Motto : "To lead is to serve"
( English for"To leadmeans to serve")
|Form of government||Parliamentary monarchy|
|Head of state||Queen Elizabeth II
represented by Governor General David Vunagi
|Head of government||Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare|
|Population density||19 inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+1.98% (2016)|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.515 ( 156th ) (2016)|
|currency||Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD)|
|independence||July 7, 1978
(from the UK )
|National anthem||God Save Our Solomon Islands|
|Time zone||UTC + 11|
The Solomon Islands ([ zaloˈmoːnən ], official German name; English Solomon Islands , also Solomon Islands ) are an island nation in the South Pacific . The archipelago is part of the cultural area of Melanesia and is located east of New Guinea . It is largely formed from the southern Solomon Islands as well as the Ontong Java Islands and the Santa Cruz Islands further east . The northern Solomon Islands belong to the state of Papua New Guinea .
The Solomon Islands comprise a group of islands of volcanic origin, the largest of which are Guadalcanal (highest point Mount Popomanaseu at 2335 meters), Santa Isabel , Makira , Malaita , New Georgia and Choiseul . Furthermore, an estimated 992 smaller islands and atolls belong to the national territory. The vegetation of the islands is characterized by forested hilly landscapes. 79% of the land area of the Solomon Islands is forested.
The tropical climate is tempered by the ocean. The air temperatures on the coasts are fairly constant throughout the year and vary between 28 ° C and 32 ° C. The water temperatures are between 23 ° C and 28 ° C. The annual rainfall is between 3000 and 5000 mm, the rainy season is between December and March.
Compared to previous years (1975–1989), the number of category 4 and 5 storms doubled in the period from 1990 to 2004. As a result of global warming , according to some climate simulations, the El Niño weather patterns could occur more frequently . This could lead to an accumulation of drought situations and an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones in the Pacific . However, there are scientific uncertainties about this.
The indigenous population of the Solomon Islands consists of 94.5% Melanesians , 3.0% Polynesians and 1.2% Micronesians . Other ethnic groups make up 1.1% of the total population: In addition to the indigenous population, there are Chinese, Indian, Australian and European immigrants. The capital Honiara had 84,520 inhabitants in 2017.
Before the Christianization of the Solomon Islands in the 19th century, the religion on the islands was characterized by the observance of certain taboos, ancestor worship and the belief in spirits, which can be achieved through certain rituals such as B. tried to please the sacrifice of pigs. 32.8% of the Solomon Islands are now followers of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, 19.0% are Catholics , 17.0% belong to the South Seas Evangelical Church, 11.2% are Adventists , 10.3% Methodists , 2.4 % are supporters of the Christian Fellowship and 4.4% belong to other churches. 2.4% of the population are followers of other religions and 0.2% officially have no religion.
Almost all of the inhabitants of the Solomon Islands speak one of the approximately 120 autochthonous languages as their mother tongue, which mainly belong to the oceanic language group , but also partly to the eastern Papuan languages : 94.5% speak Melanesian , 3.0% Polynesian and 1.2% Micronesian languages .
However, the only official language of the country is English . English is spoken as a mother tongue by one to two percent of the population.
Between 2010 and 2015, female life expectancy at birth was 71.7 years and male 68.3 years.
It is not known when the Solomon Islands archipelago, which was formed by volcanic activity around 25 million years ago, was first settled. It is believed, however, that New Guinea was settled by the ancestors of today's Melanesians about 60,000 years ago from Indonesia, when the sea level was considerably lower during the Pleistocene than today, and that people from there with canoes ever farther east into the invaded the Pacific. The Solomon Islands had probably already been settled from New Guinea when the sea level rose again at the end of the Ice Age around 10,000 years ago. Arable farming and agriculture developed in Southeast Asia around 7000-5000 BC. There is some evidence that around 4000 BC BC people settled in the Solomon Islands, who introduced agriculture and pig breeding, as well as new techniques for building canoes and sailing boats. Australian archaeologists determined that the Poha Cave on the main island of Guadalcanal was already inhabited over 6000 years ago, and the small island of Tikopia in the extreme east of the Solomon Islands, whose population is of Polynesian origin, found remains of ceramics that are attributable to the Lapita culture and a Approximately 3500 years old. The Polynesians, who settled numerous islands in the Pacific on their sea voyages in the post-Christian centuries, did not have the opportunity to settle in the Solomon Islands because the islands were already populated by Melanesians. Only on some of the Santa Cruz Islands in the far east of the Solomon Islands, which were still uninhabited, were Polynesians settled between the 12th and 16th centuries.
