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Al-Shabaab in Somalia

Terrorism is one of the factors that have led to insecurity and the gradual growth of the economy of Somalia and the entire world. This paper focuses on establishing the threats of Al-Shabaab to the economic development of Somalia. To curb the issue of insecurity and therefore give room for the expansion of the economy of Somalia, the Government of Somali has come up with various approaches. These regulations have had positive and negative impacts on the Somalia Nationals.  During the research, several sources of data were employed in the collection of the information. Secondary sources included the utilization of journal articles.


To begin with, terrorism implies the form of the attack that usually targets the common citizens and it is done with religious or political aims. Thus, there is anxiety and fear in those nations that have experienced terror attacks. The moment that this situation occurs, there is always the issue of insecurity and individuals seek protection from the neighboring nations.

There has been an increase in the terror attacks in Africa due to various reasons.  Key among them include the following reasons; lack of robust governance, border porosity and the cracks in the security organs. The Al-Shabaab in Somalia forms the major terrorist group in the nation and the whole of Eastern Africa. The Al-Qaeda associated tyrants are responsible for the deaths of several people in the region and this has impacted the people of Somalia negatively.

The Al-Shabaab activities in Somalia have led to slow economic growth because of several reasons. Key among these include the impact that the tyrants have had on tourism. There has been an increase in the violence on the people from the Western nations who have faced the wrath of the Al-Shabaab the most. To that end, the majority of the foreign countries have issued warnings to their citizens through letting them know that visiting Somalia is like committing suicide. To that end, the majority of the tourists have headed to the advice given by their governments and therefore made up their mind not to visit Somalia. This has led to few tourists in the nation and therefore led to low revenue collected from the tourism sector of the country.

The situation in Somalia has led to calls from the international community to stop the Al-Shabaab activities. To that end, the Somali Government has been a beneficiary of substantial support from the United States of America. This has been through assisting the country in the insecurity transition and through an offering of other support that promotes the democracy of the nation. However, the Somali Government has come up with regulations that are seen as barbaric and impacts its people negatively.

Literature Review


This chapter explores other researches that have been carried out on the research topic. The key areas covered are the reviews of the effects of Al-Shabaab activities in Somalia, the Somali Government policies and regulations and the ways they have impacted its people and the ways in which the US Government is supporting the Somali administration on political and security transition.

Al-Shabaab Activities and their effects on Somalia

Al-Shabaab is a group of terrorists whose activities have affected not only the economy of Somalia but also the economy of other neighboring Eastern African nations (Marchal, 2009). The terror threat has been an economic setback to Somalia because of several reasons.  To begin with, terrorism in Somalia has led to the Somali Nationals migrating to the neighboring countries of Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia (Marchal, 2009). It is because the people have the feeling that it is not secure to stay in Somalia where there is no peace and terror attacks are the order of the day.  To that end, the country cannot grow economically because it has been deprived of labor which is an essential completion of the projects that lead to the development of the economy (Lind, Mutahi & OOsterom, 2017).

Moreover, the issue of insecurity in Somali due to the Al-Shabaab activities has made other nations around the globe to be wary of the threat posed by the terrorists (Marchal, 2009). To that end, the majority of the countries around the world have urged their nationals not to visit Somalia. Therefore, tourism which is one of the economic activities that has led to the growth of the GDP of Somalia has been enormously affected (Marchal, 2009). This effect has also been transferred to the neighboring Eastern Africa countries (Shinn, 2011).  The recent attacks of the Westgate in Kenya culminated in a decrease in the number of foreign visitors who have been visiting the country over the years (Marchal, 2009).

Similarly, the insecurity in Somalia that is caused by the Al-Shabaab has led to several attacks including bombings that have taken place in some parts of the country (Marchal, 2009). To this effect, many foreign investments have been affected. Potential investors have also been blown away by the terror threat. This condition has affected the growth of the economy of Somalia negatively (Marchal, 2009).

 Somali Government policies and regulations and the ways they have impacted the people

The Somali government has regulations that have led to the administration not having the ability to participate in the provision of certificates to schemes with the objective of enabling them to trade their goods in the entire world (Parrin, 2014).  This scenario has compelled the traders to find unconventional routes to the international market. These routes are costly. For instance, in spite of Somali being the 12th largest producer of sesame seeds, farmers have found it difficult to export them (Parrin, 2014). To make it worse, the Somali government has failed its people in that it has not involved itself in the trade barriers that have led to the challenge of exporting the products that have been produced in the country. The lack of the regulatory frameworks has led to the slow economic growth that is witnessed in Somali.

Another policy by the Somalia Government that has impacted its people negatively is the reality that there is a law that forbids the country from being a member of any trading bloc (Parrin, 2014).  This situation has led to the several economic challenges that Somalia is facing. Besides, the nation does not have any trade treaties with other countries around the globe. This situation has made the Somalia not to have the capacity to compete in the international markets (Parrin, 2014). Besides, the nation’s economy has been affected negatively because the country cannot enjoy the benefits enjoyed by those countries which belong to a major trading bloc. For instance, Somalia has a very poor infrastructure which has led to detrimental effects. There are only a few nations that are involved in trading activities with Somalia. For instance, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen

Similarly, the inability of the nation to implement the rule of law has affected the people of Somalia negatively (Parrin, 2014). For instance, reports are circulating that there are high cases of fake currency. Fake currency is not healthy to the nation because it may result in inflation that would lead to slow economic growth and development.

Equally, lack of government regulation has affected the people of Somalia negatively because it has affected the mining of the oil in the country (Parrin, 2014). To make it worse, some regional administrations have entered into treaties with other countries without the involvement of the government. This scenario has impacted the people of Somalia negatively because they end up obtaining oil and gas at very high prices. This situation raises the cost of living which is not good for a country whose ambition is to see its economy grow at an alarming rate.

