Somalia - Industry
Before the start of civil war in the early 1990s, the manufacturing sector was beginning to develop. However, all industries suffered major losses during the civil war, accounting in 2000 for only 10% of GDP. Industries mainly serve the domestic market and, to a lesser extent, provide some of the needs of Somalia's agricultural exports, such as the manufacture of crates for packing bananas. Most industries have been looted, however, and many sold for scrap metal.
The most important industries were petroleum refining (as of 2000 shut down), the state-owned sugar plants at Jowhar and Gelib, an oilseed-crushing mill, and a soap factory. Other industries manufactured corrugated iron, paint, cigarettes and matches, aluminum utensils, cardboard boxes and polyethylene bags, and textiles. A cement plant at Berbera was completed in 1985.
The fish-and meat-canning export industries operate below capacity. Textiles are produced at the SOMALTEX plant, which supplies virtually the entire domestic market. Most major enterprises were government-owned, but private plants produce food, beverages, chemicals, clothing, and footwear. There are also plants for milk processing, vegetable and fruit canning, and wheat flour and pasta manufacturing, as well as several grain mills. The country's first pharmaceuticals factory, near Mogadishu, opened in 1986. Local craft industries produce sandals and other leather products, cotton cloth, pottery, baskets, and clay or meerschaum vessels.
The oil refinery at Mogadishu, with a production capacity of 10,000 barrels per day, has been out of operation since 1991. There is one natural gas field, but exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gas has been suspended since political conflict began.