RECSA > Members > Horn of Africa > Republic of Djibouti

Republic of Djibouti


The Republic of Djibouti

Demographic features and population

Djibouti is located in Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia. The capital city is also called Djibouti. It is made up of a total of 23,200 sq km out of which 23,180 sq. km is land and 20 sq. km is water. She borders Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia and has a coastline of approximately 314km. She is strategically located near the world’s busiest shipping lanes and close to Arabian oilfields; the terminus of rail traffic into Ethiopia; mostly wasteland; Lac Assal (Lake Assal) is the lowest

point in Africa and the saltiest lake in the world. The country is characterized by desert; torrid, dry climatic conditions. She has vast natural resources including potential geothermal power, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble, salt, diatomite, gypsum, pumice and petroleum. Her population is 976,143 composed of various ethnic groups such as Somali 60%, Afar 35%, and other 5% (mostly Yemeni Arab, also French, Ethiopian, and Italian). The official languages are French and Arabic Somali with other local dialects present. 

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Economic Overview

Djibouti’s economy is based on service activities connected with the country’s strategic location as a deepwater port on the Red Sea. Djibouti provides services as both a transit port for the region and an international transshipment and refueling center. Imports, exports, and re-exports represent 70% of port activity at Djibouti’s container terminal. Re-exports consist primarily of coffee from landlocked neighbor Ethiopia. Its industrial sector focuses on construction, agricultural processing, and shipping.


Governance Structure

The Executive: The president is the Head of State while the Prime Minister is the head of government. The Council of Ministers is appointed by the Prime Minister who runs different ministries within the government. 

The Legislature: The parliament is a unicameral National Assembly or Assemblée National, formerly the Chamber of Deputies 65 seats; members are directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms

The Judiciary: This consists of two categories namely the Supreme Court or Court Supreme (consists of 9 magistrates); Constitutional Council (consists of 6 magistrates) and the subordinate courts comprised of the High Court of Appeal; 5 Courts of First Instance; customary courts; State Court replaced sharia courts in 2003.


Safety and Security

There is a frequent piracy threat in their maritime waters. Additionally, the threat from the terrorist group of the Al Shabaab possess a great insecurity in the country. Reports indicate that as of 2021 there were 5,972 refugees from Yemen and 14,227 from Somalia. Internally Displaced Persons in Djibouti have been numerous due to internal conflicts and civil wars that the country has experienced since independence.


Membership to Regional Blocs

The Republic of Djibouti is a member of various regional blocs including the Regional Centre on Small Arms and Light Weapons (RECSA). Others include the UN, AU, COMESA, and IGAD among others.