Bosnia and Herzegovina is a small country a little smaller than the state of West Virginia in the United States of America. It has a total land area of fifty-one thousand two hundred and thirty-three square kilometers. It has a one thousand four hundred and fifty-nine kilometer long border, which it shares with Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro. It was recently liberated from years of warring amongst its political parties.
The currency in Bosnia and Herzegovina is known as the convertible marka. It is divided up into one hundred convetible pfenniga. The convertible marka is worth approximately
forty-six cents in United States money.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has an emerging democracy. It was recently divided up between three warring parties, which had been fighting over control of the country. On November 21, 1995, the former Yugoslavia’s three warring parties signed a peace agreement in Dayton, Ohio. The Dayton Agreement was signed by Bosnian President Izetbegovic, Croatian President Tudjman, and Serbian President Milosevic. The Muslim/Croat Federation and Republika Srpska are the two divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. NATO led an international peacekeeping force of sixty thousand troops into Bosnia to monitor the military aspects of the agreement. Currently, a NATO-led stabilization force is in place to deter any renewed hostilities. Bosnia and Herzegovina actually gained its independence in April 1992 from Yugoslavia. The constitution is the Dayton Agreement, which also includes a new constitution. The legal system is based on a civil law system. Those who are over eighteen years of age are allowed to vote in elections. Those over sixteen who work are also allowed to vote. The executive branch of the government includes a chief of state, who is currently Chairman of the Presidency Zivko Radisic. The presidency is rotated every eight months among three members. The other two members are Ante Jelavic and Alija Izetbegovic. The head of government is Cochairman of the Council of Ministers Haris Silajdzic and Cochairman of the Council of Ministers Suetozar Mihajlovic. The cabinet is called the Council of Ministers. the Vice President is Ejup Ganic. The Ministers are appointed by the presidency.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s economy is basically a socialistic one. There are currently moves toward privatization of many industries. Fifty-eight percent of the economy in the country comes from services. Twenty-three percent comes from industry. Nineteen percent comes from agriculture. The economy was once prosperous, but the interethnic warfare in Bosnia caused production to plummet and unemployment to skyrocket. There are currently one million twenty-six thousand two hundred and fifty-four people in the workforce. There is an estimated forty to fifty percent unemployment rate. Electricity production in Bosnia is approximately 2.3 billion kilowatt hours per year. Electricity is produced largely by hydroelectric power. Sixty-five percent of it comes from this. Thirty-five percent comes from fossil fuels. Bosnia consumes approximately two and a half billion kilowatt hours of electricity. It exports one hundred eighty-two million kilowatt hours and imports three hundred eighty-six kilowatt hours. Its main agricultural products include wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables, and livestock. It exports about one hundred fifty-two million dollars in goods. It imports three and a half billion dollars in goods. It received $1.2 billion in 1997 for economic aid.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has many natural resources. Coal, iron, bauxite, manganese, copper, chromium, lead, and zinc are among the many things mined out of the ground for use. Forests also abound in the country. Thirty-nine percent of the land in Bosnia and Herzegovina is covered by forests and woodlands. Fourteen percent of the land is arable. Five percent is used for permanent crops. Twenty percent is used for permanent pastures. Twenty-two percent is used for other things. The environment is in danger in the country due to the number of metal processing plants and the burning of fossil fuels.
Bosnia has many important industries. Steel, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, and bauxite are among the metals processed in the factories. Coal is also refined in the countries industrial areas. Vehicles are assembled in Bosnia, as is wooden furniture. Tobacco products are grown in the agricultural areas of the country. Textiles such as cotton and wool are also major industries of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Army tanks and aircraft are assembled in some of the factories. Domestic appliances are also among the items produced in the factories. Oil refining is also an important part of Bosnia’s economy, but much of the capacity has either been damaged or shut down.
Bosnia’s GDP or Gross Domestic Product is broken up into many parts. The purchasing power parity of it is approximately $5.8 billion. The real growth rate is estimated at thirty percent. The per capita purchasing power parity is estimated at one thousand seven hundred and twenty dollars. The Gross Domestic Product composition is broken down into three sectors. Agriculture makes up nineteen percent of it. Industry accounts for twenty-three percent of the GDP. Services are responsible for the other fifty-eight percent of it. These figures are considered to be fairly inaccurate due to the high amount of black market activity. Also, the figures are somewhat inaccurate because of the division of the country. Bosnia and Herzegovina was once considered the poorest of the members of the old Yugoslav Federation next to Macedonia. Privatization is in the planning to end the poverty of Bosnia and Herzegovina.