The Spaniard Alvaro de Mendaña de Neyra discovered the archipelago for Europe in 1568. His expedition explored the southern part of the archipelago and named the islands San Cristoval, Guadalcanal and Ysabel. With the death of Mendaña the position data of the islands was lost. Philipp Carteret landed on the east coast of Gower Island in the north in 1767, but without realizing that the island was part of the old Spanish discovery. The following year, Louis Antoine de Bougainville explored the northern area of the Solomon Islands and named Bougainville, Buka, and Choiseul. He also traveled the sea lanes between the islands. The French Jean François Marie de Surville was the first European to stay on the archipelago for a long time. Surville gave some islands the French name they still have today. When he returned to France, he reported on his stay in the “land of murderers” (Terre des Arsacides). In 1788 the Briton John Shortland anchored on the east coast of an archipelago island. Assuming he discovered a larger land mass, he named the island New Georgia .
The first European traders and missionaries immigrated at the beginning of the 19th century . In 1886 the German Empire took over the northern part of the archipelago with the relatively large islands of Choiseul and Santa Isabel as well as the island of Bougainville , which today belongs to Papua New Guinea, as a German Protected Area ( German New Guinea ). The German word "house" is still used today in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to designate an important building, with the German and not the English spelling "house" being used. The use of the German spelling is explained by the fact that during the German colonial period (in Papua New Guinea until 1918) some German terms found their way into the languages of Melanesia as loan words. Some restaurants and public buildings in Honiara also use the German spelling "Haus" in their names to this day.
In 1899, Germany exchanged its properties in the Solomon Islands for Western Samoa, which it received from England, but kept Bougainville, which remained part of German New Guinea. With that, all the islands of the Solomon Islands were a British colony from 1899.
After the outbreak of the Pacific War , Japanese troops occupied the group of islands in mid-1942. The United States began its Solomon Islands Campaign, the first US offensive in the Pacific, in August 1942. The battle of Guadalcanal alone lasted until February 9, 1943. Only after the battle of Cape St. George on November 26, 1943, the islands were considered liberated.
The Solomon Islands gained internal autonomy in 1976. They became an independent state in 1978 under the name of Solomon Islands. The women's suffrage was confirmed.
The Solomon Islands remained a member of the Commonwealth of Nations . In 1983 they established diplomatic relations with Taiwan . From 1998 to 2003 there were major ethnic conflicts on the islands. In 2003 the protection of the population was restored by summoned Australian units, since the Solomon Islands do not have their own military. At least 200 people died in the riot and 4,000 were arrested. The Australians stayed in the country until June 2017 at the request of the Solomon Islands government. After that, the country remained almost entirely dependent on Australian financial aid.
When the magnitude 8.0 seaquake in the Solomon Islands in 2007 triggered a tsunami with waves up to five meters high on April 2, 2007 . The hypocenter was located around 350 kilometers west-northwest of the capital Honiara at a depth of ten kilometers. At least 43 people were killed and 900 houses destroyed on the archipelago, and around 5000 people were left homeless . Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare then declared a state of emergency . An equally strong earthquake on February 6, 2013 near the Solomon Islands caused at least five deaths on the Santa Cruz Islands with a one meter high tsunami wave.
On September 16, 2019, the Solomon Islands severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan that had existed since 1983.
The country's parliament, the national parliament of the Solomon Islands , is based on the Westminster model ( multi-party system ). However, prominent local personalities run for competition because there is no dominant political group or actual party politics.
There are always new coalitions because the parliamentarians are constantly changing.
Due to the conflict in Guadalcanal in June 2000 , the government was overthrown; the conflict ended in October 2000 with a peace treaty. A new state system is to ensure stability, giving the regions greater autonomy.
The parliamentary elections on April 5, 2006 resulted in the following distribution of the 50 parliamentary seats:
- National Party - 6.9% (4 seats)
- SIPRA - 6.3% (4 seats)
- PAP ( People's Alliance Party ) - 6.3% (3 seats)
- Liberal - 5% (2 seats)
- Democratic - 4.9% (3 seats)
- SOCRED - 4.3% (2 seats)
- LAFARI - 2.8% (2 seats)
- other - 60.3% (30 seats)
The GNUR ( Group for National Unity and Reconciliation ) is no longer represented in the new parliament.
Membership in international organizations
The Solomon Islands are members of the following organizations: ACP , ADB , AOSIS , Commonwealth of Nations , EITI (candidate), ESCAP , FAO , G-77 , IBRD , ICAO , ICRM , IDA , IFAD , IFC , ILO , IMF , IMO , IOC , ITU , MIGA , OPCW , PIF , Sparteca , SPC , United Nations , UNCTAD , UNESCO , UPU , WFTU , WHO , WMO , WTO .
|5||Makira and Ulawa||Kirakira||3,188||40,395|
|7th||Rennell and Bellona||Tigoa||671||3,021|
The provinces and the capital district are divided into a total of 183 wards . Within the wards of the provinces there are the individual villages.
