|Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa (Samoan)
Independent State of Samoa (English)
|Independent State of Samoa|
Motto : Fa'avae i le Atua Samoa
"Samoa is founded on God"
|Official language||Samoan and English|
|State and form of government||Parliamentary republic|
|Head of state||O le Ao O le Malo Vaʻaletoa Sualauvi II.|
|Head of government||
|population||197,000 ( 175th ) (2019; estimate)|
|Population density||69 inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+ 0.5% (estimate for 2019)|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.715 ( 111th ) (2019)|
|independence||January 1, 1962
(from New Zealand )
|National anthem||The Banner Of Freedom|
|National holiday||June 1st
UTC + 13
UTC + 14 (daylight saving time)
|ISO 3166||WS , WSM, 882|
The Independent State of Samoa , also for short: Samoa [ zaˈmoːa ]; Samoan : Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; English: Independent State of Samoa, is an island state in Polynesia , which includes the western part of the Samoan Islands and therefore - officially until 1997 - was also called Western Samoa (Samoa i Sisifo) . The state gained independence from New Zealand in 1962 as a former mandate of the League of Nations . The part of the region to the east, American Samoa , has been an outer territory of the United States since 1929 .
The Independent State of Samoa is located in the southwestern Pacific, northeast of Fiji . The largest islands are Savaiʻi (1708 km²) and Upolu (1118 km²) with the capital Apia and the international airport . There are also the inhabited islands of Manono , Apolima and six islands that are uninhabited with the exception of a small holiday complex on Namua . The larger islands are of volcanic origin and are characterized by rugged, densely overgrown mountain slopes. The highest mountain is the Silisili volcano on Savaiʻi at around 1858 m . The smaller islands are formed from coral reefs.
Geographically, Samoa is east of the 180th degree of longitude at about 172 ° west. Samoa, however, is assigned to the time zone UTC + 13 ( UTC + 14 in summer time in the southern hemisphere), which means that the date line is offset to the east and Samoa is therefore west of this limit. There is a time difference of 11, 12 or 13 hours to Central Europe, depending on the seasons in Europe. In 1892 the assignment of the area changed to the eastern side of the date line (doubling of July 4th), in 2011 the return took place (cancellation of December 30th).
- Upolu (134,400 pop., 2001)
- Savaiʻi (43,142 inh., 2006), the largest island in terms of area
- Manono (under 1,000 pop.)
- Apolima (75 pop., 2006)
- Fanuatapu , uninhabited
- Namua , uninhabited
- Nu'ulopa , uninhabited, between Upolu and Savai'i
- Nu'ulua , uninhabited
- Nu'usafe'e , uninhabited
- Nu'utele , uninhabited, belongs to the Aleipata Islands
Tropical-oceanic with a dry and a rainy season (November to April). Consistent southeast trade wind . The temperature varies from 20 ° C to 30 ° C and averages 27 ° C. Annual rainfall is 2870 millimeters, of which 1900 millimeters from October to March alone. While Samoa is not on the main line of incidence of hurricanes , it is occasionally hit by severe storms.
The Samoan population is made up of around 92.5 percent Samoans, 7 percent Euronesians (both Samoan and European ancestors) and 0.5 percent Europeans (estimated). About 5000 foreigners live in Samoa (as of 2004). In proportion, these are no more than in colonial times. At that time there were around 300 Germans and around 300 other foreigners for every 24,000 Samoans in German Samoa.
183,000 people live in Samoa; 93,724 men and 87,017 women (all figures: November 2006 census), of which 41.4 percent (37,011 men, 37,920 women) are no more than 14 years old, 53.6 percent (52,624 m, 44,208 women) are between 15 and 64 5.0 percent older than 65. The average age of the Samoans is 20.8 years (men 21.0, women 20.5 years). According to estimates from 2006, the birth rate is 1.6 percent, the death rate 0.7 percent, and child mortality (up to one year) 2.4 percent of live births. On average, a woman has 4.2 children. Very many Samoans live abroad, around 130,000 in New Zealand alone . The average age of the population is 71.9 (men 69.0, women 74.8). The literacy rate is 98.7 percent (2006).
