Coordinates : 11°30′N 43°00′E / 11.500°N 43.000°E /
Republic of Djibouti
* République de
Djibouti (French )
* جمهورية جيبوتي (Arabic )
* Gabuutih Ummuuno (Afar )
* Jamhuuriyadda Jabuuti (Somali )
MOTTO: اتحاد، مساواة، سلام (Arabic )
Unité, Égalité, Paix (French )
Unity, Equality, Peace
and largest city
11°36′N 43°10′E / 11.600°N 43.167°E / 11.600; 43.167
RECOGNISED NATIONAL LANGUAGES
Unitary dominant-party presidential republic
Ismaïl Omar Guelleh
• PRIME MINISTER
Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed
• FROM FRANCE
27 June 1977
23,200 km2 (9,000 sq mi) (150th )
• WATER (%)
0.09 (20 km² / 7.7 sq mi)
• 2016 ESTIMATE
37.2/km2 (96.3/sq mi) (168th )
GDP (PPP )
• PER CAPITA
• PER CAPITA
low · 172nd
Djiboutian franc (DJF )
EAT (UTC +3)
DRIVES ON THE
ISO 3166 CODE
DJIBOUTI (/dʒɪˈbuːti/ ji-BOO-tee ; Arabic : جيبوتي
Jībūtī, French: Djibouti, Somali : Jabuuti, Afar : Gabuuti),
officially the REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI, is a country located in the Horn
Africa . It is bordered by
Eritrea in the north,
Ethiopia in the
west and south, and
Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the
border is formed by the
Red Sea and the
Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden at the east.
Djibouti occupies a total area of just 23,200 km2 (8,958 sq mi).
In antiquity, the territory was part of the
Land of Punt
Land of Punt and then
Axumite rule. Nearby
Zeila (now in
Somalia ) was the seat
of the medieval Adal and Ifat Sultanates. In the late 19th century,
the colony of
French Somaliland was established following treaties
signed by the ruling Somali and Afar sultans with the French and
its railroad to
Dire Dawa (and later
Addis Ababa ) allowed it to
Zeila as the port for southern
Ethiopia and the
Ogaden . It was subsequently renamed to the French Territory of the
Afars and the Issas in 1967. A decade later, the
voted for independence. This officially marked the establishment of
Republic of Djibouti, named after its capital city . Djibouti
United Nations the same year, on 20 September 1977. In
the early 1990s, tensions over government representation led to armed
conflict , which ended in a power-sharing agreement in 2000 between
the ruling party and the opposition.
Djibouti is a multi-ethnic nation with a population of over 912,000
inhabitants. Arabic and French are the country's two official
languages. About 94% of residents adhere to
Islam , which is the
official religion and has been predominant in the region for more than
a thousand years. The Somali Issa and Afar make up the two largest
ethnic groups. Both speak
Afroasiatic languages , which serve as
recognized national languages.
Djibouti is strategically located near some of the world's busiest
shipping lanes, controlling access to the
Red Sea and Indian Ocean. It
serves as a key refuelling and transshipment center, and is the
principal maritime port for imports from and exports to neighboring
Ethiopia. A burgeoning commercial hub, the nation is the site of
various foreign military bases, including
Camp Lemonnier . The
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regional body also
has its headquarters in
* 1 History
* 1.1 Prehistory
* 1.2 Punt
Ifat Sultanate (1285–1415)
Adal Sultanate (1415–1577)
* 1.5 Ottoman Eyalet (1577–1867)
French Somaliland (1894–1977)
* 2 Politics
* 2.1 Governance
* 2.2 Foreign relations
* 2.3 Human rights
* 2.4 Military
* 2.5 Administrative divisions
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Location and habitat
* 3.3 Wildlife
* 4 Economy
Transport in Djibouti
* 4.2 Media and telecommunications
Tourism in Djibouti
Energy in Djibouti
* 5 Demographics
* 5.1 Languages
* 5.2 Religion
* 5.3 Largest cities
* 5.4 Health
* 5.5 Education
* 6 Culture
* 6.1 Music
* 6.2 Literature
* 6.3 Sport
* 6.4 Cuisine
* 7 See also
* 8 Notes
* 9 References
* 10 External links
History of Djibouti
Geometric design pottery found in
Asa Koma .
Djibouti area has been inhabited since at least the
According to linguists, the first Afroasiatic -speaking populations
arrived in the region during this period from the family's proposed
urheimat ("original homeland") in the
Nile Valley , or the Near East
. Other scholars propose that the Afroasiatic family developed in
situ in the Horn, with its speakers subsequently dispersing from
there. Prehistoric rock art and tombs in Djibouti.
Pottery predating the mid-2nd millennium has been found at
Asa Koma ,
an inland lake area on the Gobaad Plain. The site's ware is
characterized by punctate and incision geometric designs, which bear a
similarity to the Sabir culture phase 1 ceramics from Ma'layba in
Southern Arabia . Long-horned humpless cattle bones have likewise
been discovered at Asa Koma, suggesting that domesticated cattle were
present by around 3,500 years ago. Rock art of what appear to be
antelopes and a giraffe are also found at
dated to the fourth millennium BP, has in turn yielded obsidian
microliths and plain ceramics used by early nomadic pastoralists with
Djibouti City and
Loyada are a number of
anthropomorphic and phallic stelae . The structures are associated
with graves of rectangular shape that are flanked by vertical slabs,
as also found in central
Ethiopia . The Djibouti-
Loyada stelae are of
uncertain age, and some of them are adorned with a T-shaped symbol.
