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Africa :: Djibouti Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Djibouti
  • Background field listing
    The region of present-day Djibouti was the site of the medieval Ifat and Adal Sultanates. In the late 19th century, treaties signed by the ruling Somali and Afar sultans with the French allowed the latter to establish the colony of French Somaliland. The designation continued in use until 1967, when the name was changed to the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas. Upon independence in 1977, the country was named after its capital city of Djibouti. Hassan Gouled APTIDON installed an authoritarian one-party state and proceeded to serve as president until 1999. Unrest among the Afar minority during the 1990s led to a civil war that ended in 2001 with a peace accord between Afar rebels and the Somali Issa-dominated government. In 1999, Djibouti's first multiparty presidential election resulted in the election of Ismail Omar GUELLEH as president; he was reelected to a second term in 2005 and extended his tenure in office via a constitutional amendment, which allowed him to serve a third term in 2011 and begin a fourth term in 2016. Djibouti occupies a strategic geographic location at the intersection of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Its ports handle 95% of Ethiopia’s trade. Djibouti’s ports also service transshipments between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The government holds longstanding ties to France, which maintains a military presence in the country, as does the US, Japan, Italy, Germany, Spain, and China.
  • Geography :: Djibouti
  • Location field listing
    Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    11 30 N, 43 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 23,200 sq km
    land: 23,180 sq km
    water: 20 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly smaller than New Jersey
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 528 km
    border countries (3): Eritrea 125 km, Ethiopia 342 km, Somalia 61 km
    Coastline field listing
    314 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    Climate field listing
    desert; torrid, dry
    Terrain field listing
    coastal plain and plateau separated by central mountains
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 430 m
    lowest point: Lac Assal -155 m
    highest point: Moussa Ali 2,021 m
    Natural resources field listing
    potential geothermal power, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble, salt, diatomite, gypsum, pumice, petroleum
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 73.4% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 0.1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 73.3% (2011 est.)
    forest: 0.2% (2011 est.)
    other: 26.4% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    10 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    most densely populated areas are in the east; the largest city is Djibouti, with a population over 600,000; no other city in the country has a total population over 50,000 as shown in this population distribution map
    Natural hazards field listing

    earthquakes; droughts; occasional cyclonic disturbances from the Indian Ocean bring heavy rains and flash floods

    volcanism: experiences limited volcanic activity; Ardoukoba (298 m) last erupted in 1978; Manda-Inakir, located along the Ethiopian border, is also historically active

    Environment - current issues field listing
    inadequate supplies of potable water; water pollution; limited arable land; deforestation (forests threatened by agriculture and the use of wood for fuel); desertification; endangered species
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note field listing
    strategic location near world's busiest shipping lanes and close to Arabian oilfields; terminus of rail traffic into Ethiopia; mostly wasteland; Lac Assal (Lake Assal) is the lowest point in Africa and the saltiest lake in the world
  • People and Society :: Djibouti
  • Population field listing
    921,804 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Djiboutian(s)
    adjective: Djiboutian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Somali 60%, Afar 35%, other 5% (mostly Yemeni Arab, also French, Ethiopian, and Italian)
    Languages field listing
    French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar
    Religions field listing
    Sunni Muslim 94% (nearly all Djiboutians), Christian 6% (mainly foreign-born residents)
    Demographic profile field listing

    Djibouti is a poor, predominantly urban country, characterized by high rates of illiteracy, unemployment, and childhood malnutrition. More than 75% of the population lives in cities and towns (predominantly in the capital, Djibouti). The rural population subsists primarily on nomadic herding. Prone to droughts and floods, the country has few natural resources and must import more than 80% of its food from neighboring countries or Europe. Health care, particularly outside the capital, is limited by poor infrastructure, shortages of equipment and supplies, and a lack of qualified personnel. More than a third of health care recipients are migrants because the services are still better than those available in their neighboring home countries. The nearly universal practice of female genital cutting reflects Djibouti’s lack of gender equality and is a major contributor to obstetrical complications and its high rates of maternal and infant mortality. A 1995 law prohibiting the practice has never been enforced.