About 98.4 percent of the population are Christian. Many traditional ideas, such as the belief in evil spirits, persist, but are embedded in the Christian world of belief. A founding myth Sina and the eel can be found in the tradition.
|Church or Faith||portion|
|Congregational Christian Church in Samoa||33.6%|
|Roman Catholic Church||19.4%|
|Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints||13.3%|
|Assembly of God||6.9%|
|New Apostolic Church||0.4%|
- Source: UN
Together with eleven other island states, Samoa operates the University of the South Pacific (USP), whose campus with the Institute for Research, Extension and Training in Agriculture (IRETA) is located in Alafua just outside the capital Apia. The National University of Samoa (NUS; Samoan: Le Iunivesite Aoao o Samoa) is located in Apia .
The history of the early settlement of Samoa is uncertain. The earliest settlement is for around 1000 BC. Has been proven by the dating of pottery shards of the Lapita culture . Intensive relationships with Tonga and Fiji have existed since 200 BC. From 940 to 1250 Samoa was ruled by Tonga.
The first European to reach Samoa was the Dutchman Jakob Roggeveen in 1722. But it was not until the missionaries of the British London Missionary Society (LMS) from 1830 that the (temporary) supremacy of Europe was established over Samoa. The Samoans were quickly Christianized. An American expedition under Charles Wilkes reached Samoa in 1839 and left a consul. The British (probably) opened a consulate in 1847. In 1855 the merchant August Unshelm (1824 to 1864) explored on behalf of the Hamburg trading house Joh. Ces. Godeffroy & Son Samoa. Two years later, he founded a central branch of the company in Apia on the island of Upolu. In 1861 he was appointed consul by the Hamburg Senate.
The Hamburg trading house Joh. Ces. Godeffroy dominated the trade with Samoa after only a few years, whereby the export of copra , which was used for oil production, became increasingly important. The increasing demand for this raw material led the new branch manager Theodor Weber to set up the first coconut plantation in 1865. At the beginning of the 1870s, the flourishing business called other Hamburg trading companies onto the scene, including the company "Ruge, Hedemann & Co." as a representative of "Wachsmuth & Krogmann" (founded in 1797). As a result, the competitive situation between the three foreign powers USA, Great Britain and Germany (later called the Three Powers ) intensified, with the so-called gunboat policy (most recently in the conflict over Samoa ) being used to protect the respective national interests .
In 1878 the United States received the port of Pago Pago on Tutuila (Eastern Samoa). A year later, Germany received a port near Apia on Upolu (Western Samoa). The German doctor and collector Bernhard Funk wrote a German-Samoan dictionary. The small Reichspostdampfer Lübeck of North German Lloyd started on September 7, 1886 in Sydney for the first time on the agreed branch line to Tonga and Apia. In the spring of 1893 this service was given up again. Wilhelm Knappe , the successor of the German consul Eugen Brandeis , caused internal tensions in 1888/89, which ultimately led to the " Samoa War ". After a cyclone from March 13 to 17 destroyed the warships of Germany and the United States anchored in the bay, the Berlin Samoa Conference with Germany , the United Kingdom and the United States took place on June 14, 1889 . There, the long-standing power struggles were initially settled by the Samoa Agreement of Berlin (Berlin Treaty) . In the agreement, Samoa was recognized as a formally independent kingdom under the Protectorate of the Three Powers .
At the latest after the death of King Malietoa Laupepa , the first and only King of Samoa, in 1898, the peace was over again. Again there were more than two aspirants to the throne, and there was another battle and confrontation between the three “protecting powers” (see Mataafa Josefo ). In 1899, the Samoa Treaty agreed to split the archipelago between Germany and the USA; Great Britain was compensated with other Pacific islands.
On February 17, 1900, Eastern Samoa became American territory, which was later named " American Samoa " (American Samoa) . Western Samoa became the German colony of Samoa and Wilhelm Solf became the governor.
In 1903 the Mau movement was founded, which campaigned for independence under the motto "Samoa mo Samoa" (Samoa the Samoans) . The German colonial authorities suppressed the resistance, albeit without bloodshed, interned and deported the leaders of the Mau, which ultimately strengthened the movement. Under New Zealand rule the (nonviolent) resistance increased further.
In 1918 around a third of the West Samoa population died of the Spanish flu after the New Zealand military commander had a quarantine ship docked in Apia, which brought the epidemic into the country. In December 1928, a peaceful mass demonstration against the New Zealand occupation was forcibly broken up by New Zealand soldiers. Eleven demonstrators, including Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III, the leader of the Samoan independence movement, were killed and more than 50 people injured. In 2002, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark officially apologized for the "incompetent and inappropriate treatment of Samoa during the early years of New Zealand's administration".