Land of Punt
Land of Punt Queen Ati, wife of King Perahu of
Punt , as depicted on
Hatshepsut 's temple at
Deir el-Bahri .
Together with northern
Eritrea and the
Red Sea coast of
Djibouti is considered the most likely location of the
territory known to the Ancient Egyptians as Punt (or Ta Netjeru,
meaning "God's Land"). The first mention of the
Land of Punt
Land of Punt dates to
the 25th century BC. The Puntites were a nation of people who had
close relations with
Ancient Egypt during the reign of the 5th dynasty
Sahure and the 18th dynasty Queen
Hatshepsut . According to
the temple murals at
Deir el-Bahari , the
Land of Punt
Land of Punt was ruled at
that time by King Parahu and Queen Ati.
IFAT SULTANATE (1285–1415)
Ifat Sultanate The
Ifat Sultanate 's realm in the
Through close contacts with the adjacent
Arabian Peninsula for more
than 1,000 years, the Somali and Afar ethnic groups in the region
became among the first populations on the continent to embrace
Ifat Sultanate was a
Muslim medieval kingdom in the Horn of
Africa . Founded in 1285 by the
Walashma dynasty , it was centered in
Zeila . Ifat established bases in
Djibouti and northern Somalia, and
from there expanded southward to the
Ahmar Mountains . Its
Walashma (or his son Ali, according to another source) is recorded as
having conquered the Sultanate of Shewa in 1285. Taddesse Tamrat
Sultan Umar's military expedition as an effort to consolidate
Muslim territories in the Horn, in much the same way as Emperor
Yekuno Amlak was attempting to unite the Christian territories in the
highlands during the same period. These two states inevitably came
into conflict over Shewa and territories further south. A lengthy war
ensued, but the
Muslim sultanates of the time were not strongly
unified. Ifat was finally defeated by Emperor
Amda Seyon I of Ethiopia
in 1332, and withdrew from Shewa.
ADAL SULTANATE (1415–1577)
Adal Sultanate The
Sultan of Adal (right) and his
troops battling King Yagbea-Sion and his men.
Islam was introduced to the area early on from the Arabian peninsula
, shortly after the hijra .
Zeila 's two-mihrab Masjid al-Qiblatayn
dates to the 7th century, and is the oldest mosque in the city. In
the late 9th century,
Al-Yaqubi wrote that Muslims were living along
the northern Horn seaboard. He also mentioned that the Adal kingdom
had its capital in Zeila, a port city in the northwestern
abutting Djibouti. This suggests that the
Adal Sultanate with Zeila
as its headquarters dates back to at least the 9th or 10th century.
According to I.M. Lewis, the polity was governed by local dynasties
consisting of Somalized Arabs or Arabized Somalis, who also ruled over
Sultanate of Mogadishu in the
to the south. Adal's history from this founding period forth would be
characterized by a succession of battles with neighbouring Abyssinia .
At its height, the Adal kingdom controlled large parts of modern-day
Eritrea and Ethiopia.
OTTOMAN EYALET (1577–1867)
Egypt Eyalet The Ottoman Eyalet in 1566.
Governor Abou Baker ordered the Egyptian garrison at
Zeila . The cruiser Seignelay reached
Sagallo shortly after
the Egyptians had departed. French troops occupied the fort despite
protests from the British Agent in
Aden , Major Frederick Mercer
Hunter, who dispatched troops to safeguard British and Egyptian
Zeila and prevent further extension of French influence
in that direction.
On 14 April 1884 the Commander of the patrol sloop L'Inferent
reported on the Egyptian occupation in the Gulf of Tadjoura. The
Commander of the patrol sloop Le Vaudreuil reported that the Egyptians
were occupying the interior between
Tadjoura . Emperor
Yohannes IV of
Ethiopia signed an accord with Great Britain to cease
fighting the Egyptians and to allow the evacuation of Egyptian forces
Ethiopia and the
Somalia littoral. The Egyptian garrison was
Léonce Lagarde deployed a patrol sloop to
Tadjoura the following night.
FRENCH SOMALILAND (1894–1977)
French Somaliland Main article: French Territory of
the Afars and the Issas
French Somaliland in 1922.
From 1862 until 1894, the land to the north of the Gulf of Tadjoura
Obock and was ruled by Somali and Afar Sultans, local
authorities with whom
France signed various treaties between 1883 and
1887 to first gain a foothold in the region. In 1894, Léonce
Lagarde established a permanent French administration in the city of
Djibouti and named the region
French Somaliland . It lasted from 1896
until 1967, when it was renamed the Territoire Français des Afars et
des Issas (TFAI) ("
French Territory of the Afars and the Issas ").
In 1958, on the eve of neighboring Somalia's independence in 1960, a
referendum was held in
Djibouti to decide whether to remain with
France or to join the Somali Republic. The referendum turned out in
favour of a continued association with France, partly due to a
combined yes vote by the sizable Afar ethnic group and resident
Europeans. There were also allegations of widespread vote rigging .
The majority of those who had voted no were
Somalis who were strongly
in favour of joining a united
Somalia as had been proposed by Mahmoud
Harbi , Vice President of the Government Council. Harbi was killed in
a plane crash two years later. An aerial view of
Djibouti City ,
the capital of Djibouti.
