Historically recognized as French Somaliland (1896–1967) and the French Territory of the Afars and Issas (1967–77), the country acquired independence from France on June 27, 1977, and adopted the name Djibouti. Djibouti the capital City is established on coral reefs that extend into the gulf’s southern entrance; Obock, Tadjoura, Ali Sabieh, Arta, and Dikhil are other notable cities. The overall area of the country is 23,200 km2 (8,958 sq mi).
The city is home to a sophisticated deepwater port that services commerce from the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, as well as a French naval facility. Djibouti City is also the terminus of the only line that connects Djibouti with Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.
There have been two presidents in Djibouti. President Hassan Gouled Aptidon (born 1966-2006) served for 21 years,315 days from 27 June 1977 to 8 May 1999.
Ismail Omar Guelleh (born 1946)has served for 22 years,203 days from 8 May 1999 to date.
Tourism in Djibouti
Djibouti’s tourism business is one of the country’s fastest-growing economic sectors, with less than 80,000 visitors each year, large family and friends of soldiers stationed at the country’s major naval sites. Despite the fact that the numbers are increasing, there are discussions of ending the visa on arrival program, which might restrict tourism growth.
Tourists find it difficult to travel alone due to the infrastructure, and private tours are expensive. Land transport has resumed after the reopening of the railroad connection between Addis Ababa and Djibouti in January 2018. Lake Abbe and Lake Assal, Djibouti’s two great geological wonders, are the country’s top tourist attractions. Every year, hundreds of people flock to the two sites in search of off-the-beaten-path destinations.
The service sector accounts for the majority of Djibouti’s GDP. The country’s free trade policies and strategic location as a Red Sea transit hub are at the center of its commercial activity. Vegetables and fruits are the main producing crops due to the lack of rainfall, and other foods must be imported. In 2013, the GDP (purchasing power parity) was expected to be $2.505 billion, with a 5-percent annual real growth rate. The average annual per capita income is $2,874 dollars (PPP). The services sector accounted for roughly 79.7% of GDP, with industry accounting for 17.3% and agriculture accounting for 3%.
Ethiopia’s political and economic situations, as well as continuous reforms to safeguard the country’s competitive advantage in transportation, are important to Djibouti’s economic growth prospects. The key engine of the recovery was the return of Ethiopia-Djibouti railway activities, which connect Ethiopia to Djibouti Ports that had been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of June 2021, headline inflation had increased by 0.6 percent year over year.
Despite the high level of uncertainty, the economic situation is promising. In 2022, GDP growth is predicted to be 5.6 percent, and 6.2 percent in 2023. Re-exports and demand for Djibouti’s transshipment and logistics will be key drivers. The current and planned constructions, as well as the expansion of the Damerjog Industrial Free Zone, are projected to fuel growth.
The Somali and Afar ethnic groups are the two main ethnic groups in Somalia. Both populations speak eastern Cushitic dialects that are related but not mutually intelligible.
Afar (Denakil, or Danakil) speaks a dialect that is closely related to Saho.
Saho-Afar is classed as an Afro-Asianic language phylum’s Eastern Cushitic language. The Afar inhabit to the west and north of the Gulf of Tadjoura, in sparsely populated areas. Parts of numerous former and current Afar sultanates are found in this region. The sultans’ functions are now mostly ceremonial, and the traditional Afar hierarchy’s class distinctions are less important. The Afar can also be found in Ethiopia, which is just across the border. The “Afar triangle” is a pattern formed by their population distribution in the two countries, which is somewhat elongated and triangular in shape.
Somalis, who speak an Eastern Cushitic language, are concentrated in the capital and the country’s southeast. Clan affiliation determines their social identity. The Issa make up more than half of the Somali population, which outnumbers the Afar; the remaining Somalis are mostly members of the Gadaboursi and Isaaq clans, who migrated from northern Somalia during the twentieth century to work on the Djibouti–Addis Ababa railway and Djibouti city’s port expansion.