On January 1, 1962, Western Samoa became the first country in Polynesia to regain independence. Malietoa Tanumafili II and Tupua Tamasese Meaʻole were elected heads of state . After the death of Tupua Tamasese Meaʻole on April 5, 1963, Malietoa Tanumafili II was elected head of state for life. Malietoa Tanumafili II was the world's first ruling head of state to admit to the Baha'i religion. Since the death of Malietoa Tanumafili II on May 11, 2007, the head of state has only been elected for an electoral term of five years. In 1970 Samoa became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations . The state name was changed in 1997 from "Western Samoa" to "Samoa".
An earthquake on September 29, 2009 with an epicenter around 200 kilometers south-southwest of Apia with a magnitude of 8.0 M w on the moment magnitude scale triggered a tsunami . Large parts of the south coast of Upolu and part of the island of Manono were flooded, causing serious damage to property and at least 154 people died. The tsunami warning service in the South Pacific had issued a warning via SMS, but the tidal wave had already accumulated after 15 minutes, so that many people could no longer get to safety.
Due to the political influence of the USA, Samoa was assigned to the eastern side of the date line on July 4, 1892. However, to improve relations with New Zealand , Samoa moved back to the western side of the date line in late 2011, along with New Zealand-owned Tokelau , by skipping December 30th.
At the end of 2019 there was a serious measles epidemic in Samoa with over 5000 reported cases of measles, 81 people (mostly infants and young children) died of it. The reason was very low vaccination rates, which were caused by a loss of confidence and propaganda by vaccination opponents . In 2018, two nurses improperly prepared MMR vaccines , resulting in deaths after vaccination; they were convicted of negligent homicide .
The head of state is elected by parliament for a period of five years. However, the first two incumbents, including Malietoa Tanumafili II , were head of state for life. The name of the head of state is O le Ao o le Malo . The list of heads of state of Samoa provides an overview of the previous officials .
The legislature lies with the parliament ( Fono ), which comprises 49 members who are democratically elected for a period of 5 years. All residents aged 21 and over are entitled to vote. The women's suffrage was not introduced until the 1990th Only Matai ( heads of family appointed by the extended families) are eligible . 47 MPs are elected from among them. The remaining two MPs are elected by Samoans who are not bound by the Matai system.
The executive rests with the government, chaired by the Prime Minister . The list of Prime Ministers of Samoa provides an overview of previous office holders . In the parliamentary elections in 2021 , the newly founded FAST party was on par with the HRPP, which had ruled for decades, in terms of the distribution of seats in parliament . As a result of a majority obtained together with an independent MP, Fiame Naomi Mataʻafa was appointed Prime Minister.
The Supreme Court has the highest authority in civil, criminal and constitutional matters. Its chairman is appointed by the head of state on the proposal of the prime minister.
Samoa does not have its own armed forces . New Zealand committed itself in the friendship treaty of 1962 to consider every request for help Samoa made. At present Samoa has no international conflicts.
In 1948, still under New Zealand administration, women were given restricted voting rights at the national level: only clan heads , called Matai , and non-Samoans (European or Chinese voting) who had completed all the formalities for obtaining citizenship and the right of residence were allowed to vote. After independence, the right to vote was limited to the Matai between 1962 and 1990 . Only two of the 49 members of the Legislative Assembly (Fono) were elected by universal suffrage. The vast majority of the Matai have always been men. Since the 1960s, however, the advancement of women's education, which had led to higher educational degrees and qualifications, had increased the number of female Matai . Only a small number of women had been elected to the legislative assembly since 1962. Universal suffrage was introduced after a referendum in October 1990. The first elections under the changed conditions were held in April 1991. Before that, only clan heads had active and passive voting rights.
|Name of the index||Index value||Worldwide rank||Interpretation aid||year|
|Fragile States Index||63.3 out of 120||112 of 178||Stability of the country: Warning
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
|Freedom in the World Index||81 out of 100||-||Freedom status: free
0 = not free / 100 = free
|Freedom of the press ranking||19.24 out of 100||21 of 180||Satisfactory situation for freedom of the press
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
Samoa is divided into eleven political districts (itūmālō) , some of which consist of spatially disjointed areas ( exclaves ). The further subdivision into 41 electoral districts (faipule) is based on these .
At the local level, there are around 310 villages, including around 45 villages that make up the contiguous urban area of the capital, Apia, the country's only city.