In 1967, a second plebiscite was held to determine the fate of the
territory. Initial results supported a continued but looser
relationship with France. Voting was also divided along ethnic lines,
with the resident
Somalis generally voting for independence, with the
goal of eventual union with Somalia, and the Afars largely opting to
remain associated with France. The referendum was again marred by
reports of vote rigging on the part of the French authorities. In
1976, members of the
Front de Libération de la Côte des Somalis also
clashed with the Gendarmerie National Intervention Group over a bus
hijacking en route to Loyada. Shortly after the plebiscite was held,
the former Côte française des
Somalis (French Somaliland) was
renamed to Territoire français des Afars et des Issas.
In 1977, a third referendum took place. A landslide 98.8% of the
electorate supported disengagement from France, officially marking
Hassan Gouled Aptidon , a Somali politician
who had campaigned for a yes vote in the referendum of 1958,
eventually wound up as the nation's first president (1977–1999).
During its first year,
Djibouti joined the Organization of African
Unity (now the
African Union ), the
Arab League and United Nations. In
1986, the nascent republic was also among the founding members of the
Intergovernmental Authority on Development regional development
In the early 1990s, tensions over government representation led to
armed conflict between Djibouti's ruling People\'s Rally for Progress
(PRP) party and the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy
(FRUD) opposition group. The impasse ended in a power-sharing
agreement in 2000.
Politics of Djibouti See also: Elections in
Djibouti is a unitary presidential republic , with executive power
resting in the presidency, which is by turn dominant over the cabinet,
and legislative power in both the government and the National Assembly
President of Djibouti,
Ismaïl Omar Guelleh .
The President , currently
Ismaïl Omar Guelleh , is the prominent
Djiboutian politics; the head of state and
commander-in-chief . The President exercises their executive power
assisted by their appointee, the Prime Minister , currently
Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed . The Council of Ministers (cabinet) is
responsible to and presided over by the President.
The judicial system consists of courts of first instance, a High
Court of Appeal, and a Supreme Court. The legal system is a blend of
French civil law ,
Sharia (Islamic law) and customary law (
Xeer ) of
the Somali and Afar peoples.
The National Assembly (formerly the Chamber of Deputies) is the
country's legislature, consisting of 65 members elected every five
years. Although unicameral , the Constitution provides for the
creation of a Senate.
Dileita Mohamed Dileita , the immediate
former Prime Minister of Djibouti.
The last election was held on 22 February 2013.
Djibouti has a
dominant-party system , with the People\'s Rally for Progress (RPP)
controlling the legislature and the executive since its foundation in
1979 (the party currently rules as a part of the Union for a
Presidential Majority , which currently holds a supermajority of
seats). Opposition parties are allowed (limited) freedom, but the main
opposition party, the
Union for National Salvation , boycotted the
2005 and 2008 elections, citing government control of the media and
repression of the opposition candidates.
The government is dominated by the Somali Issa Dir clan, who enjoy
the support of the Somali clans , especially the
Gadabuursi Dir clan.
The country emerged from a decade-long civil war at the end of the
1990s, with the government and the Front for the Restoration of Unity
and Democracy (FRUD) signing a peace treaty in 2000. Two FRUD members
subsequently joined the cabinet, and beginning with the presidential
elections of 1999 , the FRUD has campaigned in support of the RPP.
Djibouti's current president, Guelleh, succeeded Hassan Gouled
Aptidon in office in 1999. Guelleh was sworn in for his second
six-year term after a one-man election on 8 April 2005. He took 100%
of the votes in a 78.9% turnout. In early 2011, the Djiboutian
citizenry took part in a series of protests against the long-serving
government, which were associated with the larger
demonstrations. Guelleh was re-elected to a third term later that
year, with 80.63% of the vote in a 75% turnout. Although opposition
groups boycotted the ballot over changes to the constitution
permitting Guelleh to run again for office, international observers
African Union generally described the election as free and
On 31 March 2013, Guelleh replaced long-serving Prime Minister
Dilleita Mohamed Dilleita with former president of the Union for a
Presidential Majority (UMP)
Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed . In December
2014, the ruling Union for the Presidential Majority also signed a
framework agreement with the Union of National Salvation coalition,
which paves the way for opposition legislators to enter parliament and
for reformation of the national electoral agency.
Foreign relations of Djibouti The Djibouti
National Assembly in
Foreign relations of Djibouti are managed by the
of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
close ties with the governments of
France and the
United States. Relations with
Eritrea are tense due to territorial
claims over the
Ras Doumeira peninsula. Since the 2000s, the
Djiboutian authorities have strengthened ties with China.
likewise an active participant in
Arab League and African Union
Human rights in Djibouti
In its 2011 Freedom in the World report,
Freedom House ranked
Djibouti as "Not Free", a downgrading from its former status as
There are occasional reports of police beating prisoners. Reporters
Without Borders claims that Dirir Ibrahim Bouraleh died from injuries
sustained under torture by Sergeant Major Abdourahman Omar Said from
23–27 April 2011. Conditions in the jails are considered worse, with
no formal system of care.
Security forces frequently make illegal arrests. Jean-Paul Noel Abdi
, president of the
Djiboutian League of Human Rights , was arrested on
9 February 2011 after reporting on opposition protests in connection
Arab Spring earlier that month. According to Human Rights
Watch , he did not support the protests themselves but objected to
what he described as arbitrary arrests . He was later released on
health grounds but the charges remain.
Djibouti Armed Forces Maryama base during a
martial exercise in the
Arta Region .
