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Quick Facts
CapitalDjibouti
Governmentrepublic
CurrencyDjiboutian franc (DJF)
Areatotal: 23,000 sq km
water: 20 sq km
land: 22,980 sq km
Population472,810 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageFrench (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar
ReligionMuslim 94%, Christian 6%

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: 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 
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%
other: 100% (1998 est.)
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; desertification; endangered species
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; Lac Assal (Lake Assal) is the lowest point in Africa

People

Population 
472,810 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: 42.6% (male 100,903; female 100,420)
15-64 years: 54.5% (male 135,409; female 122,209)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 7,220; female 6,649) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 
2.59% (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
40.33 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate 
14.43 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate 
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio 
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.09 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
99.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 51.6 years
female: 53.52 years (2002 est.)
male: 49.73 years
Total fertility rate 
5.64 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 
11.75% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 
37,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths 
4,400 (2002 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
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]; Front for Restoration of Unity and Democracy or FRUD [Ali Mohamed DAOUD]; People's Progress Assembly or RPP (governing party) [Ismail Omar GUELLEH]
Political pressure groups and leaders 
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, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador ROBLE Olhaye Oudine
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 Donald YAMAMOTO
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 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. Another factor limiting growth is the negative impact on port activity now that Ethiopia has more trade route options.
GDP 
purchasing power parity - $586 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
0% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $1,400 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 3%
industry: 10%
services: 87% (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% (2001 est.)
Labor force 
282,000
Labor force - by occupation 
NA%
Unemployment rate 
50% (2000 est.) (2000 est.)
Budget 
revenues: $135 million
expenditures: $182 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)
Industries 
construction, agricultural processing
Industrial production growth rate 
3% (1996 est.)
Electricity - production 
180 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption 
167.4 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 
0 kWh (2000)
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 
$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 (fixed rate since 1973)
Fiscal year 
calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use 
10,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
5,000 (2002)
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: 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 Service Providers (ISPs) 
1 (2000)
Internet users 
3,300 (2002)

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 (2001 est.)
Highways 
total: 2,890 km
paved: 364 km
unpaved: 2,526 km (1996)
Waterways 
none
Ports and harbors 
Djibouti
Airports 
12 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 3 (2002)

Military

Military branches 
Djibouti National Army (including Navy and Air Force)
Military manpower - availability 
males age 15-49: 110,221 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service 
males age 15-49: 64,940 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$26.5 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
4.4% (FY01)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
Djibouti maintains economic ties and border accords with "Somaliland" leadership while politically supporting the Somali Transitional National Government in Mogadishu