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Living in Somalia
A practical guide to the way of life in Somalia
Somalia is not a common destination for expats, but living there can be an exciting adventure. It is, however, important to be cautious and well-prepared: read in our InterNations GO! Guide some useful advice about the services, facilities and infrastructures.
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Life in Somalia
Healthcare in Somalia
Expats living in Somalia will find that the health service is predominantly organized under a private system. However, there is a public healthcare set-up in place, which is currently under further development. Together with the UN, the Somali authorities are working to improve public healthcare. Forecasts predict improvements in the areas of human resources, medicine, financing and the health infrastructure in general. Due to the developing nature of public healthcare, expats are recommended to get private health insurance.
If you are an expatriate living in Somalia with a young family or planning to start a family, you will find maternity and child healthcare is widely available. The main hospitals are East Bardera Mothers and Children’s Hospital, Edna Adan Maternity Hospital, Abudwak Maternity and Children’s Hospital and West Bardera Maternity Unit.
Education in Somalia
Various influential bodies have shaped the Somali education system; Stakeholders include regional administrations, community-based organizations, educational umbrella groups, NGOs, Community Education Committees and networks and religious groups. Despite this diverse range of contributing organizations, the whole of the education system in Somalia is overseen by The Ministry of Education. Expats living in Somalia with children or family members in further education will be pleased to hear that education is improving. However, it is important to be aware that there are regional variations in the opportunities available throughout Somalia.
There is nevertheless a wide selection of free primary schools, particularly in the Puntland areas. There are also private schools with an English language curriculum, such as Abaarso School of Science and Technology in the Somaliland region. Further education is also thriving. Somalia has several universities, and Mogadishu University is rated among Africa’s top 100 educational establishments. With approximately 15% of the Government’s budget dedicated specifically to education, opportunities for learning are extensive. Locations with optimum education openings are typically found in the urban areas of Somalia.
Transportation in Somalia
Northern and southern Somalia are joined by a main 750 km highway. This makes travelling between main locations thankfully much easier. With as many as 62 airports dotted around Somalia, many of them with paved runways, travelling into and out of the country is straightforward. This is welcome news whether you are on a domestic or international flight. Likewise, boasting the longest coastline on the African continent, Somalia has no less than seven major seaports.
People living in Somalia rely on being able to get around as easily as possible on a daily basis. Although the local bus network is affordable at around 700 SOS (1 USD), if it is reliability you are after then a Somali taxi is probably the way to go. Another familiar sight you will see whilst travelling around the area is people choosing to use the local truck network. For those in need of a reliable and ‘all-terrain’ choice, one of Somalia’s HMMWVs (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles) is certainly worth consideration. There are plenty of options available as long as you are willing to adhere to cultural standards.
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