Djibouti Armed Forces include the
Djibouti National Army, which
consists of the Coastal Navy, the
Djiboutian Air Force (Force Aerienne
Djiboutienne, FAD), and the National Gendarmerie (GN). As of 2011 ,
the manpower available for military service was 170,386 males and
221,411 females aged 16 to 49.
Djibouti spent over US$36 million
annually on its military as of 2011 (141st in the SIPRI database).
Djibouti had two regiments commanded by French
officers. In the early 2000s, it looked outward for a model of army
organization that would best advance defensive capabilities by
restructuring forces into smaller, more mobile units instead of
The first war which involved the
Djiboutian Armed Forces was the
Djiboutian Civil War between the
Djiboutian government, supported by
France, and the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy
(FRUD). The war lasted from 1991 to 2001, although most of the
hostilities ended when the moderate factions of FRUD signed a peace
treaty with the government after suffering an extensive military
setback when the government forces captured most of the rebel-held
territory. A radical group continued to fight the government, but
signed its own peace treaty in 2001. The war ended in a government
victory, and FRUD became a political party.
As the headquarters of the IGAD regional body,
Djibouti has been an
active participant in the Somalian peace process, hosting the Arta
conference in 2000. Following the establishment of the Federal
Somalia in 2012, a
Djibouti delegation also attended
the inauguration ceremony of Somalia's new president.
In 2001, the
Djiboutian government leased the former French military
Camp Lemonnier to the United States Central Command for
operations related to Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa
(CJTF-HOA). In 2009, Central Command transitioned responsibilities in
Africa to AFRICOM . The base has been considerably expanded, with
drone flying part of the operation, and in 2014 a lease running at
least 20 years was signed for its use. France's 13th Demi-Brigade of
the Foreign Legion is based in Djibouti, but not in
Djibouti hosts France's largest military presence abroad, Japan's only
foreign base, while China is building its first overseas base ever in
In recent years,
Djibouti has improved its training techniques,
military command and information structures and has taken steps to
becoming more self-reliant in supplying its military to collaborate
United Nations in peacekeeping missions, or to provide
military help to countries that officially ask for it. Now deployed to
Districts of Djibouti A map of Djibouti's
Djibouti is partitioned into six administrative regions, with
Djibouti city representing one of the official regions. It is further
subdivided into twenty districts .
Ali Sabieh Region ,
(Région d'Ali Sabieh) 2,200
Arta Region ,
(Région d'Arta) 1,800
Dikhil Region ,
(Région de Dikhil) 7,200
Djibouti Region ,
(Ville de Djibouti) 200
529,900 (2015 est.)
Obock Region ,
(Région d'Obock) 4,700
Tadjourah Region ,
(Région de Tadjourah) 7,100
Geography of Djibouti
LOCATION AND HABITAT
Satellite images of
Djibouti during the day (left) and
Djibouti is situated in the
Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa on the
Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden and
Bab-el-Mandeb , at the southern entrance to the
Red Sea . It lies
between latitudes 10° and 13°N and longitudes 41° and 44°E, within
Arabian Plate .
The country's coastline stretches 314 kilometres (195 miles), with
terrain consisting mainly of plateaux, plains and highlands. Djibouti
has a total area of 23,200 square kilometres (9,000 sq mi). Its
borders extend 506 km (314 mi), 113 km (70 mi) of which are shared
Eritrea , 337 km (209 mi) with
Ethiopia , and 58 km (36 mi) with
Djibouti is the southernmost country on the
Arabian Plate .
The Lake Assal area
Djibouti has eight mountain ranges with peaks of over 1,000 metres
(3,300 feet). The
Mousa Ali range is considered the country's highest
mountain range, with the tallest peak on the border with
Eritrea. It has an elevation of 2,028 metres (6,654 feet). The Grand
Bara desert covers parts of southern
Djibouti in the Arta, Ali Sabieh
Dikhil regions. The majority of it sits at a relatively low
elevation, below 1,700 feet (520 metres).
Extreme geographic points include: to the north, Ras Doumera and the
point at which the border with
Eritrea enters the
Red Sea in the Obock
Region; to the east, a section of the
Red Sea coast north of Ras Bir;
to the south, a location on the border with
Ethiopia west of the town
As Ela ; and to the west, a location on the frontier with Ethiopia
immediately east of the Ethiopian town of Afambo .
Djibouti is part of the Ethiopian xeric grasslands and
shrublands ecoregion . The exception is an eastern strip located along
Red Sea coast, which is part of the
Eritrean coastal desert .
Djibouti map of
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification . Semi-arid
Djibouti's climate is significantly warmer and has significantly less
seasonal variation than the world average. Mean daily maximum
temperatures range from 32 to 41 °C (90 to 106 °F), except at high
elevations, where the effects of a cold offshore current can be felt.
Djibouti city , for instance, average afternoon highs range from 28
to 34 °C (82 to 93 °F) in April. Nationally, mean daily minimums
usually vary from 15 to 30 °C (59 to 86 °F). An arid road in
The greatest range in climate occurs in eastern Djibouti, where
temperatures sometimes surpass 41 °C (106 °F) in July on the
littoral plains and the freezing point during December in the
highlands. In this region, relative humidity ranges from about 40% in
the mid-afternoon to 85% at night, changing somewhat according to the
Djibouti's climate ranges from arid in the northeastern coastal
regions to semiarid in the central, northern, western and southern
parts of the country. On the eastern seaboard, annual rainfall is less
than 5 inches (131 mm); in the central highlands, precipitation is
about 8 to 11 inches (200 to 300 mm). The hinterland is significantly
less humid than the coastal regions. The coast has the mildest
climates in Djibouti. The 2015
Djibouti climate change bill has set a
goal for the country to generate 100% of its energy from clean
renewable energy sources by 2020.
