Friday, September 10, 2021

Djibouti | Introduction

AfricaDjiboutiDjibouti | Introduction


Djibouti has an estimated population of 828,324 people.

Djibouti is a nation with several ethnic groups. The population of Djibouti increased quickly in the second half of the twentieth century, rising from about 83 thousand in 1960 to over 872 thousand in 2013. The Somali (60%) and Afar (40%) ethnic groups are the two biggest ethnic groupings (35 percent ). The Issas, a sub-clan of the broader Dir, make up the majority of the Somali clan component. Arabs, Ethiopians, and Europeans make up the remaining 5% of the population of Djibouti (French and Italians). The city inhabitants make up around 76 percent of the population, while pastoralists make up the rest. Djibouti also accommodates a large number of immigrants and refugees from surrounding countries, with Djibouti City’s multicultural urbanism earning it the moniker “French Hong Kong in the Red Sea.”


The majority of Djibouti’s population is Muslim. Approximately 94 percent of the population (around 740,000 as of 2012) follows Islam, while the remaining 6% are Christians.

Islam first arrived in the area when a group of persecuted Muslims crossed the Red Sea to seek sanctuary in the Horn of Africa at the request of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. In 1900, during the early colonial period, there were almost no Christians in the territories, with only approximately 100–300 followers coming from the few Catholic missions in French Somaliland’s schools and orphanages. Djibouti’s Constitution establishes Islam as the only state religion, as well as equal rights for people of all religions (Article 1) and religious freedom (Article 11). The majority of local Muslims are Sunni Muslims who follow the Shafi’i school of thought. Non-denominational Muslims are mostly affiliated with Sufi groups of various schools. While Muslim Djiboutians have the legal freedom to convert to or marry someone of another religion, converts may suffer unfavorable responses from their family and clan or from society at large, and they are often pressured to return to Islam, according to the International Religious Freedom Report 2008.

The Diocese of Djibouti is responsible for the tiny Catholic community of Djibouti, which is estimated to number about 7,000 people in 2006.


Djibouti is located in the Horn of Africa, near the southern entrance to the Red Sea, on the Gulf of Aden and the Bab-el-Mandeb. Within the Arabian Plate, it is located between latitudes 10° and 13°N and longitudes 41° and 44°E.

The country’s shoreline extends for 314 kilometers (195 miles), with plateaux, plains, and hills dominating the landscape. Djibouti is a country in Africa with a total size of 23,200 square kilometers (9,000 sq mi). Its boundaries span 506 kilometers (314 miles), with 113 kilometers (70 miles) shared with Eritrea, 337 kilometers (209 miles) with Ethiopia, and 58 kilometers (36 miles) with Somalia. Djibouti is the Arabian Plate’s southernmost nation.

Djibouti contains eight mountain ranges, each with a peak higher than 1,000 meters (3,281 ft). The Mousa Alirange is the country’s highest mountain range, with its highest peak on the Ethiopian-Eritrean boundary. It stands at a height of 2,028 meters. The Grand Bara desert is found in the Arta, Ali Sabieh, and Dikhil areas of southern Djibouti. The bulk of it is located at a low elevation of less than 1,700 feet (560 m).

Ras Doumera and the point where Eritrea’s border enters the Red Sea in the Obock Region are extreme geographic points; to the east, a section of the Red Sea coast north of Ras Bir; to the south, a location on the Ethiopian border west of the town of As Ela; and to the west, a location on the Ethiopian border immediately east of the Ethiopian town of Afambo.

The Ethiopian xeric grasslands and shrublands ecoregion encompasses the majority of Djibouti. The exception is an eastern stretch of the Eritrean coastal desert that runs along the Red Sea coast.


The climate of Djibouti is considerably warmer and has less seasonal fluctuation than the global average. Except at high altitudes, where the effects of a cold offshore current may be felt, mean daily maximum temperatures vary from 32 to 41 °C (90 to 106 °F). In April, typical afternoon highs in Djibouti city range from 28 to 34 °C (82 to 93 °F). The average daily lowest temperature in the United States ranges from 15 to 30 degrees Celsius (59 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit).

Eastern Djibouti has the most extreme climate, with temperatures reaching 41 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit) in July on the coastal plains and the freezing threshold in December in the highlands. The relative humidity in this area varies depending on the season, ranging from approximately 40% in the mid-afternoon to about 85% at night.

The climate of Djibouti varies from dry in the northeastern coastal areas to semiarid in the country’s center, northern, western, and southern regions. Annual rainfall on the eastern coast is less than 5 inches (131 mm); precipitation in the central highlands is between 8 and 11 inches (200 to 300 mm). The interior has a much lower humidity level than the coastal areas. In Djibouti, the seashore offers the mildest climate.


The country’s flora and wildlife live in a harsh environment, with forest covering less than 1% of the country’s total surface. The country’s wildlife is distributed over three major regions: the northern mountain ranges, the volcanic plateaux in the south and center parts, and the coastline area.

