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  Djibouti   
Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

Background:
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 Afars minority during the 1990s led to a civil war that ended in 2001 following the conclusion of a peace accord between Afar rebels and the Issa-dominated government. In 1999, Djibouti's first multi-party presidential elections resulted in the election of Ismail Omar GUELLEH; he was re-elected to a second and final term in 2005. Djibouti occupies a strategic geographic location at the mouth of the Red Sea and serves as an important transshipment location for goods entering and leaving the east African highlands. The present leadership favors close ties to France, which maintains a significant military presence in the country, but also has strong ties with the US. Djibouti hosts the only US military base in sub-Saharan Africa and is a front-line state in the global war on terrorism.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.02 cu km/yr (84%/0%/16%)
per capita: 25 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
0.3 cu km (1997)

Land boundaries:
total: 516 km
border countries: Eritrea 109 km, Ethiopia 349 km, Somalia 58 km

Environment - international agreements:
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

Climate:
desert; torrid, dry

Map references:
Africa

Geographic coordinates:
11 30 N, 43 00 E

Natural resources:
geothermal areas, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble, salt, diatomite, gypsum, pumice, petroleum

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Lac Assal -155 m
highest point: Moussa Ali 2,028 m

Terrain:
coastal plain and plateau separated by central mountains

Geography - note:
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

Area:
total: 23,000 sq km
land: 22,980 sq km
water: 20 sq km

Location:
Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia

Coastline:
314 km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Irrigated land:
10 sq km (2003)

Environment - current issues:
inadequate supplies of potable water; limited arable land; desertification; endangered species

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

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

Land use:
arable land: 0.04%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.96% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
5.14 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
2.9% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
9,100 (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 43.31 years
male: 41.89 years
female: 44.77 years (2008 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
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 (2008)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.9%
male: 78%
female: 58.4% (2003 est.)

Net migration rate:
NA (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Somali 60%, Afar 35%, other 5% (includes French, Arab, Ethiopian, and Italian)

Median age:
total: 18.2 years
male: 18.6 years
female: 17.7 years (2008 est.)

Population:
506,221 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
8.4% of GDP (2006)

Population growth rate:
1.945% (2008 est.)

Languages:
French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar

Death rate:
19.16 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 99.13 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 106.65 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 91.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
690 (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 4 years
male: 5 years
female: 4 years (2006)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43.3% (male 110,089/female 109,331)
15-64 years: 53.1% (male 139,164/female 129,614)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 9,068/female 8,955) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
38.61 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Religions:
Muslim 94%, Christian 6%

Nationality:
noun: Djiboutian(s)
adjective: Djiboutian

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James C. SWAN
embassy: Plateau du Serpent, Boulevard Marechal Joffre, Djibouti
mailing address: B. P. 185, Djibouti
telephone: [253] 35 39 95
FAX: [253] 35 39 40

National holiday:
Independence Day, 27 June (1977)

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Government type:
republic

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Union for Presidential Majority UMP (coalition includes RPP, FRUD, PPSD and PND); Union for Democratic Changeover or UAD (opposition coalition includes ARD, MRDD, and UDJ)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Roble OLHAYE Oudine
chancery: Suite 515, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 331-0270
FAX: [1] (202) 331-0302

International organization participation:
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Legislative branch:
unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Chambre des Deputes (65 seats; members elected by popular vote for five-year terms)
elections: last held 8 February 2008 (next to be held 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats - UMP (coalition of parties associated with President Ismail Omar GUELLAH) 65

Legal system:
based on French civil law system, traditional practices, and Islamic law; accepts ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Flag description:
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

Independence:
27 June 1977 (from France)

Country name (Goverment):
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

Political parties and leaders:
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]; People's Progress Assembly or RPP [Ismail Omar GUELLEH] (governing party); Peoples Social Democratic Party or PPSD [Moumin Bahdon FARAH]; Republican Alliance for Democracy or ARD; Union for a Presidential Majority or UMP (a coalition of parties including RPP, FRUD, PND, and PPSD); Union for Democracy and Justice or UDJ