Average daily temperatures for the ten cities in
Wildlife of Djibouti The blue-naped mousebird
(Urocolius macrourus), a common bird species in Djibouti.
The country's flora and fauna live in a harsh landscape with forest
accounting for less than one percent of the total area of the country.
Wildlife is spread over three main regions, namely from the northern
mountain region of the country to the volcanic plateaux in its
southern and central part and culminating in the coastal region.
Plant species on the
Mabla Mountains .
Most species of wildlife are found in the northern part of the
country, in the ecosystem of the
Day Forest National Park . At an
average altitude of 1,500 metres (4,921 feet), the area includes the
Goda massif, with a peak of 1,783 m (5,850 ft). It covers an area of
3.5 square kilometres (1 sq mi) of
Juniperus procera forest, with many
of the trees rising to 20 metres (66 feet) height. This forest area is
the main habitat of the endangered and endemic
Djibouti francolin (a
bird), and another recently noted vertebrate, Platyceps afarensis (a
colubrine snake). It also contains many species of woody and
herbaceous plants, including boxwood and olive trees, which account
for 60% of the total identified species in the country.
According to the country profile related to biodiversity of wildlife
in Djibouti, the nation contains more than 820 species of plants, 493
species of invertebrates, 455 species of fish, 40 species of reptiles,
3 species of amphibians, 360 species of birds and 66 species of
Wildlife of Djibouti is also listed as part of Horn of
Africa biodiversity hotspot and the
Red Sea and
Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden coral
reef hotspot. Mammals include several species of antelope, such as
Soemmerring's gazelle and Pelzeln's gazelle. As a result of the
hunting ban imposed since early 1970 these species are well conserved
now. Other characteristic mammals are Grevy\'s zebra , hamadryas
baboon and Hunter\'s antelope . The warthog , a vulnerable species, is
also found in the Day National park. The coastal waters have dugongs
Abyssinian genet ; the latter needs confirmation by further
studies. Green turtles and hawksbill turtles are in the coastal waters
where nestling also takes place. The Northeast African cheetah
Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii is thought to be extinct in Djibouti.
Economy of Djibouti
Djibouti GDP by sector
Djibouti's economy is largely concentrated in the service sector.
Commercial activities revolve around the country's free trade policies
and strategic location as a
Red Sea transit point. Due to limited
rainfall, vegetables and fruits are the principal production crops,
and other food items require importation. The GDP (purchasing power
parity) in 2013 was estimated at $2.505 billion, with a real growth
rate of 5% annually. Per capita income is around $2,874 (PPP). The
services sector constituted around 79.7% of the GDP, followed by
industry at 17.3%, and agriculture at 3%.
As of 2013 , the container terminal at the
Port of Djibouti handles
the bulk of the nation's trade. About 70% of the seaport's activity
consists of imports to and exports from neighboring
Ethiopia , which
depends on the harbour as its main maritime outlet. The port also
serves as an international refueling center and transshipment hub. In
Djiboutian government in collaboration with DP World started
construction of the Doraleh Container Terminal, a third major seaport
intended to further develop the national transit capacity. A$396
million project, it has the capacity to accommodate 1.5 million twenty
foot container units annually.
Djibouti was ranked the 177th safest investment destination in the
world in the March 2011 Euromoney
Country Risk rankings. To improve
the environment for direct foreign investment, the Djibouti
authorities in conjunction with various non-profit organizations have
launched a number of development projects aimed at highlighting the
country's commercial potential. The government has also introduced new
private sector policies targeting high interest and inflation rates,
including relaxing the tax burden on enterprises and allowing
exemptions on consumption tax. A proportional representation of
Additionally, efforts have been made to lower the estimated 60% urban
unemployment rate by creating more job opportunities through
investment in diversified sectors. Funds have especially gone toward
building telecommunications infrastructure and increasing disposable
income by supporting small businesses. Owing to its growth potential,
the fishing and agro-processing sector, which represents around 15% of
GDP, has also enjoyed rising investment since 2008.
To expand the modest industrial sector, a 56 megawatt geothermal
power plant slated to be completed by 2018 is being constructed with
the help of
OPEC , the
World Bank and the Global Environmental
Facility . The facility is expected to solve the recurring electricity
shortages, decrease the nation's reliance on
Ethiopia for energy,
reduce costly oil imports for diesel-generated electricity, and
thereby buttress the GDP and lower debt.
Djibouti firm Salt Investment (SIS) began a large-scale operation
to industrialize the plentiful salt in Djibouti's Lake Assal region.
Operating at an annual capacity of 4 million tons, the desalination
project has lifted export revenues, created more job opportunities,
and provided more fresh water for the area's residents. In 2012, the
Djibouti government also enlisted the services of the China Harbor
Engineering Company Ltd for the construction of an ore terminal. Worth
$64 million, the project is scheduled to be completed within two years
and will enable
Djibouti to export a further 5,000 tons of salt per
year to markets in Southeast Asia. Djibouti's gross domestic
product expanded by an average of more than 6 percent per year, from
US$341 million in 1985 to US$1.5 billion in 2015.
Djibouti's gross domestic product expanded by an average of more than
6 percent per year, from US$341 million in 1985 to US$1.5 billion in
Djiboutian franc is the currency of Djibouti. It is issued
Central Bank of Djibouti , the country's monetary authority .
