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Africa :: Djibouti
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  • Introduction :: DJIBOUTI

  • The French Territory of the Afars and the Issas became Djibouti in 1977. 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 begin a third term in 2011. Djibouti occupies a strategic geographic location at the intersection of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and serves as an important shipping portal for goods entering and leaving the east African highlands and transshipments between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The government holds longstanding ties to France, which maintains a significant military presence in the country, and has strong ties with the United States. Djibouti hosts several thousand members of US armed services at US-run Camp Lemonnier.
  • Geography :: DJIBOUTI

  • Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia
    11 30 N, 43 00 E
    total: 23,200 sq km
    land: 23,180 sq km
    water: 20 sq km
    slightly smaller than New Jersey
    Area comparison map:
    total: 528 km
    border countries (3): Eritrea 125 km, Ethiopia 342 km, Somalia 61 km
    314 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    desert; torrid, dry
    coastal plain and plateau separated by central mountains
    lowest point: Lac Assal -155 m
    highest point: Moussa Ali 2,028 m
    potential geothermal power, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble, salt, diatomite, gypsum, pumice, petroleum
    agricultural land: 73.4%
    arable land 0.1%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 73.3%
    forest: 0.2%
    other: 26.4% (2011 est.)
    10.12 sq km (2003)
    0.3 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.02 cu km/yr (84%/0%/16%)
    per capita: 24.84 cu m/yr (2000)
    earthquakes; droughts; occasional cyclonic disturbances from the Indian Ocean bring heavy rains and flash floods
    volcanism: experiences limited volcanic activity; Ardoukoba (elev. 298 m) last erupted in 1978; Manda-Inakir, located along the Ethiopian border, is also historically active
    inadequate supplies of potable water; limited arable land; desertification; endangered species
    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
    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

  • noun: Djiboutian(s)
    adjective: Djiboutian
    Somali 60%, Afar 35%, other 5% (includes French, Arab, Ethiopian, and Italian)
    French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar
    Muslim 94%, Christian 6%
    810,179 (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 32.9% (male 133,786/female 133,163)
    15-24 years: 22% (male 83,871/female 94,316)
    25-54 years: 36.9% (male 124,198/female 174,557)
    55-64 years: 4.6% (male 17,694/female 19,931)
    65 years and over: 3.5% (male 12,875/female 15,788) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 60.5%
    youth dependency ratio: 54%
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.5%
    potential support ratio: 15.3% (2014 est.)
    total: 22.8 years
    male: 21.1 years
    female: 24.1 years (2014 est.)
    2.23% (2014 est.)
    24.08 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    7.84 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    6.06 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 77.3% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 1.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    DJIBOUTI (capital) 522,000 (2014)
    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: 0.85 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    230 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 50.2 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 57.46 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 42.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 62.4 years
    male: 59.93 years
    female: 64.94 years (2014 est.)
    2.47 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    19% (2012)
    8.9% of GDP (2013)
    0.23 physicians/1,000 population (2006)
    1.4 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 65.5% of population
    total: 92.1% of population
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 34.5% of population
    total: 7.9% of population (2012 est.)
    urban: 73.1% of population
    rural: 21.6% of population
    total: 61.4% of population
    urban: 26.9% of population
    rural: 78.4% of population
    total: 38.6% of population (2012 est.)
    0.91% (2013 est.)
    6,200 (2013 est.)
    700 (2013 est.)
    degree of risk: high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: dengue fever
    note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2013)
    8.5% (2014)
    29.8% (2012)
    4.5% of GDP (2010)
    total: 6 years
    male: 7 years
    female: 6 years (2011)
    total number: 13,176
    percentage: 8% (2006 est.)
  • Government :: DJIBOUTI