    Because of its political stability and its strategic location at the confluence of East Africa and the Gulf States along the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, Djibouti is a key transit point for migrants and asylum seekers heading for the Gulf States and beyond. Each year some hundred thousand people, mainly Ethiopians and some Somalis, journey through Djibouti, usually to the port of Obock, to attempt a dangerous sea crossing to Yemen. However, with the escalation of the ongoing Yemen conflict, Yemenis began fleeing to Djibouti in March 2015, with almost 20,000 arriving by August 2017. Most Yemenis remain unregistered and head for Djibouti City rather than seeking asylum at one of Djibouti’s three spartan refugee camps. Djibouti has been hosting refugees and asylum seekers, predominantly Somalis and lesser numbers of Ethiopians and Eritreans, at camps for 20 years, despite lacking potable water, food shortages, and unemployment.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 29.97% (male 138,701/female 137,588)
    15-24 years: 20.32% (male 88,399/female 98,955)
    25-54 years: 40.73% (male 156,016/female 219,406)
    55-64 years: 5.01% (male 19,868/female 26,307)
    65 years and over: 3.97% (male 16,245/female 20,319) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 50.6
    youth dependency ratio: 43.6
    elderly dependency ratio: 7.1
    potential support ratio: 14.1 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 24.9 years
    male: 23 years
    female: 26.4 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Population growth rate field listing
    2.07% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Birth rate field listing
    22.7 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Death rate field listing
    7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Net migration rate field listing
    5.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Population distribution field listing
    most densely populated areas are in the east; the largest city is Djibouti, with a population over 600,000; no other city in the country has a total population over 50,000 as shown in this population distribution map
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 78.1% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 1.67% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    576,000 DJIBOUTI (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.71 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.76 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.83 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    248 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 41.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 47.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 35.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 64.7 years
    male: 62.1 years
    female: 67.4 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    Total fertility rate field listing
    2.19 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    19% (2012)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 99.3% of population
    rural: 59.1% of population
    total: 90.3% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0.7% of population
    rural: 40.9% of population
    total: 9.7% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    3.3% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    0.22 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    1.4 beds/1,000 population (2017)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 84% of population
    rural: 21.5% of population
    total: 70.1% of population
    unimproved: urban: 16% of population
    rural: 78.5% of population
    total: 29.9% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.9% (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    6,800 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <500 (2019 est.)
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    13.5% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    29.9% (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Education expenditures field listing
    4.5% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 7 years
    male: 7 years
    female: 67 years (2011)
  • Government :: Djibouti
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Republic of Djibouti
    conventional short form: Djibouti
    local long form: Republique de Djibouti/Jumhuriyat Jibuti
    local short form: Djibouti/Jibuti
    former: French Somaliland, French Territory of the Afars and Issas
    etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Djibouti
    Government type field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Djibouti
    geographic coordinates: 11 35 N, 43 09 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: the origin of the name is disputed; multiple descriptions, possibilities, and theories have been proposed