Djibouti is a residence to a long-established Yemeni Arab community, as well as a large contingent of French technical consultants and military personnel. In recent years, modest but considerable numbers of ethnic Ethiopians, as well as Greek and Italian emigrants, have joined these groupings.
According to Worldometer’s elaboration of the most recent United Nations data, Djibouti’s current population is 1,008,080 as of Friday, November 26, 2021.
The government of Djibouti prioritizes education. It devotes 20.5 percent of its annual budget to scholastic instruction as of 2009.
The Djiboutian educational system was designed to serve a small number of students at first. As a result, the educational system was mostly elite and drew heavily on the French colonial paradigm, which was ill-suited to local conditions and demands. The Djiboutian authorities changed the national educational plan in the late 1990s and initiated a broad-based consultative process involving administrative officials, teachers, parents, members of the national legislature, and non-governmental organizations. The program identified areas that needed to be addressed and developed tangible ideas for how to improve them. In the years 2000–10, the government devised a major reform plan aimed at upgrading the educational sector. It approved an official Education Planning Act in August 2000 and produced a five-year medium-term development plan.
The basic academic system was reformed and made compulsory, with five years of elementary school and four years of middle school now being required. Admission to secondary schools also requires a Certificate of Fundamental Education. In addition, the new law developed university facilities in the country and introduced secondary-level vocational education. Significant progress has been made in the educational sector as a result of the Education Planning Act and the medium-term action strategy.
Enrollment, attendance, and retention rates, in particular, have all continuously risen, with significant regional variance. Girls’ net enrollments in primary school climbed by 18.6% from 2004 to 2005 to 2007–08, while boys’ net enrollments increased by 8.0 percent. Over the same time period, net enrollments in middle school increased by 72.4 percent for girls and 52.2 percent for boys. The percentage of increase in net enrollments at the secondary level was 49.8% for girls and 56.1 percent for boys.
Its government has set a specific emphasis on creating and strengthening institutional infrastructure and educational materials, such as building new classrooms and providing textbooks. At the post-secondary level, a focus has been focused on developing skilled instructors and encouraging out-of-school youth to seek vocational training. Djibouti’s literacy rate was projected to be 70% in 2012.
The University of Djibouti is one of the country’s educational institutions.
The majority of locals speak Somali and Afar as their primary languages (524,000 and 306,000 respectively). The Somali and Afar ethnic communities, respectively, speak these idioms as their mother tongues. Both languages are members of the Afroasiatic Cushitic family of languages. In contrast to Benadiri Somali, which is the predominant dialect spoken in Somalia, Northern Somali is the main dialect spoken in the country and neighboring Somaliland. Djibouti speaks Arabic and French as its official languages.
The religious significance of Arabic is well-known. It is Modern Standard Arabic that is used in official contexts. The Ta’izzi-Adeni Arabic dialect, often known as Djibouti Arabic, is spoken by around 59,000 local individuals. French is the main language of the country. It is the principal language of instruction, having been handed down from the colonial era. It’s a language spoken by 17,000 Djiboutians. Omani Arabic (38,900 speakers), Amharic (1,400 speakers), and Greek are among the languages spoken by the immigrants (1,000 speakers).
Djibouti has a primarily Muslim population. Around 94 percent of the country’s population (roughly 740,000 as of 2012) follows Islam, while the remaining 6% are Christians.
At the encouragement of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a group of oppressed Muslims sought shelter across the Red Sea in the Horn of Africa. There were essentially no Christians in the regions in 1900, during the early colonial era, with only roughly 100–300 adherents coming from the few Catholic missions in French Somaliland’s schools and orphanages. Djibouti’s constitution designates Islam as the sole official religion, as well as equal rights for citizens 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. Sufi orders of various schools are primarily followed by non-denominational Muslims. While Muslim Djiboutians have the legal right to convert to or start a family with someone of another religion, converts may encounter negative responses from their family and clan or from society at large, and they are frequently pressured to return to Islam, as per the International Religious Freedom Report (2008). The Diocese of Djibouti covers the minor Catholic population of Djibouti, which was believed to be around 7,000 in 2006.