Global Sourcebook for International Data Management

                                         by Graham Rhind

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Somalia has no strong central government. The country is split amongst opposing political and military factions. The northern part of the country, which was previously the British colony of Somaliland, operates again under the name of Republic of Somaliland, but its aspirations of independence are not recognized by the international community. It is a relatively stable area, and services are working there. The Republic of Somaliland includes the regions of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool. The neighbouring regions of Bari and Nugaal comprise the self-declared Republic of Puntland, which is also comparatively stable.

For supplementary information, see links to post office home pages here External, to postal code pages here External and to other personal name and addressing issues pages here External.

Table of Contents

Somalia - Country information


Local short name form

Official name





International telephone access code


ISO 3166 country codes

Car nationality plate code


Internet country code


GRC Country Code


Somalia - Languages


Language map External

The official language is Somali External, spoken by about 90% of the population. 12 other languages are spoken, including Maay External (500 000-1 000 000 speakers). English is used as a lingua franka in the north (Somaliland).

Somalia - Personal names and forms of address


Forms of address are not used in Somalia – the name is used. Names usually have an Arabic structure. Names are often written in this order:

   Given name[ ]Father's personal name[ ]Paternal grandfather's personal name

The first two are those usually used. Due to the lack of surnames and the small pool of given names, nick names are often adopted.

Women do not take their husband’s name upon marriage. A family may therefore be named something like:

   Father: Omar Elmi Dihoud
   Mother: Waris Abdi Duale
   Son: Ali Omar Elmi
   Daughter: Roda Omar Elmi

Tables of names can be acquired: given names External, surnames/family names External, family name prefixes External, forms of address External, job titles External

Somalia - Example address formats




A table containing information about the relevant position of elements within address blocks can be acquired External

Somalia - Postal codes


Somalia has adopted a postal code system (from April 2003), with postal codes in this format:

   AA[  ]99999

Given the lack of a functioning postal system within the country, it is unlikely that they will currently be widely used. The letters indicate the region (please refer to the “Administrative Districts” section), the first two numbers the region, the next two numbers the postal town, and the final number the postal area. There should be two spaces between the region code and the numeric part of the postal code.

Metadata containing postal code formatting rules, exceptions and regular expressions can be acquired External

Somalia - Postal code format graphic


Somalia - Postal code format

Somalia - Postal code specifics


Somalia - Postal code regular expression


Somalia - Postal code level of coverage


Somalia - Postal code map


Place names in Somalia


Refer to Exonyms in Somalia for full lists of place names in Somalia in other languages.

Alternate place name forms/postal code tables can be acquired at External

Other language place name data can be acquired at External

Somalia - Administrative districts


Administrative districts graphic


Somalia has 18 regions External (gobolka). They are found in addresses as a two-letter abbreviation. These are:

Region Postal abbreviation
Awdal External (Republic of Somaliland) AD
Bakool External BK
Banaadir External BN
Bari External (Republic of Puntland) BR
Bay External BY
Galguduud External GG
Gedo External GD
Hiiraan External HR
Jubbada Dhexe External JD
Jubbada Hoose External JH
Mudug External MD
Nugaal External (Republic of Puntland) NG
Sanaag External (Republic of Somaliland) SG
Shabeellaha Dhexe External SD
Shabeellaha Hoose External SH
Sool External (Republic of Somaliland) SL
Togdheer External (Republic of Somaliland) TG
Woqooyi Galbeed External (Republic of Somaliland) WG

Telephone numbers in Somalia


Somalian fixed line numbers have 7 digits. Mobile numbers have 8 digits and commence 64, 707, 80, 88 or 90-99

Tables of telephone number information/formats can be acquired – see External

Every effort is made to keep this resource updated. If you find any errors, or have any questions or requests, please don't hesitate to contact the author.

All information copyright Graham Rhind 2017. Any information used should be acknowledged and referenced.