CIA World Fact Book, 2004/Djibouti

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map of Djibouti

Introduction Djibouti
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 three consecutive six-year terms as president. Unrest among the Afars minority during the 1990s led to multi-party elections resulting in President Ismail Omar GUELLEH attaining office in May 1999. A peace accord in 2001 ended the final phases of a ten-year uprising by Afar rebels. Djibouti occupies a very 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. GUELLEH favors close ties to France, which maintains a significant military presence in the country.

Geography Djibouti
Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia
Geographic coordinates: 11 30 N, 43 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 23,000 sq km
water: 20 sq km
land: 22,980 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Land boundaries: total: 516 km
border countries: Eritrea 109 km, Ethiopia 349 km, Somalia 58 km
Coastline: 314 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: desert; torrid, dry
Terrain: coastal plain and plateau separated by central mountains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Lac Assal -155 m
highest point: Moussa Ali 2,028 m
Natural resources: geothermal areas
Land use: arable land: 0.04%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.96% (2001)
Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: earthquakes; droughts; occasional cyclonic disturbances from the Indian Ocean bring heavy rains and flash floods
Environment - current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; limited arable land; desertification; endangered species
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
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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

People Djibouti
Population: 466,900 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 43.2% (male 101,168; female 100,545)
15-64 years: 53.7% (male 131,320; female 119,387)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 7,327; female 7,153) (2004 est.)
Median age: total: 18.3 years
male: 18.8 years
female: 17.7 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.1% (2004 est.)
Birth rate: 40.39 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate: 19.42 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.02 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 105.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 97.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 113.3 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 43.12 years
male: 41.83 years
female: 44.44 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate: 5.48 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2.9% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 9,100 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 690 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases: typhoid fever, malaria
overall degree of risk: high (2004)
Nationality: noun: Djiboutian(s)
adjective: Djiboutian
Ethnic groups: Somali 60%, Afar 35%, French, Arab, Ethiopian, and Italian 5%
Religions: Muslim 94%, Christian 6%
Languages: French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 67.9%
male: 78%
female: 58.4% (2003 est.)

Government Djibouti
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Djibouti
conventional short form: Djibouti
former: French Territory of the Afars and Issas, French Somaliland
Government type: republic
Capital: Djibouti
Administrative divisions: 5 districts (cercles, singular - cercle); 'Ali Sabih, Dikhil, Djibouti, Obock, Tadjoura
Independence: 27 June 1977 (from France)
National holiday: Independence Day, 27 June (1977)
Constitution: multiparty constitution approved by referendum 4 September 1992
Legal system: based on French civil law system, traditional practices, and Islamic law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal adult
Executive branch: chief of state: President Ismail Omar GUELLEH (since 8 May 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister DILEITA Mohamed Dileita (since 4 March 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers responsible to the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 9 April 1999 (next to be held NA 2005); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Ismail Omar GUELLEH elected president; percent of vote - Ismail Omar GUELLEH 74.4%, IDRIS Moussa Ahmed 25.6%
Legislative branch: unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Chambre des Deputes (65 seats; members elected by popular vote for five-year terms)
elections: last held 10 January 2003 (next to be held NA January 2008)
election results: percent of vote - RPP 62.2%, FRUD 36.9%; seats - RPP 65, FRUD 0; note - RPP (the ruling party) dominated the election
Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme
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 (governing party) [Ismail Omar GUELLEH]; Peoples Social Democratic Party or PPSD [Moumin Bahdon FARAH]; Republican Alliance for Democracy or ARD [Ahmed Dini AHMED]; Union for Democracy and Justice or UDJ [leader NA]
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, UDJ, and PDD) [Ahmed Dini AHMED]
International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, LAS, NAM, OIC, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador ROBLE Olhaye
FAX: [1] (202) 331-0302
telephone: [1] (202) 331-0270
chancery: Suite 515, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Marguerita RAGSDALE
embassy: Plateau du Serpent, Boulevard Marechal Joffre, Djibouti
mailing address: B. P. 185, Djibouti
telephone: [253] 35 39 95
FAX: [253] 35 39 40
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

Economy Djibouti
Economy - overview: The economy is based on service activities connected with the country's strategic location and status as a free trade zone in northeast Africa. Two-thirds of the inhabitants live in the capital city, the remainder being 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. It 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 50% continues to be a major problem. Inflation is not a concern, however, because of the fixed tie of the franc to the US dollar. Per capita consumption dropped an estimated 35% over the last seven years 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.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $619 million (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.5% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,300 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 15.8%
services: 80.7% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line: 50% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2% (2002 est.)
Labor force: 282,000 (2000)
Labor force - by occupation: NA
Unemployment rate: 50% (2000 est.)
Budget: revenues: $135 million
expenditures: $182 million, including capital expenditures of NA (1999 est.)
Agriculture - products: fruits, vegetables; goats, sheep, camels
Industries: construction, agricultural processing
Industrial production growth rate: 3% (1996 est.)
Electricity - production: 180 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 167.4 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption: 11,300 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports: NA (2001)
Oil - imports: NA (2001)
Exports: $155 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities: reexports, hides and skins, coffee (in transit)
Exports - partners: Somalia 63.9%, Yemen 22.5%, Ethiopia 4.7% (2003)
Imports: $665 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities: foods, beverages, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products
Imports - partners: Saudi Arabia 19.7%, Ethiopia 10.9%, China 9.2%, France 6.5%, UK 5.1%, US 4.9% (2003)
Debt - external: $366 million (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $36 million (2001)
Currency: Djiboutian franc (DJF)
Currency code: DJF
Exchange rates: Djiboutian francs per US dollar - 177.721 (2003), 177.721 (2002), 177.721 (2001), 177.721 (2000), 177.721 (1999)
Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications Djibouti
Telephones - main lines in use: 9,500 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 23,000 (2003)
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
international: country code - 253; submarine cable to Jiddah, Suez, Sicily, Marseilles, Colombo, and Singapore; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; Medarabtel regional microwave radio relay telephone network
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2001)
Radios: 52,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 1 (2002)
Televisions: 28,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .dj
Internet hosts: 702 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 6,500 (2003)

Transportation Djibouti
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 (2003)
Highways: total: 2,890 km
paved: 364 km
unpaved: 2,526 km (1999 est.)
Ports and harbors: Djibouti
Merchant marine: total: 1 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,369 GRT/3,030 DWT
by type: cargo 1 (2004 est.)
Airports: 13 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1524 to 2437 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 3 (2004 est.)

Military Djibouti
Military branches: Djibouti National Army (including Navy and Air Force)
Military manpower - military age and obligation: 18 years of age (est.); no conscription (2001)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 108,771 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 64,540 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $26.5 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 4.4% (2003)

This page was last updated on 1 January 2003

This is a snapshot of the CIA World Fact Book as it existed on 26 March 2005