Djiboutian franc is pegged to the U.S. dollar, it is
generally stable and inflation is not a problem. This has contributed
to the growing interest in investment in the country.
As of 2010 , 10 conventional and Islamic banks operate in Djibouti.
Most arrived within the past few years, including the Somali money
Dahabshiil and BDCD, a subsidiary of Swiss Financial
Investments. The banking system had previously been monopolized by two
institutions: the Indo-
Suez Bank and the Commercial and Industrial
Bank (BCIMR). To assure a robust credit and deposit sector, the
government requires commercial banks to maintain 30% of shares in the
financial institution; a minimum of 300 million
Djiboutian francs in
up-front capital is mandatory for international banks. Lending has
likewise been encouraged by the creation of a guarantee fund, which
allows banks to issue loans to eligible small- and medium-sized
businesses without first requiring a large deposit or other
Saudi investors are also reportedly exploring the possibility of
Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa with the
Arabian Peninsula via a
28.5-kilometre-long (17.7 mi) oversea bridge through Djibouti,
referred to as the
Bridge of the Horns . The investor Tarek bin Laden
has been linked to the project. However, it was announced in June 2010
that Phase I of the project had been delayed.
TRANSPORT IN DJIBOUTI
Transport in Djibouti Main Terminal at
Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport .
The country's only international airport in
Djibouti City serves many
intercontinental routes with scheduled and chartered flights. Air
Djibouti is the flag carrier of
Djibouti and is the country's largest
Ethio-Djibouti Railways a meter-gauge railway that was originally
built by the French between 1894 and 1917. Although the railway is no
longer operational, there are plans for the construction of a new
modern rail line in the near future. The new Addis Ababa-Djibouti
Railway started operation in September 2016. On 10 January 2017 the
entire line was declared fully completed and a ceremony was held in
Nagad railway station to inaugurate the
Djibouti section. Railway
services are provided by
Djibouti Rail, which operates all commuter
and freight railway services in the country.
Djibouti's improved natural harbor consists of a roadstead, outer
harbor, and inner harbor. The roadstead is well protected by reefs and
the configuration of the land. A quarter of Ethiopia's imports and
half of its exports move through the ports. Car ferries pass the Gulf
Djibouti City to
Djiboutian highway system is named according to the road
classification. Roads that are considered primary roads are those that
are fully asphalted (throughout their entire length) and in general
they carry traffic between all the major towns in Djibouti.
MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Media of Djibouti and
Telecommunications in Djibouti
Djibouti Telecom headquarters in
Djibouti City .
Telecommunications in Djibouti fall under the authority of the
Ministry of Communication.
Djibouti Telecom is the sole provider of telecommunication services.
It mostly utilizes a microwave radio relay network. A fiber-optic
cable is installed in the capital, whereas rural areas are connected
via wireless local loop radio systems. Mobile cellular coverage is
primarily limited to the area in and around
Djibouti city. As of 2015
, 23,000 telephone main lines and 312,000 mobile/cellular lines were
in use. An SEA-ME-WE 3 submarine cable operates to
Colombo and Singapore. Telephone satellite earth
stations include 1
Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1
Arabsat . Medarabtel
is the regional microwave radio relay telephone network.
Radio Television of Djibouti is the state-owned national broadcaster.
It operates the sole terrestrial TV station, as well as the two
domestic radio networks on AM 1, FM 2, and shortwave 0. Licensing and
operation of broadcast media is regulated by the government. Movie
theaters include the Odeon Cinema in the capital.
As of 2012 , there were 215 local internet service providers.
Internet users comprised around 99,000 individuals (2015). The
internet country top-level domain is
TOURISM IN DJIBOUTI
Tourism in Djibouti Khor Ambado on the Gulf of
Tourism in Djibouti is one of the growing economic sectors of the
country and is an industry that generates 53,000 and 63,000 arrivals
per year, with its favorable beaches and climate and also include
islands and beaches in the Gulf of
Tadjoura and the
Bab al-Mandab .
The majority of tourists come to
Djibouti from Europe. Other visitors
come from North America and Asia. In 1995, there were 21,000 visitors
but in 2013 there were 63,000.
ENERGY IN DJIBOUTI
According to an August 2003 Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Djibouti has an installed electrical power generating
capacity of 85 MW, which is generated from an oil-fired generating
station in the capital. In 2002 electrical power output was put at 232
GWh, with consumption at 216 GWh. At 2015, per capita annual
electricity consumption is about 330 kilowatt-hours (kWh), moreover,
about 55% of the population does not have access to electricity, and
the level of unmet demand in the country's power sector is
significant. Increased hydropower imports from
Ethiopia , which
currently satisfy 30% of
Djibouti demand, will play a significant role
in boosting the country's renewable energy supply. The geothermal
potential is generated particular interest by Japan, with 13 potential
sites, they have already started the construction on one site near
Lake Assal. The construction of the Photovoltaic power station (solar
Grand Bara will generated 50 MW capacity.
Demographics of Djibouti and
Djiboutian A Somali
man in a traditional taqiyah . An Afar man in nomadic attire.
Djibouti has a population of about 846,687 inhabitants. It is a
multiethnic country. The local population grew rapidly during the
latter half of the 20th century, increasing from about 83 thousand in
1960 to around 846 thousand by 2016. The two largest ethnic groups are
the Somali (60%) and the Afar (35%). The
Somali clan component is
mainly composed of the Issas sub-clan of the larger Dir , with smaller
Gadabuursi Dir and
Isaaq . The remaining 5% of Djibouti's population
primarily consists of Yemeni Arabs , Ethiopians and Europeans (French
and Italians). Approximately 76% of local residents are urban
dwellers; the remainder are pastoralists .
