(Arabic) Republique de Djibouti (French)
|Form of government
||presidential multiparty democracy
||UTC + 3
|Telephone area code
The Republic of Djibouti (Arabic: Djumhurijja Djibuti,
French: R®¶publique de Djibouti) lies on the Gulf of
Tadjourah, which is at the extreme western end of the
Gulf of Aden. The north-east African country at the exit
of the Red Sea has neighbors in southeast Somalia ,
Ethiopia in the south and west and Eritrea in the
northwest. Despite the small area of 23,100 km² -
which corresponds to the size of the German state of
Hesse - the nature of Djibouti is varied.
Two major landscapes can be distinguished. On the one
hand, the mountains in the north of the country, which
reach a height of up to 1,775 m, and on the other,
desert and semi-desert plains, which are crossed by
volcanic plateaus in the west and south. The highest
mountain in the country is the Musa Ali with 2 010 m
near the border with Ethiopia and Eritrea. The lowest
landing point - and thus the lowest in all of Africa -
is the saline Assalsee in the center of the country,
which is 157 m below sea level. Further deep sinks with
salt lakes run parallel to the Red Sea. The country has
no rivers that carry water all year round.
Djibouti has a tropical-dry climate, which is
influenced by a dusty and sandy desert wind, the Khamsin
(Arabic "fifty" because it usually occurs fifty days
after the spring equinox). The temperatures in the
capital of the same name,Djibouti, average 25 °„ C in
January and 36 °„ C in July. From October to April the
temperatures are slightly lower. In summer, however,
maximum temperatures of over 55 °„ C can be reached,
especially in the Tadjoura basin, one of the hottest
areas on earth. The annual rainfall is 131 mm, with rain
falling on average only 19 days a year.
Flora and fauna
Djibouti's flora and fauna is also characterized by
the sparse rainfall. The flora is particularly
restricted. It has only a few plants typical of
semi-deserts, such as desert shrubs. Mangroves grow on
the coast and there are small forest areas in the
Typical animals are antelopes, gazelles, hyenas,
jackals and ostriches. In contrast to the land, the seas
off the coast are very diverse. In addition to many
other types of fish, there are tunas and especially
barracudas, which are also called arrow pike.
The country's capital, Djibouti, has about 480,000
residents (agglomeration). With a total population of
around 712,000, this means that only about a third of
the population of Djibouti lives outside the city limits
and the country is rightly called a city-state. About
two thirds of the population belong to Somali ethnic
groups. The Afar are hostile to the southern Issa, who
belong to the Somali ethnic group. Around a fifth of the
population belongs to the Afar ethnic group, who live in
the north of the country. They are pastoral nomads, the
majority of whom live on the territory of Eritrea and
Ethiopia. Her mother tongue is Kushitic, which belongs
to the hamitosemitic language group. 12% of the
population are provided by other groups, including
larger minorities of Europeans and Arabs.
Although both Issa and Afar speak Kushite dialects,
Djibouti residents cannot communicate with each other
unless they speak the other dialect. The Arabic and
French languages serve as a bridge between the ethnic
The vast majority of the population belongs to the
Sunni Muslim faith, about 6% are Christians.
Life expectancy in Djibouti is only 43 years; the
population grows by an average of 1.8%. According to COUNTRYAAH, 68% of the
population can read and write.
Djibouti has been a presidential multi-party
democracy since a referendum in 1992, but the first
multi-party election did not take place until 2003. The
head of state with considerable powers is the president
of the country, who is directly elected by the people
for five years (Ismale Omar Guelleh, since May 1999).
Together with the cabinet, which is chaired by a prime
minister (Abdulkader Kamil Mohamed, since April 2013),
the president exercises executive power in the country.
The legislative body is the National Assembly, which
has 65 members who are elected for a five-year term.
Djibouti is divided into five regions and the
4% of the country's gross domestic product is
generated in agriculture, 16% in industry and the vast
majority in services. The very high proportion of the
service sector can be explained by the fact that the
only direct railway line from Djibouti runs to
neighboring Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The international
deep sea port in Djibouti City will thus become an
important transit port for Ethiopian goods. The
container port in Doraleh was inaugurated in 2009, the
largest and most modern of its kind in East Africa. A
stable currency and a relatively calm domestic political
situation have also prompted numerous banks and
financial institutions to settle in the country.
Due to the climate and soil conditions, only about 2%
of the country's area is suitable for growing crops. The
cultivation primarily serves the population's own needs.
A little over 10% of the area can be used as pasture
with restrictions. In contrast, fishing is successful in
the species-rich waters of the sea. In addition,
companies on the coast are working on the extraction of
Djibouti's main imports are food, animals, textiles,
oil and machinery, and hides and animal skins are
An international airport is located in Djibouti city.
The currency is the Djibouti franc.