Djibouti 1999Djibouti

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Djibouti - Introduction 1999
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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.

Djibouti - Geography 1999
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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 referenceAfrica

Total: 22,000 km²
Land: 21,980 km²
Water: 20 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Land boundaries
Total: 508 km
Border countries: (3) 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

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

Natural resources: geothermal areas
Land use

Land use
Arable land: NA%
Permanent crops: NA%
Permanent pastures: 9%
Forests and woodland: 0%
Other: 91% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

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

Note: strategic location near world's busiest shipping lanes and close to Arabian oilfields; terminus of rail traffic into Ethiopia; mostly wasteland

Djibouti - People 1999
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Population: 447,439 (July 1999 est.)
Growth rate: 1.51% (1999 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: Djiboutian(s)
Adjective: Djiboutian

Ethnic groups: Somali 60%, Afar 35%, French, Arab, Ethiopian, and Italian 5%

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

Religions: Muslim 94%, Christian 6%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 43% (male 96,222; female 96,023)
15-64 years: 54% (male 128,506; female 114,767)
65 years and over: 3% (male 6,155; female 5,766) (1999 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.51% (1999 est.)

Birth rate: 41.23 births/1000 population (1999 est.)

Death rate: 14.41 deaths/1000 population (1999 est.)

Net migration rate: -11.73 migrant(s)/1000 population (1999 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; desertification
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ship Pollution
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

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: 1.07 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (1999 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 100.24 deaths/1000 live births (1999 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 51.54 years
Male: 49.48 years
Female: 53.67 years (1999 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.87 children born/woman (1999 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 46.2%
Male: 60.3%
Female: 32.7% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Djibouti - Government 1999
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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

Dependent areas

Independence: 27 June 1977 (from France)

National holiday: Independence Day, 27 June (1977)

Constitution: multiparty constitution approved in referendum 4 September 1992

Legal system: based on French civil law system, traditional practices, and Islamic law

International law organization participation


Suffrage: NA years of age; universal adult

Executive branch
Chief of state: President HASSAN GOULED Aptidon (since 24 June 1977); note_President HASSAN GOULED announced early in the year that he would resign in April 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 7 May 1993 (next to be held 9 April 1999); prime minister appointed by the president
Election results: President HASSAN GOULED reelected; percent of vote_NA

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

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

Political parties and leaders

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 ROBLE Olhaye Oudine
In the us chancery: Suite 515, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20,005
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 331-0270
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 331-0302
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Lange SCHERMERHORN
From the us embassy: Plateau du Serpent, Boulevard Marechal Joffre, Djibouti
From the us mailing address: B. P. 185, Djibouti
From the us telephone: [253] 35 39 95
From the us FAX: [253] 35 39 40

Flag descriptionflag of Djibouti: 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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Djibouti - Economy 1999
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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. 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.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 0.6% (1998 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 3%
Industry: 20%
Services: 77% (1996 est.)

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

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

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

Labor force: 282,000
By occupation agriculture: 75%
By occupation industry: 11%
By occupation services: 14% (1991 est.)
Labor force

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

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $156 million
Expenditures: $175 million, including capital expenditures of $N/A (1997 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $39.6 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
Commodities: hides and skins, coffee (in transit) (1995)
Partners: Ethiopia 45%, Somalia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia (1996)

Imports: $200.5 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
Commodities: foods, beverages, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products (1995)
Partners: France, Ethiopia, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Thailand (1996)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $276 million (1996 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Djiboutian francs (DF) per US$1_177.721 (fixed rate since 1973)

Djibouti - Energy 1999
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 175 million kWh (1996)
By source fossil fuel: 100%
By source hydro: 0%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1996)

Electricity consumption: 175 million kWh (1996)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1996)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (1996)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Djibouti - Communication 1999
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

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

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Djibouti - Military 1999
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $22.5 million (1997)
Percent of gdp: 4.5% (1997)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Djibouti - Transportation 1999
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 11 (1998 est.)
With paved runways total: 2
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1 (1998 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 9
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 5
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 2 (1998 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 2
Over 3047 m: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 1 (1998 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 9
15-24 to 2437 m: 2
914 to 1523 m: 5
Under 914 m: 2 (1998 est.)



Total: 97 km (Djibouti segment of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad)
Narrow gauge: 97 km 1.000-m gauge
Note: in April 1998, Djibouti and Ethiopia announced plans to revitalize the century-old railroad that links their capitals



Merchant marine: total:1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,369 GRT/3,030 DWT (1998 est.)

Ports and terminals

Djibouti - Transnational issues 1999
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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