Capital:
name: Djibouti
geographic coordinates: 11 35 N, 43 09 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Constitution:
multiparty constitution approved by referendum 4 September 1992

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Ismail Omar GUELLEH (since 8 May 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Mohamed Dileita DILEITA (since 4 March 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers responsible to the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 8 April 2005 (next to be held by April 2011); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Ismail Omar GUELLEH reelected president; percent of vote - Ismail Omar GUELLEH 100%

Administrative divisions:
6 districts (cercles, singular - cercle); Ali Sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Djibouti, Obock, Tadjourah

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Somalia 66.4%, Ethiopia 21.5%, Yemen 3.4% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
232.5 million kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$212 million (2007 est.)

Debt - external:
$428 million (2006)

Unemployment rate:
59% in urban areas, 83% in rural areas (2007 est.)

Oil - exports:
19.18 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$3,800 (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$224.7 million (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.93 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$973 million (2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
Djiboutian francs (DJF) per US dollar - 177.71 (2007), 174.75 (2006), 177.72 (2005), 177.72 (2004), 177.72 (2003)

GDP - real growth rate:
6% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$380 million (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
282,000 (2000)

Imports - partners:
Saudi Arabia 21%, India 18.1%, China 9.4%, Ethiopia 4.7%, Malaysia 4.6%, Japan 4.2% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5% (2007 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.2%
industry: 14.9%
services: 81.9% (2006 est.)

Oil - imports:
11,810 bbl/day (2005)

Exports:
$340 million f.o.b. (2006)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Djiboutian franc (DJF)

Economy - overview:
The economy is based on service activities connected with the country's strategic location and status as a free trade zone in the Horn of Africa. Two-thirds of Djibouti's inhabitants live in the capital city; the remainder are mostly nomadic herders. Scanty rainfall limits crop production to 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 and exports from landlocked neighbor Ethiopia represent 85% 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. Per capita consumption dropped an estimated 35% between 1999 and 2006 because of recession, civil war, and a high population growth rate (including immigrants and refugees). Faced with a multitude of economic difficulties, the government has fallen in arrears on long-term external debt and has been struggling to meet the stipulations of foreign aid donors.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
foods, beverages, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products

Industries:
construction, agricultural processing

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
42% (2007 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
NA

Stock of quasi money:
$284.1 million (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
250 million kWh (2006 est.)

Imports:
$1.555 billion f.o.b. (2006)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Oil - consumption:
12,170 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Currency code:
DJF

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
reexports, hides and skins, coffee (in transit)

Economic aid - recipient:
$78.6 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $135 million
expenditures: $182 million (1999 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
11,000 (2006)

Telephones - main lines in use:
10,800 (2005)

Televisions:
28,000 (1997)

Internet country code:
.dj

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2001)

Radios:
52,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
45,000 (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (2001)

Telephone system:
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: microwave radio relay network; 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 optical telecommunications submarine cable with links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intelsat - Indian Ocean and 1 Arabsat); Medarabtel regional microwave radio relay telephone network (2007)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)

Internet hosts:
161 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Railways:
total: 100 km (Djibouti segment of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway)
narrow gauge: 100 km 1.000-m gauge
note: railway under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia but remains largely inoperable (2006)

Ports and terminals:
Djibouti

Transportation - note:
the International Maritime Bureau reports offshore waters in the Gulf of Aden are high risk for piracy; numerous vessels, including commercial shipping and pleasure craft, have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crew, passengers, and cargo are held for ransom

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)

Roadways:
total: 3,065 km
paved: 1,226 km
unpaved: 1,839 km (2000)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 3 (2007)

Airports:
13 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; 16-25 years of age for voluntary military training; no conscription (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 111,274
females age 16-49: 105,168 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 54,460
females age 16-49: 51,684 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Djibouti National Army (includes Navy and Air Force)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 5,618
female: 5,609 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
3.8% of GDP (2006)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
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

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 8,642 (Somalia) (2007)

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