    Administrative divisions field listing
    6 districts (cercles, singular - cercle); Ali Sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Djibouti, Obock, Tadjourah
    Independence field listing
    27 June 1977 (from France)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 27 June (1977)
    Constitution field listing
    history: approved by referendum 4 September 1992
    amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by the National Assembly; Assembly consideration of proposals requires assent at least one third of the membership; passage requires a simple majority vote by the Assembly and approval by simple majority vote in a referendum; the president can opt to bypass a referendum if adopted by at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly; constitutional articles on the sovereignty of Djibouti, its republican form of government, and its pluralist form of democracy cannot by amended; amended 2006, 2008, 2010
    International law organization participation field listing
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: the mother must be a citizen of Djibouti
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Ismail Omar GUELLEH (since 8 May 1999)
    head of government: Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil MOHAMED (since 1 April 2013)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term; election last held on 8 April 2016 (next to be held by 2021); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: Ismail Omar GUELLEH reelected president for a fourth term; percent of vote - Ismail Omar GUELLEH (RPP) 87%, Omar Elmi KHAIREH (CDU) 7.3%, other 5.6%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale, formerly the Chamber of Deputies (65 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 23 February 2018 (next to be held in February 2023)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UMP 57, UDJ-PDD 7, CDU 1; composition - men 47, women 18, percent of women 26.7%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA magistrates); Constitutional Council (consists of 6 magistrates)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court magistrates appointed by the president with the advice of the Superior Council of the Magistracy CSM, a 10-member body consisting of 4 judges, 3 members (non parliamentarians and judges) appointed by the president, and 3 appointed by the National Assembly president or speaker; magistrates appointed for life with retirement at age 65; Constitutional Council magistrate appointments - 2 by the president of the republic, 2 by the president of the National Assembly, and 2 by the CSM; magistrates appointed for 8-year, non-renewable terms
    subordinate courts: High Court of Appeal; 5 Courts of First Instance; customary courts; State Court (replaced sharia courts in 2003)
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Center for United Democrats or CDU [Ahmed Mohamed YOUSSOUF, chairman]
    Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Abdillahi HAMARITEH]
    Djibouti Development Party or PDD [Mohamed Daoud CHEHEM]
    Front for Restoration of Unity and Democracy (Front pour la Restauration de l'Unite Democratique) or FRUD [Ali Mohamed DAOUD]
    Movement for Democratic Renewal and Development [Daher Ahmed FARAH]
    Movement for Development and Liberty or MoDel [Ismail Ahmed WABERI]
    National Democratic Party or PND [Aden Robleh AWALEH]
    People's Rally for Progress or RPP [Ismail Omar GUELLEH] (governing party)
    Peoples Social Democratic Party or PPSD [Hasna Moumin BAHDON]
    Republican Alliance for Democracy or ARD [Aden Mohamed ABDOU, interim president]
    Union for a Presidential Majority or UMP (coalition includes RPP, FRUD, PND, PPSD)
    Union for Democracy and Justice or UDJ [Ilya Ismail GUEDI Hared]
    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed Said DOUALEH (28 December 2016)
    chancery: 1156 15th Street NW, Suite 515, Washington, DC 20005
    telephone: [1] (202) 331-0270
    FAX: [1] (202) 331-0302
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Larry Edward ANDRE, Jr. (since 20 November 2017)
    telephone: [253] 21 45 30 00
    embassy: Lot 350-B, Haramouss B. P. 185
    mailing address: B.P. 185, Djibouti
    FAX: [253] 21 45 31 29
    Flag description field listing
    two equal horizontal bands of light blue (top) and light green with a white isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bearing a red five-pointed star in the center; blue stands for sea and sky and the Issa Somali people; green symbolizes earth and the Afar people; white represents peace; the red star recalls the struggle for independence and stands for unity
    National symbol(s) field listing
    red star; national colors: light blue, green, white, red
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Jabuuti" (Djibouti)
    lyrics/music: Aden ELMI/Abdi ROBLEH

