowed British colonialism control over Somalia economy and territories. Not a country to sit idle, Italy signed a treaty with neighboring Ethiopia. The Italian government gave Ethiopia money and arms to attack Somalia....
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