Ways in which the US Government is supporting the Somali administration on economic, political and security transition

With the objective of eliminating the effects of the drought that affected Somalia in the year 2006, the US Government provided Somalia with financial aid (Porter, Eizenstart and Weinstein, 2005). Over the years, the nation has been receiving more funding from the US. The majority of this money is meant to strengthen the economy of the country as well as the political structures with the aim of ensuring that there is stability within the country. The US subscribed to the idea that Somalia would use the money to ensure that her citizens could have access to social services as well as promote the existence of a credible government.

Similarly, the US has been supporting the Somali administration through ensuring that the country is involved in bilateral trade relations with Somalia (Porter, Eizenstart and Weinstein, 2005). For instance, America imports precious stones from Somalia while Somalia receives grains and legumes from the US.



The Body


Data for this research was derived from five sources of secondary data. In this regard, five scholarly journal articles were used.

Findings of the Study

Definition of the Al-Shabaab                                                                                                          

The Al-Shabaab are the tyrants in Somalia who owe their origin from the events that took place in the nation in the year 1991. The then Government of Somalia collapsed and this led to the emergence of several Islamic sections. These groups united to form the ICU also known as the “Islamic Court Union” (Marchal, 2009).  The union made sharia laws that were harsh and this motivated the Ethiopian Government to send troops to Somalia to curb the barbaric activities of the ICU. Once the ICU was defeated, the Somali youths retaliated through the formation of Al-Shabaab which implies, “the youth” (Marchal, 2009).

For the purpose of facilitating their operations, the Al-Shabaab were involved in the piracy that was taking place in the Indian Ocean. This platform gave them a financial stability that financed their activities. To make it worse, the group of people commenced kidnapping activities whereby they were kidnapping foreigners from the neighboring nations and demanding money from them in form of ransoms. This approach of the illegal group of people forced the government of countries such as Kenya to send their soldiers to Somalia. To force, the Kenyan troops out of Somalia, the Al-Shabaab planned several attacks on the Kenyan Government that has taken away several lives of the citizens (Marchal, 2009).

Effects of the Al-Shabaab on Somalia

Economic Effects

The Al-Shabaab in Somalia has led to an economic meltdown of the nation. Notably, the tourism sector has been affected immensely (Porter, Eizenstart and Weinstein, 2005). The country has been receiving the fewest number of the individuals from other countries since several nations around the world cautioned their citizens. To that end, there has been an increase in revenue that is collected from the tourism sector of the economy. Similarly, the study revealed that there has been a decrease in foreign direct investments in the country. The business sector has been harshly affected by the Al-Shabaab in Somalia and several firms have also been closed due to the fear of attack by the tyrants. The end result of this has been the decline in the growth of the GDP of the nation that has resulted to the slow growth of the nation’s economy (Porter, Eizenstart and Weinstein, 2005).

Psychological Effects

The Al-Shabaab’ activities in Somalia have made people in Somalia to be frightened and to live in anxiety. They fear for their lives and some of them have run to the neighboring countries of Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda (Porter, Eizenstart and Weinstein, 2005). The result of this has been the creation of refugee camps such as Dadaab in Kenya.

The US Government’s intervention in Rescuing Somalia from its Economic and Political Turmoil

The US government has been of great importance to Somalia for several reasons. They have been providing financial support to the nation with the hope that the country will be able to obtain a political and economic stability that will impact the people of Somalia positively (Porter, Eizenstart and Weinstein, 2005).

Similarly, the US has been supporting the Somali administration through ensuring that the country is involved in bilateral trade relations with Somalia (Porter, Eizenstart and Weinstein, 2005). For instance, America imports precious stones from Somalia while Somalia receives grains and legumes from the US.


In conclusion, the above findings point out that the activities of Al-Shabaab in Somalia have led to slow economic growth and development.  It has also affected the political system of the country negatively. To overcome this problem the US government has come up with initiatives to strengthen Somalia’s political and economic structures. Moreover, the findings show that some of the Somalia government’s regulations have impacted people negatively.


To overcome the problems that the Somalia Government and its people are facing, it is imperative for the nation the rulers of the nation to introduce several approaches. One of the methods to apply is to ensure that the nation is part of a trading bloc in the region. For instance, Somalia should consider joining the East African community or the COMESA.  With this in mind, the country is going to be in a position to enlarge its market in the international stage and therefore increase its trading activities which would result in the growth of the nation’s GDP and thus her economy. Another benefit that the nation would enjoy if it were a member of a trading bloc is the development of the infrastructure which would result in the development of the economy.

Similarly, the Somalia Government should work hand in hand with the international community to ensure that the issue of Al-Shabaab is curbed.  If the Al-Shabaab are defeated, it follows that the Somali citizens would pay more attention to investments and savings that would lead to the growth of the economy. It is because they would no longer live in fear and anxiety that has been detrimental to their lives. Equally, the number of the foreigners in the nation will increase which implies that the tourism sector will be revived. To that end, the government will be in a position to collect sufficient revenue to allow for the advancement of the economy of the country.













Marchal, R. (2009). A tentative Assessment of the Somali Harakat Al-Shabaab.

Parrin, A. (2014). Five challenges for Somalia’s economic reconstructionIRIN. Retrieved 22 November 2017, from’s-economic-reconstruction

Porter, J., Eizenstart, S., & Weinstein, J. (2005). Rebuilding the Weak States.

Lind, J., Mutahi, P., & OOsterom, M. (2017). ‘Killing a mosquito with a hammer’: Al-Shabaab violence and state security responses in Kenya, 5.

Shinn, D. (2011). Al-Shabaab’s Foreign Threat to Somalia.