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Über dieses Buch

The history of Italian colonial affairs has recently attracted renewed interest from historians and economists. It is a complex and involved question. Over the last few years, though perhaps slightly later than the more mature historiography of other European countries, the work of some important scholars has opened up new fields of investigation and research. Recent studies have tried to analyse in greater depth the working mechanisms of the colonial system, broadening the field of investigation also to the perspective of African countries and the political-economic equilibriums of the second half of the 20th century. This study fits into this area of research and analyses crucial aspects of the decolonisation of Somalia, the history of the presence of Italian banking in Somaliland; relations between Italian and Somali institutions; Italian political-monetary policies during the reconstruction and the first economic boom.



Chapter 1. The Somali People: Between Trusteeship and Independence

“We are in favour of the autonomy of people in the colonies. The sooner this evolution is completed, the easier it will be to collaborate. We are in favour of all forms of government and do not have any intentions that may be irresponsible or interested in absolute sovereignty in a military sense; we only ask that the trusteeship be granted on the basis of our experience and that it be granted in such a way that we can really fulfil our task”.1
Donatella Strangio

Chapter 2. Analysis of the Economic System of Somalia

Italian colonialism could not see beyond bananas, practically it didn’t develop anything beyond bananas. It was a kind of colonialism that did not even look after its own interests: In other words it was short-sighted. Then came independence and things did not change very much, because the old leaders were simply the puppets controlled by old colonial interests.1 These eloquent words by the historian Del Boca invite us to investigate the real economic situation of those years and examine the conditions of the agricultural, industrial and service sectors which had survived the difficult events the country experienced during the scramble for Africa at the end of the Second World War and the necessary creation of a new international order. This will be done with the help of unpublished sources from the historical archives of the Banca d’Italia, which give tangible evidence of its work, even after the end of the Trusteeship.
Donatella Strangio

Chapter 3. Companies and Firms in Italian Somalia

Colonisation and trusteeship were important stages in the Italian experience in Somalia, which can be observed through the story of Italian firms and their activities. However, their story has never been studied in literature in depth.
Donatella Strangio

Chapter 4. International Aid to Somalia

We have to declare the cooperation developed in bilateral agreements a failure. It has not served at all, it does not help those who need us. Let’s give the money we spend in the world to the EEC. There we will have the political power to direct the resources, but also to agree on their global use together with our European partners.
Donatella Strangio

Chapter 5. Conclusions

What has been presented in this book is an ethnically, culturally and socially complex situation, dominated for years, indeed centuries, by various power groups. The ordinary people of Somalia move on in an almost autonomous way. With no real power because of the poor mechanisms of representation in government, they have only the traditional system based on a subsistence economy to rely on. Without a change in direction and policy to give social classes and other nations the possibility to actively take part in the recovery of Somalia, there will never be a real chance to create internal unity.
Donatella Strangio


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