The Solomon Islands are one of the poorest states in Oceania . The greatest weakness of the economy is the infrastructure, which was largely destroyed by the ethnic conflicts in 1998 . The main gold mine - Gold Ridge Mine - was shut down by militias and the gold, fish, copra and palm oil revenues were used up. Potential investors are deterred by the uncertainty . You can also still feel the consequences of the Asian crisis here .
Only 3.9% of the country's area is used for agriculture, while 78.1% is forested. This puts the Solomon Islands in ninth place worldwide in terms of the area covered by forest. A major problem with agriculture in the Solomon Islands is the extremely low level of mechanization.
The economic strengths of the Solomon Islands are the large mineral deposits. On the island of San Jorge, nickel ore is mined for export, the proceeds of which could in the foreseeable future correspond to up to 15% of the gross domestic product. In addition, deposits of gold , copper , bauxite , zinc , phosphates , lead , cobalt and silver are known. Agricultural resources are also important (around 53,400 tons of fish per year, 58,000 pigs, 185,000 chickens and 10,000 cattle). With regard to agriculture, the cultivation of taro (2017: 45,901 t), rice (2017: 2,789 t), yams (2017: 44,940 t) and bananas (2017: 313 t) for local needs is worth mentioning.
The most important export item is wood, followed by fish, palm oil, copra and cocoa. In 2017, the Solomon Islands exported 3.156 million m³ of wood - only slightly less than the considerably larger neighboring country Papua New Guinea - and thus ranked 12th worldwide. Agricultural products and raw materials represent 92% of total exports. In 2017, a total of 285,721 t of palm oil was produced on 20,000 hectares, with the Solomon Islands in 24th place among the palm oil producing countries. For copra, a total of 317,682 t of coconuts were harvested in 2017 on 53,000 hectares of cultivated area, making the Solomon Islands 18th out of 91 coconut-producing countries. The export of copra - mainly to the Philippines - accounts for a total of 24% of total exports. In 2017 - mainly on the islands of Guadalcanal, Malaita and Makira - 4,940 t of cocoa were harvested, making the Solomon Islands the 27th most cocoa-producing country. However, the production and export of cocoa and copra are stagnating because of the relatively old age of most cocoa trees and most coconut palms.
Tobacco (2017: 118 t), spices (2017: 217 t) and bananas (2017: 313 t) are also grown for local needs.
The country belongs to the group of the least developed countries . About two thirds of the population live from subsistence farming. The gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017 is estimated at 1.28 billion US dollars. In purchasing power parity, GDP is $ 1.32 billion or $ 2,160 per inhabitant. Real growth was 3.2 percent. Gross domestic product is expected to grow by 2.4% in 2019 and 2.3% in 2020, and inflation is expected to be 2.5% in both 2019 and 2020.
All GDP values are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).
(purchasing power parity)
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
(as a percentage of GDP)
|2016||1.26 billion||2,097||3.5%||0.5%||8th %|
An important branch of the economy is tourism , especially diving and fishing tourism, even if it is not as developed as in other countries in the South Pacific. In the past, tourists came to see monuments and former battlefields, mainly because of the importance of Guadalcanal during World War II. About 25 km west of Honiara, the open-air museum Vilu War Museum is a much-visited attraction, because a lot of abandoned war equipment - such as B. aircraft wrecks, anti-aircraft guns u. a. - and is displayed in the midst of impressive tropical vegetation. There is also a well-known open-air museum near Tetere, east of Honiara, in which about 30 abandoned American landing vehicles can be seen. The beaches on the Solomon Islands consist partly of dark, volcanic sand and are z. T. pebble beaches and therefore not as spectacular as those in some other states of the South Pacific. Well known is Bonegi Beach west of the capital Honiara, where the remains of a Japanese submarine can be seen.
Due to the ethnic conflicts in 1998 and warnings about entry, tourism almost came to a standstill and is only recovering with difficulty due to a lack of funds. Currently around 40% of tourists come from Australia , 13% from New Zealand and 5% from the USA . In 2017, the Solomon Islands came to 25,400 visitors, making it sixth on the list of least-visited countries in the world. In comparison, the neighboring countries of Vanuatu were visited by 109,000 and Fiji by 843,000 tourists in 2017 . The government hoped to increase the number of foreign visitors to 30,000 per year by the end of 2019 and 60,000 by 2025. To promote tourism, Solomon Airlines set up a direct weekly flight in 2019 between Brisbane and Munda , a place on New Georgia Island popular with divers .
The state budget in 2009 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 75.1 million and income equivalent to US $ 49.7 million. This results in a budget deficit of 3.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
In 2006, the share of government expenditure in GDP was as follows:
Solomon Airlines , in partnership with other airlines, connects Honiara with Nadi in Fiji , Port Vila in Vanuatu and Brisbane in Australia . There are over 20 destinations in all provinces in the country. Virgin Australia flies from Brisbane to Honiara twice a week. Most national airports, however, have no asphalt runways, only grass runways. Accordingly, the air traffic is carried out with small fan guns.
