The names Mogadishu, Kisma Yu and Merca may soon become as familiar to European tourists as Tenerife, Djerba or Casablanca are today.
GV Beach in Mogadishu
SV Young man collects shells
CU PAN Boxes of shells
LV & CU beach houses with people outside
GV Mogadishu city
GV PAN Traffic in street
GV & CU Construction workers building hotel (three shots)
LV PAN Cattle and Camel market
CU Camels (2 shots)
SV Camel seller under umbrella
SV Goats and cattle (2 shots)
GV street scene
LV Triumphal Arch over street
GV shops in gold market area
SV CU INTERIOR gold and jewellery on display (4 shots)
GV Traffic (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM donkey cart TO wall slogan "Africa must be kept for the Africans"
SV PAN FROM statue TO exterior of party headquarters
CU propaganda posters outside party HQ (2 shots)
GV PAN runway at Mogadishu Airport
CU ZOOM OUT Picture of Somali President Siad Barre outside airport building
SV Young boy runs along beach
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The names Mogadishu, Kisma Yu and Merca may soon become as familiar to European tourists as Tenerife, Djerba or Casablanca are today. They are the capital and two ancient towns on the coast of Somalia -- just north of the Equator and looking eastwards across the Indian Ocean. Somalia claims the longest coastline of any in country in black Africa -- 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) of mainly unspoilt beaches with fine silver sand and waving palms. But for the last eight years the country has been inaccessible to Western tourists for political reasons.
SYNOPSIS: But now Somalia is looking west-wards, because of its break with the Soviet Union following the Ogaden war with Ethiopia. Here in Mogadishu life is slowly returning to normal after the disastrous conflict -- and one of the ways the Somalis are seeking to acquire hard currency is by attracting tourists.
With this in mind the Government Tourists Agency wants to exploit Somalia's natural resources and reverse the previous policy of isolation. They are looking for primarily at West Germany as the land of insatiable travellers -- the official rate of exchange for the mark makes Somalia cheap for Germans.
Although new hotels are being built in Mogadishu, more than two-thirds of Somalia's three million population are still nomads who raise cattle, goats and camels as they have done for centuries.
Low quality meat exports are still the country's major source of foreign exchange and agricultural development is hampered by a shortage of skilled manpower. The nine year-old government of President Siad Barre, which expelled its Soviet advisers last Autumn, is trying to develop arable areas.
Aid from the United States, the Arab world and Europe equals what used to be provided by Soviet Union. The break left many expensive projects unfinished.
But, say the experts, development prospects are far from glittering in a country where mineral resources are scare.
However, the West has not been slow in providing help in the wake of the Soviet departure. Last March United States Assistant-Secretary for African Affairs, Richard Moose, visited Somalia and signed a seven million (U.S.) dollar food aid agreement.
Britain has promised to provide project aid and is hoping to set up a Tsetse fly research project. British experts have also been asked to study the possibility of building a dam.
Although traditional means of transport still dominate, aid projects are slowly pulling Somalia towards the technological age. Among them are plans for motorised fishing boats also financed by Britain. Housing development is underway as well.
Many nations have played a part in Somalia's history and when the country became independent in 1960, it had little interest in foreigners. But in recent years some suspicion has been shed. The first influx of tourists is expected in the New Year -- when Mogadishu may well become a truly international city. For the people of Somalia, living as they do on the strategic Horn of America, the simple life may soon be a thing of the past.