Overview Overview


High Commission of India


(Concurrently accredited to the Federal Republic of Somalia)


India-Somalia Bilateral Relations

            India and Somalia relations are age old, with strong connect established by traders who sailed through the Indian ocean to buy and sell goods in the Horn of Africa. The connection still continues with presence of Indian business community in Somalia. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1960, a year after its independence. The Commissioner of India to Mauritius was accredited as Ambassador of India to Somalia and presented Credentials in 1961. Later, a resident Mission was opened in Mogadishu. After the outbreak of civil war in 1991, the Indian Embassy in Mogadishu was closed.  High Commission of India, Nairobi is concurrently accredited to Somalia.

  1. In the past few years, both countries have witnessed a number of high-level visits from both sides which have helped further strengthening the bilateral relations.

2.1      Visits from Somalia: During 26-29 October 2015, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud led the Somali delegation for the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit held in New Delhi.  He held a bilateral meeting with PM Narendra Modi. He also visited Bhopal, at the invitation of GOI. During the visit, he was conferred an Honorary Doctorate degree by the Barkatullah University, Bhopal of which he is an alumnus. Earlier, the then Prime Minister of Somalia Dr. Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke accompanied by Minister of Information visited India in 1963. Dr. Sharmarke visited India again in 1968 as President of Somalia.

Defence Minister of Somalia, Mr. Hassan Ali Mohamed ‘Amardambe’ visited India to participate in DefExpo India 2020 in India Africa Defence Ministers’ meet during 5-7 February 2020.

In March 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohammed Gulaid accompanied by Minister of Energy and Water Resources Salim Alio Ibro and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Abdulkadir Ahmed-Kheyr Abdi visited India to attend Founding Conference of International Solar Alliance (ISA) in New Delhi. He called on Rashtrapatiji and Prime Minister during the visit.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Somalia, Mr. Yusuf-Garaad Omar paid his first official visit to India during 31 July-4 August 2017. He held meetings with EAM Smt. Sushma Swaraj and MoS for External Affairs Shri M. J. Akbar.  An Agreement for Transfer of Sentenced Persons between India and Somalia was signed during the visit.

In 2011, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Planning and International Cooperation Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali visited India to attend the 7th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership. During the visit, he met EAM S.M. Krishna and CIM Anand Sharma.

2.2       Visits from India:

High Commissioner Dr. Virander Paul visited Somalia on 10 June 2022 to attend the inauguration of the new President of Somalia H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

In November 2019, External Affairs Minister of India Mr. S. Jaishankar met the Prime Minister of Somalia Mr. Hassan Ali Khayre on the sidelines of Paris Peace Forum in in Paris.

In July 2019, High Commissioner handed over the consignment of essential medicines worth US$ 1 million to Dr. Fawziya Abikar Nor, Minister of Health of Somalia in Mogadishu. During the visit, High Commissioner called on Mr. Hassan Ali Khaire, Prime Minister of Somalia.

In  July 2015, MoS for External Affairs, Gen. (Retd.) V.K. Singh visited Somalia as Prime Minister’s Special Envoy and handed over the invitation from the Prime Minister to the President of Somalia, for attending the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III) in New Delhi in October 2015.

In February 2012, The Indian delegation to the London Somalia Conference was led by MoS for External Affairs Shri E. Ahamed. The Minister met TFG President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed; President of Puntland Abdirahman Mohamed Farole and President of Galmudug Mohamed Ahmed Alin. President Farole said that he would be happy to see Indian companies getting involved with oil exploration and production in Puntland.

  1. Grants in Aid & Developmental Assistance:

At the request of the Government of Somalia, Government of India gifted 27 midi-buses to Somalia in February, 2021. High Commissioner handed over the consignment of essential medicines worth US$ One million to Dr. Fawziya Abikar Nor, Minister of Health of Somalia on 19 July 2018 in Mogadishu. During the visit, High Commissioner called on Mr. Hassan Ali Khaire, Prime Minister of Somalia.

