Italian Somaliland

Italian Somaliland was a colony and protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy in present-day Somalia. It was acquired through treaties in the 1880s and became part of Italian East Africa as the Somalia Governorate in 1936. It extended from the border of Kenya up to Cape Asir. 

During World War II, Italy lost control of the region in 1941, and it came under British military administration until 1950 when it became a United Nations trusteeship under Italian administration. On July 1, 1960, the Trust Territory of Somalia united with the former British Somaliland protectorate to form the independent Somali Republic. 

The economy of Italian Somaliland was primarily based on agriculture, with livestock, particularly camels and sheep, being a significant source of wealth. The region produced and exported crops such as bananas, lemons, cotton, and sisal. Livestock products like hides, skins, and meat were also exported. Additionally, Italian authorities invested in infrastructure development, including ports, railways, and roads. Trade with Italy played a crucial role in the economy, and the currency used was initially the Somali rupia and later the Somali lira. Italian colonial rule aimed to exploit the region's resources for the benefit of Italy. 

The Somali rupia served as the currency in Italian Somaliland from 1909 to 1925, with 100 bese making up one rupia. In 1920, official banknotes in denominations of 1, 5, and 10 rupie were introduced by the Banca d'Italia as cash certificates (buoni di cassa). However, 10 and 20 rupie banknotes were printed but not put into circulation.

The Italian Somali Lira replaced the rupia at a rate of 8 lire = 1 rupia, with only £5 and £10 coins issued and coexisting with Italian coins and banknotes. Silver coins of 5 and 10 lire, slightly larger than their Italian counterparts, were introduced in 1925. The coins featured the Arms of Somalia, including a lion passant and three six-pointed stars, with Italian legends on the reverse side.

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