Somalia / by Lewis McKinnon

After a prolonged period of consideration, the president's cabinet finally set an electoral date in August, where both the country's leader and his party will seek re-election for a second four-year term. Both domestic and external observers attach great significance to the format and outcome of upcoming elections, which will effectively demonstrate the extent of Somali democracy. An overwhelming number of the country's youth continued to suffer from malnutrition, and the absence of necessary infrastructure or supplies makes the alleviation of this problem an almost impossible task. The arrival of the Islamic State (IS), which conducted its first attack in the country at the end of the month, also does not help the Somalia’s security conditions, and the government is seeking new partners, such as Russia, to tackle the ever-increasing problem of terrorism. Mogadishu attempted to normalise its relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with the hope of soon becoming eligible for continuous financial assistance. The World Bank gave Somalia a positive report on its progress in 2015, and this is likely to further bolster the country's chances of establishing closer ties with international financial institutions.