Djibouti also hosts a
number of immigrants and refugees from neighboring states, with
Djibouti City nicknamed the "French Hong Kong in the Red Sea" due to
its cosmopolitan urbanism.
Languages of Djibouti
Djibouti is a multilingual nation. The majority of local residents
speak Somali (524,000 speakers) and Afar (306,000 speakers) as a first
language. These idioms are the mother tongues of the Somali and Afar
ethnic groups, respectively. Both languages belong to the larger
Afroasiatic (Hamito-Semitic) family. There are two official languages
in Djibouti: Arabic (Afroasiatic) and French (Indo-European ).
Languages of Djibouti Somali (60%) Afar (35%) Arabic (3%)
Arabic is of social, cultural and religious importance. In formal
settings, it consists of
Modern Standard Arabic . Colloquially, about
59,000 local residents speak the Ta\'izzi-Adeni Arabic dialect, also
Djibouti Arabic. French serves as a statutory national
language. It was inherited from the colonial period, and is the
primary language of instruction. Around 17,000 Djiboutians speak it as
a first language. Immigrant languages include
Omani Arabic (38,900
Amharic (1,400 speakers), Greek (1,000 speakers) and Hindi
Christianity in Djibouti
Djibouti's population is predominantly
Islam is observed by
around 94% of the nation's population (approximately 740,000 as of
2012 ), whereas the remaining 6% of residents are Christian adherents.
RELIGION IN DJIBOUTI
Islam entered the region very early on, as a group of persecuted
Muslims had sought refuge across the
Red Sea in the
Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa at
the urging of the Islamic prophet
Muhammad . In 1900, during the early
part of the colonial era, there were virtually no Christians in the
territories, with only about 100–300 followers coming from the
schools and orphanages of the few Catholic missions in the French
Somaliland . The
Constitution of Djibouti names
Islam as the sole
state religion , and also provides for the equality of citizens of all
faiths (Article 1) and freedom of religious practice (Article 11).
Most local Muslims adhere to the Sunni denomination, following the
Shafi\'i school. The non-denominational Muslims largely belong to Sufi
orders of varying schools. According to the International Religious
Freedom Report 2008, while
Muslim Djiboutians have the legal right to
convert to or marry someone from another faith, converts may encounter
negative reactions from their family and clan or from society at
large, and they often face pressure to go back to Islam.
The Diocese of
Djibouti serves the small local Catholic population,
which it estimates numbered around 7,000 individuals in 2006.
Largest cities or towns in Djibouti
Ali Sabieh 1
Ali Sabieh Region
Ali Sabieh Region
Health in Djibouti Entrance to the ISSS Faculty
of Medicine in
The life expectancy at birth is around 63.2 for both males and
females. Fertility is at 2.35 children per woman. In
are about 18 doctors per 100,000 persons.
The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for
300. This is compared with 461.6 in 2008 and 606.5 in 1990. The under
5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 95 and the neonatal mortality as
a percentage of under 5's mortality are 37. In
Djibouti the number of
midwives per 1,000 live births is 6 and the lifetime risk of death for
pregnant women 1 in 93.
About 93.1% of Djibouti's women and girls have undergone female
genital mutilation (female circumcision), a pre-marital custom mainly
endemic to Northeast
Africa and parts of the
Near East that has its
ultimate origins in
Ancient Egypt . Although legally proscribed in
1994, the procedure is still widely practiced, as it is deeply
ingrained in the local culture. Encouraged and performed by women in
the community, circumcision is primarily intended to deter promiscuity
and to offer protection from assault.
About 94% of Djibouti's male population have also reportedly
undergone male circumcision .
Education in Djibouti
Education is a priority for the government of Djibouti. As of 2009 ,
it allocates 20.5% of its annual budget to scholastic instruction.
Djiboutian women participating in the Global Pulse educational
Djiboutian educational system was initially formulated to cater
to a limited pupil base. As such, the schooling framework was largely
elitist and drew considerably from the French colonial paradigm, which
was ill-suited to local circumstances and needs.
In the late 1990s, the
Djiboutian authorities revised the national
educational strategy and launched a broad-based consultative process
involving administrative officials, teachers, parents, national
assembly members and NGOs. The initiative identified areas in need of
attention and produced concrete recommendations on how to go about
improving them. The government subsequently prepared a comprehensive
reform plan aimed at modernizing the educational sector over the
2000–10 period. In August 2000, it passed an official Education
Planning Act and drafted a medium-term development plan for the next
five years. The fundamental academic system was significantly
restructured and made compulsory; it now consists of five years of
primary school and four years of middle school. Secondary schools also
require a Certificate of Fundamental Education for admission. In
addition, the new law introduced secondary-level vocational
instruction and established university facilities in the country.
As a result of the Education Planning Act and the medium-term action
strategy, substantial progress has been registered throughout the
educational sector. In particular, school enrollment, attendance, and
retention rates have all steadily increased, with some regional
variation. From 2004 to 2005 to 2007–08, net enrollments of girls in
primary school rose by 18.6%; for boys, it increased 8.0%. Net
enrollments in middle school over the same period rose by 72.4% for
girls and 52.2% for boys. At the secondary level, the rate of increase
in net enrollments was 49.8% for girls and 56.1% for boys.