  • 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 Territory of the Afars and Issas, French Somaliland
    name: Djibouti
    geographic coordinates: 11 35 N, 43 09 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    6 districts (cercles, singular - cercle); Ali Sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Djibouti, Obock, Tadjourah
    27 June 1977 (from France)
    Independence Day, 27 June (1977)
    approved by referendum 4 September 1992; amended 2006, 2008, 2010 (2010)
    mixed legal system based primarily on the French civil code (as it existed in 1997), Islamic religious law (in matters of family law and successions), and customary law
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    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 (responsible to the president)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; president is eligible to hold office until age 75; election last held on 8 April 2011 (next to be held by 2016); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: Ismail Omar GUELLEH reelected president to a third term; percent of vote - Ismail Omar GUELLEH 80.6%, Mohamed Warsama RAGUEH 19.4%
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale, formerly the Chamber of Deputies (65 seats; 52 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 13 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms); note - in 2012, the electoral law was modified to include proportional representation for 13 seats
    elections: last held on 22 February 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats - UMP (coalition of parties associated with President Ismail Omar GUELLEH) 49, USN 16
    highest court(s): 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; magistrates appointed for life with retirement at age 65; Constitutional magistrates - 2 appointed by the president, 2 by the president of the National Assembly, and 2 by High Council of the Judiciary; magistrates appointed for 8-year, non-renewable terms
    subordinate courts: High Court of Appeal; 5 Courts of First Instance; customary courts
    Democratic National Party or PND [ADEN Robleh Awaleh]
    Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Abdillahi HAMARITEH]
    Djibouti Development Party or PDD [Mohamed Daoud CHEHEM]
    Front pour la Restauration de l'Unite Democratique or FRUD [Ali Mohamed DAOUD]
    Movement for Development and Liberty or MODEL [Sheikh Guirreh MEIDAL]
    People's Rally for Progress or RPP [Ismail Omar GUELLEH] (governing party)
    Peoples Social Democratic Party or PPSD [Moumin Bahdon FARAH]
    Republican Alliance for Democracy or ARD [Ahmed YOUSSOUF]
    Union for a Presidential Majority or UMP (a coalition of parties including RPP, FRUD, PND, and PPSD)
    Union for Democracy and Justice or UDJ [Ismail GUEDI Hared]
    Union for National Salvation or USN (an umbrella coalition comprising PRD, PDD, MODEL, ARD, and UDJ) [Ahmed Youssouf HOUMER]
    chief of mission: Ambassador Roble OLHAYE Oudine (since 22 March 1988)
    chancery: Suite 515, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
    telephone: [1] (202) 331-0270
    FAX: [1] (202) 331-0302
    chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas P. KELLY III (since 13 October 2014)
    embassy: Lot 350-B, Haramouss, Djibouti
    mailing address: B. P. 185, Djibouti
    telephone: [253] 21 45 30 00
    FAX: [253] 21 45 31 29
    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
    red star; national colors: light blue, green, white, red
    name: "Jabuuti" (Djibouti)
    lyrics/music: Aden ELMI/Abdi ROBLEH
    note: adopted 1977
  • Economy :: DJIBOUTI