The road network is inadequate in the Solomon Islands, where there are no railway lines. The paved road from Honiara to Lambi (58 km) in the west of the island and the paved road to Aola (75 km) in the east are among the longest and most important roads in the country on the north coast of the island of Guadanalcanal.
Most of the islands can be reached by slow ferry from Honiara. There is now a daily connection with a fast catamaran from Honiara via Tulaghi to Auki and back.
Satellite phones are widespread among the population with two providers beingMobile and Our Telecom . Locally limited phones are available for as little as 180 Salomon dollars, but only work with the original SIM card. In 2001, the PFnet (People First) project was started with the help of the UN to provide the islands with e-mail via radio links. By July 2004 there were 17 stations with internet cafes . Due to the slow connection, downloading websites was a game of patience, but research on the Internet was possible.
There are now cellular networks on almost all islands, including a. in Honiara, Tulaghi and Auki. In February 2020, the submarine cable Coral Sea Cable System (CS²), completed in December 2019, went into operation, which connects the islands of Guadalcanal, Malaita and Western with Sydney (Australia). In conjunction with the Solomon Islands Domestic Network , which was completed at the same time, the Solomon Islands received broadband internet for the first time.
There is no general compulsory schooling in the Solomon Islands and there is a fee to attend school, so many children do not attend school. Together with eleven other island states, the Solomon Islands operate the University of the South Pacific , whose USP Solomon Islands campus is located in Honiara. The literacy rate of over 18-year-olds was 84.1% in 2015 (women: 79.2% / men 88.9%).
The manufacture of ceramics is only widespread on a few islands in the Solomon Islands, as the raw materials required for this are only found on a few of the islands - such as B. on Choiseul - occur. While stone is of secondary importance in the fine arts of the Solomon Islands, wood is the most important material, but in the hot and humid climate of the Solomon Islands it is not a very durable material. The most common motifs in traditional carvings are gods and demons from the mythology of the islands, although the figures were often decorated with mother-of-pearl in the past. Particularly impressive examples of this are the figureheads of earlier war canoes, called nguzunguzu . In some churches there are carved and decorated baptismal fonts and holy water basins. In front of the All Saints' Church in Honiara there is also a life-size, carved wooden figure of an important bishop, as well as a wooden white dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit . The altar, tabernacle , baptismal font, the life-size and very detailed statues of Mary and Joseph and the crucifix in the Holy Cross Cathedral were made by the local woodcarver Frank Haikiu from Honiara.
The traditional architecture of the University of the South Pacific in Honiara has columns and steles decorated with wood carvings by local artists. Older examples of wood carving are on display in the National Museum, which features traditional-style wall paintings in the courtyard. In the entire visual arts - not only in painting - depictions of turtles and fish are recurring motifs. Many churches in the Solomon Islands are adorned with colorful wall paintings depicting scenes from the Bible, whereby the people depicted from the Bible all have the facial features, clothing and hairstyles typical of the Solomon Islands.
The Solomon Islands created one of the greatest sensations in football history when they reached the play-offs against Australia in the 2006 World Cup qualification at the expense of the established and six times larger New Zealand - which, however, required the even bigger sensational victory of Vanuatu over the New Zealanders.
In 2003 the national soccer association tried to establish a national soccer championship with the National Club Championship. This was reformed again in 2006 and changed from a year-round championship to a year-wide championship. Another reform was implemented at the beginning of 2011. The league has been called the Telekom S-League since 2011 . A total of eleven clubs applied for the league, and eight applications were finally accepted. Since the 2013/14 season , nine clubs have participated in the game.
In addition, the action focuses on the leagues in the individual regions, with the league in the capital Honiara being the most important competition. This HFA League , organized by the Honiara Football Association, is divided into the Premier League , Division One and Division Two . The matches will be played in three venues: the Lawson Tama , the AE Soccer Ground Ranadi and the King George VI Ground .
In futsal, the national team became Oceania champions in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2016 and qualified for the Futsal World Cup in 2008 , 2012 and 2016 . They also took part in the 2008 , 2009 and 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups.
There is a local TV station OneNews in the Solomon Islands . There are four radio stations that broadcast in English and Pidginenglisch. There are three daily newspapers: The Solomon Star , Solomon Voice and Iceland Sun . The daily newspaper circulation is 16 copies per 100 islanders.
The pan flute is a typical instrument of the Solomon Islands.
Each island in the Solomon Islands celebrates its own provincial day.
- February 25th Choiseul
- June 8th Temotu
- June 29th Central Province
- July 1-7 Honiara
- July 7th anniversary of independence
- July 20th Renell / Bellona
- August 1st Guadalcanal
- August 3rd Makira
- August 15th Malaita
- December 7th Western Province
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