Djiboutian government has especially focused on developing and
improving institutional infrastructure and teaching materials,
including constructing new classrooms and supplying textbooks. At the
post-secondary level, emphasis has also been placed on producing
qualified instructors and encouraging out-of-school youngsters to
pursue vocational training. As of 2012 , the literacy rate in
Djibouti was estimated at 70%.
Institutions of higher learning in the country include the University
Culture of Djibouti Traditional
wood-carved jar from Oue\'a in the Tadjourah region.
Djiboutian attire reflects the region's hot and arid climate. When
not dressed in Western clothing such as jeans and T-shirts, men
typically wear the macawiis, which is a traditional sarong -like
garment worn around the waist. Many nomadic people wear a loosely
wrapped white cotton robe called a tobe that goes down to about the
knee, with the end thrown over the shoulder (much like a Roman toga ).
Women typically wear the dirac, which is a long, light, diaphanous
voile dress made of cotton or polyester that is worn over a
full-length half-slip and a bra. Married women tend to sport
head-scarves referred to as shash and often cover their upper body
with a shawl known as garbasaar. Unmarried or young women, however, do
not always cover their heads. Traditional Arabian garb such as the
male jellabiya (jellabiyaad in Somali) and the female jilbāb is also
commonly worn. For some occasions such as festivals, women may adorn
themselves with specialized jewelry and head-dresses similar to those
worn by the Berber tribes of the
A lot of Djibouti's original art is passed on and preserved orally,
mainly through song. Many examples of Islamic, Ottoman, and French
influences can also be noted in the local buildings, which contain
plasterwork, carefully constructed motifs , and calligraphy .
Music of Djibouti The oud is a common instrument
Somalis have a rich musical heritage centered on traditional Somali
folklore . Most Somali songs are pentatonic . That is, they only use
five pitches per octave in contrast to a heptatonic (seven note) scale
such as the major scale . At first listen, Somali music might be
mistaken for the sounds of nearby regions such as Ethiopia,
Arabian Peninsula , but it is ultimately recognizable by its own
unique tunes and styles. Somali songs are usually the product of
collaboration between lyricists (midho), songwriters (laxan) and
singers (codka or "voice").
Balwo is a Somali musical style centered
on love themes that is popular in Djibouti.
Traditional Afar music resembles the folk music of other parts of the
Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa such as
Ethiopia ; it also contains elements of Arabic
music . The history of
Djibouti is recorded in the poetry and songs of
its nomadic people, and goes back thousands of years to a time when
the peoples of
Djibouti traded hides and skins for the perfumes and
spices of ancient
India and China. Afar oral literature is
also quite musical. It comes in many varieties, including songs for
weddings, war, praise and boasting.
Literature of Djibouti
Djibouti has a long tradition of poetry. Several well-developed
Somali forms of verse include the gabay, jiifto, geeraar, wiglo,
buraanbur, beercade, afarey and guuraw. The gabay (epic poem) has the
most complex length and meter, often exceeding 100 lines. It is
considered the mark of poetic attainment when a young poet is able to
compose such verse, and is regarded as the height of poetry. Groups of
memorizers and reciters (hafidayaal) traditionally propagated the
well-developed art form. Poems revolve around several main themes,
including baroorodiiq (elegy), amaan (praise), jacayl (romance),
guhaadin (diatribe), digasho (gloating) and guubaabo (guidance). The
baroorodiiq is composed to commemorate the death of a prominent poet
or figure. The Afar are familiar with the ginnili, a kind of
warrior-poet and diviner, and have a rich oral tradition of folk
stories. They also have an extensive repertoire of battle songs.
Djibouti has a long tradition of Islamic literature.
Among the most prominent such historical works is the medieval Futuh
Al-Habash by Shihāb al-Dīn, which chronicles the Adal Sultanate
army's conquest of Abyssinia during the 16th century. In recent
years, a number of politicians and intellectuals have also penned
memoirs or reflections on the country.
Football is the most popular sport amongst Djiboutians. The country
became a member of
FIFA in 1994, but has only taken part in the
qualifying rounds for the
African Cup of Nations
African Cup of Nations as well as the FIFA
World Cup in the mid-2000s. In November 2007, the
football team beat Somalia\'s national squad 1–0 in the
qualification rounds for the 2010
FIFA World Cup , marking its first
ever World Cup-related win.
Djiboutian cuisine A plate of sambusas a popular
Djiboutian cuisine is a mixture of Somali , Afar , Yemeni , and
French cuisine , with some additional South Asian (especially Indian )
culinary influences. Local dishes are commonly prepared using a lot of
Middle Eastern spices, ranging from saffron to cinnamon . Spicy dishes
come in many variations, from the traditional Fah-fah or "Soupe
Djiboutienne" (spicy boiled beef soup), to the yetakelt wet (spicy
mixed vegetable stew). Xalwo (pronounced "halwo") or halva is a
popular confection eaten during festive occasions, such as Eid
celebrations or wedding receptions.
Halva is made from sugar, corn
starch , cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and ghee . Peanuts are
sometimes added to enhance texture and flavor. After meals, homes are
traditionally perfumed using incense (cuunsi) or frankincense
(lubaan), which is prepared inside an incense burner referred to as a
Outline of Djibouti
Index of Djibouti-related articles
Association des Scouts de Djibouti
Pan Sahel Initiative
Telecommunications in Djibouti
Transport in Djibouti
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* This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA
World Factbook website
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