In conclusion, Djibouti has a rich history dating back to prehistoric times. It has been inhabited since Neolithic times and has been part of various sultanates before becoming a French colony. After gaining independence in 1977, it became known as Republic of Djibouti.
THE POPULATION Djibouti has an estimated population of 1,136,455 people as of 2023. The country is home to various ethnic groups, including the Dir Somali (60%) and the Afar (35%). The majority of the population is Muslim.
THE LANDMARKS Djibouti boasts several notable landmarks, including:
- Place Menelik: A popular attraction in Djibouti City.
- Hamoudi Mosque: A traditional mosque located in the city center.
- Sada Mosque: Another religious site in Djibouti.
- Al Molk Mosque: A significant mosque in the country. These landmarks offer insights into Djibouti’s cultural and architectural heritage.
THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE Djibouti has two official languages: Arabic and French. Arabic is of religious importance and is used in formal settings, while French serves as a statutory national language.
THE CULTURE Djibouti’s culture is diverse due to its location at a crossroads of trade and commerce. The population is divided into several ethnic groups, including the Afars and the Dir Somali people. Poetry plays an essential role in preserving the community’s history and customs.
THE ECONOMIC STABILITY Djibouti’s medium-term economic outlook is favorable, with projected GDP growth rates of 5.4% in 2023 and 6.5% in 2024. The country aims to reduce inflation to an average of 3% over 2023-2024. However, potential risks include external debt repayment difficulties, climate change impacts, and COVID-19 resurgence.
THE GDP Djibouti’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was worth 3.52 billion US dollars in 2022, according to official data from the World Bank. The country’s economy is expected to grow by 5.4% in 2023 and 6.5% in 2024.
THE CURRENCY The official currency of Djibouti is the Djiboutian franc (DJF), which replaced the French franc as the official currency in 1949. As of September 9, 2023, one US dollar is equal to 177.55 DJF.
THE FOOD Djibouti’s cuisine is heavily influenced by its neighbors, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Yemen, as well as its former occupier France and India to some extent. Some popular dishes include:
Sambusa: A crispy fried pastry filled with meat, onions, and vegetables.
Fah-fah: A spicy stew made with goat meat, vegetables, and chilies.
Banana fritters: Sweet fritters made with ripe bananas, flour, and nutmeg.
Laxoox: A flatbread similar to Ethiopian injera made of teff flour and sweetened water.
MAJOR CITIES The largest cities in Djibouti by population are:
- Djibouti City: Population of 475,322 people as of 2009.
- Ali Sabieh: Population of 37,939 people as of 2009.
- Dikhil: Population of 24,886 people as of 2009.
- Tadjoura: Population of 14,820 people as of 2009.
MAJOR AIRPORTS AND SEAPORTS Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport (JIB) is the primary airport serving Djibouti City and the country’s only international airport. It is located approximately 6 kilometers from the city center and has a single terminal building with one departure gate and one baggage carousel. The Port of Djibouti is one of the busiest ports in East Africa and serves as a gateway to landlocked Ethiopia. The country also has several other ports, including the Port of Tadjoura and the Port of Doraleh.
SCHOOLS Djibouti has several notable schools and universities, including:
- University of Djibouti: The country’s only public university offering undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields.
- American University of Djibouti: A private university offering undergraduate programs in business administration, computer science, education, and English language studies.
- Institut Français de Djibouti: A French cultural center that offers French language courses for all levels.