Each village is still independent and can and does so freely in internal matters. There is neither a central city administration for Apia, nor municipal administrations of the villages or a registration system (identity cards or similar). The population development since the last census in October 2001 can therefore only be roughly estimated.
|position||district||main place||Area / km²||Population (2001)|
|Atua||Aleipata at Saleaaumua||413||21,168|
|position||district||main place||Area / km²||Population (2001)|
|Palauli||Vailoa i Palauli||523||8,984|
- with Manono (including the secondary island Nu'ulopa ) and Apolima
- with the Aleipata Islands (the two northern islands (Fanuatapu and Namua) to the constituency faipule Aleipata Itupa-i-lalo , the two southern (Nuʻutele and Nuʻulua) to Aleipata Itupa-i-luga ) and Nuʻusafeʻe (to Falealili )
- two smaller exclaves also on Upolu : villages Salamumu (with Salamumu-Utu) in the south (to faipule Gagaʻemauga II ) and Leauvaa in the north (to faipule Gagaʻemauga I )
Economy and State Budget
Plantation economy has been practiced in Samoa since colonial times , the main export product before 1914 was copra . Agriculture still employs two thirds of all Samoans today. But agriculture only accounts for around 14 percent of the gross domestic product . The agricultural area is 21 percent of the country. In addition to coconut trees, bananas , taro , yams , coffee and cocoa are particularly grown. Agriculture was badly hit by cyclones in 1990. Taro was infected with a virus in 1993.
The industry mainly consists of the manufacture of auto parts, wood processing into building materials and cigarette production from imported tobacco. Industry generates around 23 percent of the gross domestic product. The auto parts are provided by Yazaki Samoa Ltd. (Japanese origin) produces, with 2500 to 3000 employees Samoa's largest industrial employer. However, the Asian crisis of 1998 struck here too. In addition, there is a shortage of qualified workers due to the high level of migration abroad.
Tourism is becoming an important source of income and is slowly recovering from the slump after September 11, 2001 (around 90,000 visitors in 2003, most of them foreign Samoa from American Samoa and New Zealand). The entire service sector accounts for 63 percent of the gross domestic product.
In particular, fish, car parts and beer are exported, and very small quantities only agricultural products. There is strong growth in the export of medicinal plants (kava, nonu). Machinery and food in particular are imported.
The trading partners are predominantly New Zealand, Australia and other neighboring Pacific states. However, the numbers fluctuate significantly.
The economy is largely driven by Samoans working abroad who bring foreign currency into the country. There is severe domestic underemployment. Samoa receives significant development aid, mostly from New Zealand, Australia, China and Japan. The EU is involved with funds to improve the water supply and to strengthen village initiatives (micro-projects).
The state budget in 2009 comprised expenditure of the equivalent of 78.1 million US dollars , which was offset by income of the equivalent of 171.3 million US dollars. This results in a budget surplus of 16.2% of GDP .
The national debt in 2009 was around 165.7 million US dollars or 43.9 percent of GDP.
In 2006 the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was in the following areas:
- Health : 5.0%
- Education : 4.3% (2002)
- Military : 0.0% (Samoa has no military in the strict sense of the word, there is an agreement with New Zealand )
Samoa is counted among the "Least Developed Countries" by the United Nations . According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) , inflation averaged 6.5 percent in 2012. The unemployment rate, insofar as it were recorded according to the criteria of an industrialized country, would probably be 60 to 70 percent.
Samoa receives subsidies from other states and international organizations. The main donor is New Zealand, which, as the last colonial power, continues to see its duty. In addition, Australia, Japan and the European Union would give money and, to a certain extent, the USA. But there is also money from China, albeit rarely cash. The Chinese would rather build hospitals, schools, government buildings or sports complexes in Samoa.
Since there are hardly any jobs in Samoa, far more Samoans live outside the country, with most of them moving to New Zealand. The minimum wage is 2.50 tala per hour (just under one euro). The largest industrial employer was the Japanese auto parts supplier Yazaki, which employed up to 3,000 people. After Toyota completely ceased production in Australia after General Motors and Ford at the beginning of 2014, Yazaki also closed its plant in Samoa. The factory has not paid off for years.
The country presented September 7, 2009 at 6 am from right to left-hand traffic to. Samoa's Prime Minister Malielegaoi justified the measure by enabling the population to import right-hand drive vehicles more cheaply from Australia , New Zealand and Japan , where left-hand traffic also applies. So far, many cars have been imported from the USA, among others. The change was met with broad rejection in advance. The People Against Switching Sides initiative even called for the government to resign.