  • 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 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 - primarily of coffee from landlocked neighbor Ethiopia - represent 70% of port activity at Djibouti's container terminal. Djibouti has few natural resources and little industry. The nation is, therefore, heavily dependent on foreign assistance to help support its balance of payments and to finance development projects. An unemployment rate of nearly 60% continues to be a major problem. While inflation is not a concern, due to the fixed tie of the Djiboutian franc to the US dollar, the artificially high value of the Djiboutian franc adversely affects Djibouti's balance of payments. Djibouti’s reliance on diesel-generated electricity and imported food and water leave average consumers vulnerable to global price shocks. The government has emphasized infrastructure development for transportation and energy and Djibouti – with the help of foreign partners – has begun to increase and modernize its port capacity.
    $2.858 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.709 billion (2013 est.)
    $2.58 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $1.582 billion (2014 est.)
    5.5% (2014 est.)
    5% (2013 est.)
    4.8% (2012 est.)
    $3,000 (2014 est.)
    $3,000 (2013 est.)
    $2,900 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 189
    9.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    4.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
    9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 56.5%
    government consumption: 25.7%
    investment in fixed capital: 35.5%
    investment in inventories: 0.4%
    exports of goods and services: 32.9%
    imports of goods and services: -51%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 2.9%
    industry: 16.6%
    services: 80.5% (2014 est.)
    fruits, vegetables; goats, sheep, camels, animal hides
    construction, agricultural processing, shipping
    4.3% (2014 est.)
    294,600 (2012)
    agriculture: NA%
    industry: NA%
    services: NA%
    60% (2014 est.)
    note: (2007 est.)
    note: percent of population below $1.25 per day at purchasing power parity (2012 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.4%
    highest 10%: 30.9% (2002)
    40.9 (2002)
    revenues: $563.3 million
    expenditures: $647.7 million (2014 est.)
    35.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -5.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    38.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    calendar year
    5.5% (2014 est.)
    3.5% (2013 est.)
    10.5% (31 December 2014 est.)
    11% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $1.011 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $877 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $1.43 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.24 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $569.6 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $494.1 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $-122.4 million (2014 est.)
    $-136.2 million (2013 est.)
    $119.5 million (2014 est.)
    $114.1 million (2013 est.)
    reexports, hides and skins, coffee (in transit), scrap metal
    Somalia 81.2%, UAE 4.7%, Yemen 4.2% (2013)
    $612.1 million (2014 est.)
    $575 million (2013 est.)
    foods, beverages, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, clothing
    China 27.3%, Saudi Arabia 16.4%, India 9.7%, Indonesia 7.7%, US 4.6% (2013)
    $891.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $863.6 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $790.6 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $645.6 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    Djiboutian francs (DJF) per US dollar -
    177.7 (2014 est.)
    177.72 (2013 est.)
    177.72 (2012 est.)
    177.72 (2011 est.)
    177.72 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: DJIBOUTI

  • 330 million kWh (2011 est.)
    306.9 million kWh (2011 est.)
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    130,000 kW (2011 est.)
    100% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    11,680 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    19 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    8,089 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    1.796 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: DJIBOUTI

  • 18,000 (2012)
    209,000 (2012)
    general assessment: telephone facilities in the city of Djibouti are adequate, as are the microwave radio relay connections to outlying areas of the country
    domestic: Djibouti Telecom 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
    international: country code - 253; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 and EASSy fiber-optic submarine cable systems providing links to Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean and 1 Arabsat); Medarabtel regional microwave radio relay telephone network (2009)
    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 (2007)
    AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2001)
    1 (2001)
    215 (2012)
    25,900 (2009)
  • Transportation :: DJIBOUTI

  • 13 (2013)
    total: 3
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 10
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 7
    under 914 m:
    2 (2013)
    total: 100 km (Djibouti segment of the 781 km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway)
    narrow gauge: 100 km 1.000-m gauge
    note: railway is under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia but is largely inoperable (2008)
    total: 3,065 km
    paved: 1,226 km
    unpaved: 1,839 km (2000)
    major seaport(s): Djibouti
    while attacks decreased significantly in 2012, the International Maritime Bureau reports offshore waters in the 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
  • Military :: DJIBOUTI

  • Djibouti Armed Forces (Forces Armees Djiboutiennes, FAD): Djibouti National Army (includes Navy, Djiboutian Air Force (Force Aerienne Djiboutienne, FAD), National Gendarmerie (GN)) (2013)
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; 16-25 years of age for voluntary military training; no conscription (2012)
    males age 16-49: 170,386
    females age 16-49: 221,411 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 114,557
    females age 16-49: 154,173 (2010 est.)
    male: 8,360
    female: 8,602 (2010 est.)
  • Transnational Issues :: DJIBOUTI

  • 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 (country of origin): 19,782 (Somalia) (2015)
    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; the government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute a significant effort toward meeting the minimum standards for eliminating human trafficking; a national action plan was completed in 2014, but tangible efforts to prevent trafficking were minimal; authorities failed to investigate or prosecute any forced labor of child prostitution crimes, and no victim identifications were reported in 2013; foreign victims were deported to countries where they could face retribution (2014)