The majority of animal species may be found in the northern portion of the nation, in the Day Forest National Park environment. The Goda massif, with a summit of 1,783 meters, is located at an average altitude of 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) (5,850 ft). It is made up of 3.5 square kilometers (1 square mile) of Juniperus procera woodland, with many trees reaching a height of 20 meters (66 feet). This woodland region is home to the endangered and endemic Djibouti francolin (a bird) as well as Platyceps afarensis, a newly discovered vertebrate (a colubrine snake). It also has a diverse range of woody and herbaceous plants, including boxwood and olive trees, which account for 60% of the country’s total species.

Djibouti has around 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 mammals, according to a national profile on variety of wildlife in Djibouti. The Horn of Africa biodiversity hotspot, as well as the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coral reef hotspot, include Djibouti’s wildlife.


The service sector accounts for the majority of Djibouti’s economy. The country’s free trade policies and strategic position as a Red Sea transit hub drive commercial activity. Vegetables and fruits are the main producing crops due to little rainfall, and other food products must be imported. In 2013, the GDP (purchasing power parity) was projected to be $2.505 billion, with an annual real growth rate of 5%. The average per capita income is $2,874. (PPP). The services sector accounted for approximately 79.7% of GDP, with industry accounting for 17.3% and agriculture accounting for 3%.

The container terminal at the Port of Djibouti handles the majority of the country’s commerce as of 2013. Imports and exports from neighboring Ethiopia, which relies on the harbor as its primary marine outlet, account for about 70% of the seaport’s business. The port also acts as a transshipment and refueling hub for foreign ships. The Doraleh Container Terminal, a third major seaport in Djibouti, was begun in 2012 by the Djiboutian government in cooperation with DP World to expand the country’s transit capacity. It’s a $396 million project with a capacity of 1.5 million twenty-foot container units per year.

In the March 2011 Euromoney Country Risk rankings, Djibouti was rated as the 177th safest investment location in the world. The Djibouti government, in collaboration with a number of non-profit organizations, has undertaken a number of development initiatives aimed at showcasing the country’s economic potential in order to enhance the climate for direct foreign investment. The government has also implemented new private-sector measures aimed at lowering interest and inflation rates, such as easing the tax burden on businesses and enabling consumption tax exemptions.

Furthermore, attempts have been undertaken to reduce the projected 60% urban unemployment rate by increasing work possibilities via investment in a variety of industries. Funds have been allocated mostly to the construction of telecommunications infrastructure and the assistance of small companies in order to increase discretionary income. Since 2008, the fisheries and agro-processing industry, which accounts for approximately 15% of GDP, has seen increased investment due to its development potential.

A 56 megawatt geothermal power plant is being built with the assistance of OPEC, the World Bank, and the Global Environmental Facility to grow the small industrial sector. It is expected to be finished by 2018. The project is intended to alleviate recurrent power outages, lessen the country’s dependence on Ethiopia for energy, cut the cost of oil imports for diesel-generated electricity, and therefore boost GDP and reduce debt.

Salt Investment (SIS), a Djibouti company, has started a large-scale operation to industrialize the abundant salt in Djibouti’s Lake Assal area. The desalination plant, which has a 4 million ton yearly capacity, has increased export earnings, generated more employment possibilities, and supplied more fresh water to the area’s inhabitants. The Djibouti government has recruited the help of the China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd to build an ore port in 2012. The $64 million project is expected to be finished in two years and would allow Djibouti to export an additional 5,000 tons of salt per year to Southeast Asian markets.

From US$341 million in 1985 to US$1.5 billion in 2015, Djibouti’s gross domestic product grew at a rate of more than 6% each year.

From US$341 million in 1985 to US$1.5 billion in 2015, Djibouti’s gross domestic product grew at a rate of more than 6% each year. Djibouti’s currency is the Djiboutian franc. The Central Bank of Djibouti, the country’s monetary authority, issues it. The Djiboutian franc is usually stable and inflation is not a concern since it is linked to the US dollar. This has led to an increase in investor interest in the nation.

Djibouti has ten conventional and Islamic banks as of 2010. The majority came in the last several years, including Dahabshiil, a Somali money transfer business, and BDCD, a Swiss Financial Investments affiliate. Two organizations dominated the financial sector previously: the Indo-Suez Bank and the Commercial and Industrial Bank (BCIMR). To ensure a strong credit and deposit sector, the government mandates commercial banks to own 30 percent of the company; foreign banks must have a minimum of 300 million Djiboutian francs in up-front capital. The establishment of a guarantee fund, which enables banks to provide loans to qualified small and medium-sized companies without needing a significant deposit or other collateral, has also boosted lending.

Saudi businessmen are also allegedly looking at the idea of building a 28.5-kilometer (17.7-mile) oversea bridge connecting the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula via Djibouti, dubbed the Bridge of the Horns. The project has been connected to the investor Tarek bin Laden. However, in June 2010, it was reported that Phase I of the project will be postponed.