    note: adopted 1977

  • Economy :: Djibouti
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Djibouti's economy is based on service activities connected with the country's strategic location as a deepwater port on the Red Sea. Three-fourths of Djibouti's inhabitants live in the capital city; the remainder are mostly nomadic herders. Scant rainfall and less than 4% arable land limits crop production to small quantities of fruits and vegetables, and most food must be imported.

    Djibouti provides services as both a transit port for the region and an international transshipment and refueling center. Imports, exports, and reexports represent 70% of port activity at Djibouti's container terminal. Reexports consist primarily of coffee from landlocked neighbor Ethiopia. Djibouti has few natural resources and little industry. The nation is, therefore, heavily dependent on foreign assistance to support its balance of payments and to finance development projects. An official unemployment rate of nearly 40% - with youth unemployment near 80% - continues to be a major problem. Inflation was a modest 3% in 2014-2017, due to low international food prices and a decline in electricity tariffs.

    Djibouti’s reliance on diesel-generated electricity and imported food and water leave average consumers vulnerable to global price shocks, though in mid-2015 Djibouti passed new legislation to liberalize the energy sector. The government has emphasized infrastructure development for transportation and energy and Djibouti – with the help of foreign partners, particularly China – has begun to increase and modernize its port capacity. In 2017, Djibouti opened two of the largest projects in its history, the Doraleh Port and Djibouti-Addis Ababa Railway, funded by China as part of the "Belt and Road Initiative," which will increase the country’s ability to capitalize on its strategic location.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $3.64 billion (2017 est.)
    $3.411 billion (2016 est.)
    $3.203 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 183
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $2.029 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    6.7% (2017 est.)
    6.5% (2016 est.)
    6.5% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $3,600 (2017 est.)
    $3,400 (2016 est.)
    $3,300 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 185
    Gross national saving field listing
    22.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
    38.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    19% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 56.5% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 29.2% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 41.8% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.3% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 38.6% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -66.4% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 2.4% (2017 est.)
    industry: 17.3% (2017 est.)
    services: 80.2% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    fruits, vegetables; goats, sheep, camels, animal hides
    Industries field listing
    construction, agricultural processing, shipping
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    2.7% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Labor force field listing
    294,600 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: NA
    industry: NA
    services: NA
    Unemployment rate field listing
    40% (2017 est.)
    60% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    Population below poverty line field listing
    23% (2015 est.)

