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Bilateral relations Switzerland–Somalia

Relations between Switzerland and Somalia are good. Somalia is a priority country for Swiss development cooperation under the Horn of Africa cooperation programme 2022–25.

Somalia is part of the Greater Horn of Africa, one of the five geographical priorities of the Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy 2021–24. 

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

After two decades of civil war, Somalia has begun to rebuild. Switzerland is working closely with Somalia's federal government authorities, as well as with the federal member states. It is also providing support to Somalia's neighbouring countries. Switzerland's main partners include UN agencies, NGOs and regional organisations such as the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

As part of its cooperation programme for the Horn of Africa, Switzerland is active in the areas of good governance, food security, access to health services, migration and protection.

Treaty database  

Economic cooperation

Trade and economic cooperation between Switzerland and Somalia are limited in scope, amounting to just over CHF 367,000 in 2020. Switzerland has imported essential oils from Somalia and exported office equipment and electronic devices to the country.

Members of the Somali diaspora in Switzerland and the rest of the world support their country of origin by sending funds to their families. These financial transfers make a significant contribution to the Somali economy.

Trade promotion, Switzerland Global Enterprise SGE

Cooperation in education, research and innovation

Researchers and artists from Somalia can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists (SERI)

Measures to promote peace and human security

Peacebuilding is included under 'good governance' in the Swiss cooperation programme for the Horn of Africa. Switzerland is supporting the UN's UNSOM mission with the deployment of a police expert.

Development cooperation and humanitarian aid

The Horn of Africa cooperation programme 2022–25 takes a comprehensive approach, combining humanitarian and development cooperation instruments with political and diplomatic measures and migration and security instruments. The programme is structured around projects that address governance, food security and rural development, health, migration and protection. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation's regional office for the Horn of Africa, which is based in Nairobi, is responsible for the implementation of the programme.

Development cooperation and humanitarian aid

Swiss nationals in Somalia

According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, there were 22 Swiss citizens living in Somalia and 5,459 Somalian citizens living in Switzerland at the end of 2020.

History of bilateral relations

Switzerland recognised Somalia as a nation immediately after it gained independence on 1 July 1960. Since then, it has participated in development projects and provided humanitarian aid.

Somalia, Historical Dictionary of Switzerland (de, fr, it)

Diplomatic documents of Switzerland, Dodis

Last update 26.01.2022

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