India has always remained one of the preferred destinations for Somali students. In 2018-19, Somalia availed 24 slots under Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR); Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS III) scholarship schemes. The allotted slots under ITEC for 2019-2020 was increased to 15 out of which 14 were utilized;  2 candidates could not travel due to Covid-19 situation in March 2020.  Despite Covid-19 restrictions, India continued its assistance to Somalia through capacity building on virtual platform through e-ITEC programme.  This has seen participation of 72 Somali candidates up to now.  17 Somalia students have been offered ICCR scholarship during AS 2021-22.   In AS 2022-23 – 13 ICCR and 8 ITEC scholarships have been awarded to Somali students.

Somalia is among the partner countries of Pan African e-Network project. The project was inaugurated by EAM S. M. Krishna in August 2010 along with the Vice Minister of Education of the State of Puntland.  Somalis is now a partner country in the e-VBAB Network Project, a successor to  Pan African e-Network project. 364 Somali students are currently enrolled through the e-VBAB project.

At the request of Foreign Minister of Somalia, 20 diplomats from Somali Foreign Ministry were trained in FSI, New Delhi in September-October 2015. The second special course for young Somali diplomats was held from 9 May-8 June 2018 at FSI, New Delhi. An MoU between FSI and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Somalia was signed on 5 June 2018.

Following PM Dr. Manmohan Singh’s announcement at the 2nd India Africa Forum Summit held in Addis Ababa in May 2011, India provided US$ 2 million to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). India has further contributed a sum of US$ 1 million to the United Nations Trust Fund in support of the African Union in Somalia (AMISOM) in 2012, 2017 and 2021.

In September 2011, India announced a contribution of US$ 8 million towards humanitarian assistance for countries in the Horn of Africa region (Somalia, Kenya and Djibouti) to be distributed through WFP.

In 1992, India provided relief supplies (medicines, food) worth Rs. 20 lakh to Somalia during the visit of Minister of State for External Affairs Shri Eduardo Faleiro. In 1985, Somalia was among the recipient countries of 100,000 tonnes of wheat offered by Government of India to countries in the region.

  1. Indian Community: Indian traders have been trading with the Horn of Africa since ancient times. In the 1940s and 1950s, many Indians were recruited by Italians to work on their plantations, mainly around Qoryoley. Others established businesses in Somalia. It is estimated that there were around 200 Indian families in Somalia, mainly engaged in textile dyeing in Mogadishu and Merka. Indian families, who at one time were living in Kismayo, left for Mogadishu in early 1980s. At one time, the Indian embassy used to run a popular international school in Mogadishu. After 1991, most Indians left Somalia, and many relocated to Mombasa in Kenya. Presently, it is estimated that there are around 100 Indian nationals working in different parts of Somalia including the UN and around 500 persons of Indian origin in Somalia.
  1. Mission in collaboration with UN Organizations in Somalia organized celebrations of International Day of Yoga in Mogadishu for last four years.  Mission organized the first-ever consular camp in Mogadishu on 1 October 2017.  The second consular camp was organized on 20 January 2018.  In 2019 & 2020, Mission organized consular camps in Garowe.   Many Somalis travel to India for studies and medical treatment.  In 2020, Mission issued 1328 visas to Somali nationals. In 2021, Mission issued 3529 visas.
  1. Bilateral Trade: Somalia, being an LDC country, qualifies for India’s offer of unilateral Duty-Free Tariff Preferential (DFTP) market access for export of goods and services to India. The following table summarizes the bilateral trade figures.










Indian Export









Indian Import









Total trade









(Source: Department of Commerce, India; Value in USD million)

  1. Indian Participation in UN Peacekeeping in Somalia: 4,600 Indian peacekeepers participated in UNOSOM II during 1993-94. The troops also engaged in reconstruction and humanitarian work. 12 Indian soldiers laid down their lives during the deployment. The Indian Navy played a major part in the Indian contribution to the UN task force in Somalia. The Indian Navy has been involved in anti-piracy patrolling in the Gulf of Aden since 2008. India is a member of the UN Contact Group on Piracy off the coast of Somalia.


[November, 2022]