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Djibouti



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Introduction

Background: The French Territory of the Afars and the Issas became Djibouti in 1977. A peace accord in 1994 ended a three-year uprising by Afars rebels.

Geography

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: 22,000 sq km
  land: 21,980 sq km
  water: 20 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Land boundaries
  total: 508 km
  border countries: Eritrea 113 km, Ethiopia 337 km, Somalia 58 km

Coastline: 314 km

Maritime claims
  contiguous zone: 24 nm
  exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
  territorial sea: 12 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%
  permanent crops: 0%
  permanent pastures: 9%
  forests and woodland: 0%
  other: 91% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

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; desertification

Environment - international agreements
  party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, 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

People

Population: 451,442 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: 43% (male 96,482; female 96,025)
  15-64 years: 55% (male 130,264; female 116,270)
  65 years and over: 2% (male 6,426; female 5,975) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.45% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 40.98 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 14.87 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -11.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 1.08 male(s)/female
  total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 103.32 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 50.82 years
  male: 49.01 years
  female: 52.68 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.8 children born/woman (2000 est.)

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: 46.2%
  male: 60.3%
  female: 32.7% (1995 est.)

Government

Country name
  conventional long form: Republic of Djibouti
  conventional short form: Djibouti
  former: French Territory of the Afars and Issas, French Somaliland

Data code: DJ

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: NA years of age; universal adult

Executive branch
  chief of state: President GUELLEH Ismail Omar (since NA 1999);
  head of government: Prime Minister BARKAT Gourad Hamadou (since 30 September 1978)
  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: GUELLEH Ismail Omar elected president; percent of vote - GUELLEH Ismail Omar 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 19 December 1997 (next to be held NA 2002)
  election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - RPP 65; 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 [Mohamed Jama ELABE]; People's Progress Assembly or RPP [Hassan GOULED Aptidon] - the governing party

Political pressure groups and leaders: Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy or FRUD and affiliates; Movement for Unity and Democracy or MUD

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

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

Diplomatic representation from the US
  chief of mission: Ambassador Lange SCHERMERHORN
  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

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 40% to 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). Also, renewed fighting between Ethiopia and Eritrea has disturbed normal external channels of commerce. 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 - $550 million (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,200 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 3%
  industry: 20%
  services: 77% (1996 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 282,000

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 75%, industry 11%, services 14% (1991 est.)

Unemployment rate: 40%-50% (1996 est.)

Budget
  revenues: $156 million
  expenditures: $175 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

Industries: limited to a few small-scale enterprises, such as dairy products and mineral-water bottling

Industrial production growth rate: 3% (1996 est.)

Electricity - production: 177 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 100%
  hydro: 0%
  nuclear: 0%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 165 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: fruits, vegetables; goats, sheep, camels

Exports: $260 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

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

Exports - partners: Somalia 53%, Yemen 23%, Ethiopia 5%, (1998)

Imports: $440 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

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

Imports - partners: France 13%, Ethiopia 12%, Italy 9%, Saudi Arabia 6%, UK 6% (1998)

Debt - external: $350 million (1999 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $106.3 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Djiboutian franc (DF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Djiboutian francs (DF) per US$1 - 177.721 (fixed rate since 1973)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 8,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system: 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: 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 2, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 52,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 1 (plus 5 low-power repeaters) (1998)

Televisions: 28,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA

Transportation

Railways
  total: 100 km (Djibouti segment of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad)
  narrow gauge: 100 km 1.000-m gauge (Note: Djibouti and Ethiopia plan to revitalize the century-old railroad that links their capitals by 2003)

Highways
  total: 2,890 km
  paved: 364 km
  unpaved: 2,526 km (1996 est.)

Ports and harbors: Djibouti

Merchant marine
  total: 1 ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,369 GRT/3,030 DWT
  ships by type: cargo 1 (1999 est.)

Airports: 12 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 2
  over 3,047 m: 1
  2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways
  total: 10
  1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
  914 to 1,523 m: 5
  under 914 m: 3 (1999 est.)

Military

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

Military manpower - availability
  males age 15-49: 106,287 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service
  males age 15-49: 62,496 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $23 million (FY97)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 4.5% (FY97)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

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