Domestic and international air traffic is handled by Air New Zealand , Samoa Airways , Fiji Airways and Inter Island Airways at Apia-Faleolo International Airport ( IATA airport code APW). Another international airport, Apia-Fagalii (IATA airport code FGI), 5 km from Apia, was closed for several years and has been used again by Polynesian Airlines for its connections to nearby American Samoa since July 1, 2009.
By far the most popular sport in Samoa is rugby union . After the First World War , the new colonial power New Zealand, which is one of the leading nations in this sport, found its way in and the "Western Samoa Rugby Football Union" was founded as early as 1924 and the first international match was held against Fiji . Since 1991, the Samoan national rugby union team has always been able to qualify for the rugby union world championships , which take place every four years, and made it to the quarter-finals in 1991 and 1995. Samoa is currently 15th in the world rugby rankings . For the first time, the women's national rugby team also qualified for the 2014 World Cup. Many Samoa-born players are professionals in European, New Zealand and Australian clubs and some play for other national teams.
Judo World Cup
Once a year in mid-November, a Judo World Cup takes place in Apia, which is part of the international tournament series of the IJF .
The Samoan national soccer team first took part in the South Pacific Games as West Samoa in 1979 and lost 3-1 to the national soccer team of Wallis and Futuna in their first game , but the first international game recognized by FIFA was not played until July 1, 1989. In 2011, Samoa was able to qualify for the 2012 Oceania Soccer Championship for the first time , but was eliminated in the preliminary round.
As in other Pacific island countries is in Samoa a traditional native variant of the Crickets played kilikiti called. Kilikiti is considered the national sport of Samoa.
Known people from Samoa
- Tuiloma Neroni Slade , former judge at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and current Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
- Malama Meleisea , director of the UNESCO office in Kabul .
- Lagi Countess Ballestrem , née Solf, German resistance fighter, born in Vailima near Apia.
- Gustav Frölich , German swimmer
- Gerd Suhren , German naval officer in the Reich and Kriegsmarine, born in Tafaigata (Samoa).
- Misa Telefoni Retzlaff , real name Hermann Theodor Retzlaff, Samoan politician and writer
- Robert Louis Stevenson died in Vailima , near Apia .
- Albert Wendt , Samoan poet
- Dietrich Langen , psychotherapist and university professor for psychotherapy, founder of medical psychology, pioneer of group psychotherapy
Well-known athletes and actors of Samoan descent:
- David Tua , heavyweight boxer with New Zealand nationality.
- Dwayne Johnson ("The Rock"; * 1972 in Hayward (California) ) was a wrestler for the WWE and is now a successful actor (e.g. The Scorpion King , Welcome to the Jungle , Walking Tall ). His mother is Samoan; but he himself is an American, first lived in Hawaii, then later in Pennsylvania and Florida. Although he does not speak Samoan, he was honored with the honorary title of Seuli by the Head of State on his only visit to Samoa to date.
- Frankie Adams (* 1994), New Zealand actress (The Expanse), born in Samoa.
- Nuufolau Joel Seanoa ("Samoa Joe"; * 1979), WWE wrestler, American.
- The family network Anoa'i-Fatu / Johnson, from which the aforementioned Dwayne Johnson and Rodney Anoa'i ("Yokozuna"), Afa Anoa'i ("Afa") Edward Umar Fatu ("Umaga") and Solofa Fatu (" Rikishi ”) as well as many other professional wrestlers, is the largest wrestling family in the world with over 50 athletes active around the world.
- Natalie Pa'apa'a , lead singer of the Australian reggae band Blue King Brown
- Musashimaru Kōyō (actually Fiamalu Penitani ), the second foreigner to ever reach the rank of yokozuna in Japanese sumo wrestling .
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- Jad Adams: Women and the Vote. A world history. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014, ISBN 978-0-19-870684-7 , p. 438.
- June Hannam, Mitzi Auchterlonie, Katherine Holden: International Encyclopedia of Women's Suffrage. ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, Denver, Oxford 2000, ISBN 1-57607-064-6 , p. 261.
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- Jürgen Schmidt: Work and non-work in the "Paradise of the South Seas": Samoa around 1890 to 1914 , in progress - Movement - History , Issue II / 2016, pp. 7-26.
- The World Factbook
- Country Experiences of Samoa on External Debt Management ( Memento from August 20, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 215 kB)
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