    note: percent of population below $1.25 per day at purchasing power parity

    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2.4%
    highest 10%: 30.9% (2002)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 717 million (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 899.2 million (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    35.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    Public debt field listing
    31.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    33.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    0.7% (2017 est.)
    2.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    Current account balance field listing
    -$280 million (2017 est.)
    -$178 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Exports field listing
    $139.9 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    Exports - partners field listing
    Ethiopia 38.8%, Somalia 17.1%, Qatar 9.1%, Brazil 8.9%, Yemen 4.9%, US 4.6% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    reexports, hides and skins, scrap metal
    Imports field listing
    $726.4 million (2017 est.)
    $705.2 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    Imports - commodities field listing
    foods, beverages, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, clothing
    Imports - partners field listing
    UAE 25%, France 15.2%, Saudi Arabia 11%, China 9.6%, Ethiopia 6.8%, Yemen 4.6% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $547.7 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $398.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Debt - external field listing
    $1.954 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.519 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Exchange rates field listing
    Djiboutian francs (DJF) per US dollar -
    177.7 (2017 est.)
    177.72 (2016 est.)
    177.72 (2015 est.)
    177.72 (2014 est.)
    177.72 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Djibouti
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 400,000 (2019)
    electrification - total population: 42% (2019)
    electrification - urban areas: 54% (2019)
    electrification - rural areas: 1% (2019)
    Electricity - production field listing
    405.5 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    377.1 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    130,300 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    6,360 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    403 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    6,692 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    950,200 Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
  • Communications :: Djibouti
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 34,671
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3.84 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 371,992
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 41.2 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: telephone facilities in the city of Djibouti are adequate, as are the microwave radio relay connections to outlying areas of the country; Djibouti is one of the few remaining countries in which the national telco, Djibouti Telecom (DT), has a monopoly on all telecom services, including fixed lines, mobile, Internet and broadband; the lack of competition has meant that the market has not lived up to its potential; broadband's growth held back by the expense and mobile and Internet markets need foreign investment (2020)
    domestic: 4 per 100 fixed-line and 41 per 100 mobile-cellular; Djibouti Telecom (DT) is the sole provider of telecommunications services and utilizes mostly a microwave radio relay network; fiber-optic cable is installed in the capital; rural areas connected via wireless local loop radio systems; mobile cellular coverage is primarily limited to the area in and around Djibouti city (2019)
    international: country code - 253; landing points for the SEA-ME-WE-3 & 5, EASSy, Aden-Djibouti, Africa-1, DARE-1, EIG, MENA, Bridge International, PEACE Cable, and SEACOM fiber-optic submarine cable systems providing links to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and Africa; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean and 1 Arabsat) (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    state-owned Radiodiffusion-Television de Djibouti operates the sole terrestrial TV station, as well as the only 2 domestic radio networks; no private TV or radio stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 492,221
    percent of population: 55.68% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 25,508
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
  • Transportation :: Djibouti
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 4
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    J2 (2016)
    Airports field listing
    13 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 3 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 10 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2013)
    under 914 m: 2 (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 97 km (Djibouti segment of the 756 km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway) (2017)
    standard gauge: 97 km 1.435-m gauge (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Roadways field listing
    total: 2,893 km (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 20
    by type: general cargo 1, other 19 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Djibouti
  • Military and Security :: Djibouti
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Djibouti Armed Forces (FAD): Djibouti National Army (includes Navy, Djiboutian Air Force, National Gendarmerie); Djibouti Coast Guard (2019)
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Djibouti Armed Forces (FAD) have approximately 10,500 active troops (8,000 Army; 250 Naval; 250 Air; 2,000 Gendarmerie); 150 Coast Guard (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the FAD is armed mostly with older French and Soviet-era weapons systems; since 2010, it has received limited amounts of newer equipment, with China and the US as the largest suppliers (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    960 Somalia (AMISOM) (2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; 16-25 years of age for voluntary military training; no conscription (2012)
    Maritime threats field listing
    the International Maritime Bureau reports offshore waters in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden remain a high risk for piracy; the presence of several naval task forces in the Gulf of Aden and additional anti-piracy measures on the part of ship operators, including the use of on-board armed security teams, contributed to the drop in incidents; there was one incident in the Gulf of Aden and none in the Red Sea in 2018; Operation Ocean Shield, the NATO/EUNAVFOR naval task force established in 2009 to combat Somali piracy, concluded its operations in December 2016 as a result of the drop in reported incidents over the last few years; the EU naval mission, Operation ATALANTA, continues its operations in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean through 2020; naval units from Japan, India, and China also operate in conjunction with EU forces; China has established a logistical base in Djibouti to support its deployed naval units in the Horn of Africa
  • Terrorism :: Djibouti
  • Terrorist group(s) field listing
    al-Shabaab (2019)
    note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T
  • Transnational Issues :: Djibouti
  • Disputes - international field listing

    Djibouti maintains economic ties and border accords with "Somaliland" leadership while maintaining some political ties to various factions in Somalia; Kuwait is chief investor in the 2008 restoration and upgrade of the Ethiopian-Djibouti rail link; in 2008, Eritrean troops moved across the border on Ras Doumera peninsula and occupied Doumera Island with undefined sovereignty in the Red Sea

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 12,139 (Somalia) (2020)
    Trafficking in persons field listing
    current situation: Djibouti is a transit, source, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; economic migrants from East Africa en route to Yemen and other Middle East locations are vulnerable to exploitation in Djibouti; some women and girls may be forced into domestic servitude or prostitution after reaching Djibouti City, the Ethiopia-Djibouti trucking corridor, or Obock – the main crossing point into Yemen; Djiboutian and foreign children may be forced to beg, to work as domestic servants, or to commit theft and other petty crimes
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Djibouti does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Djibouti was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; one forced labor trafficker was convicted in 2014 but received a suspended sentence inadequate to deter trafficking; authorities did not investigate or prosecute any other forced labor crimes, any sex trafficking offenses, or any officials complicit in human trafficking, and remained limited in their ability to recognize or protect trafficking victims; official round-ups, detentions, and deportations of non-Djiboutian residents, including children without screening for trafficking victims remained routine; the government did not provide care to victims but supported local NGOs operating centers that assisted victims (2015)