Djibouti women and children in...

Djibouti women and children in the spotlight

UNICEF’s Regional Director, Sigrid Kaag, concludes 3-day visit Sigrid Kaag, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa has...
DJIBOUTI: Efforts to contain s...

DJIBOUTI: Efforts to contain soaring food prices and drought

Djibouti is to implement emergency measures to ensure food security amid soaring prices and persistent drought that have particularly hurt the poor...
DJIBOUTI: Rains boost pastoral...

DJIBOUTI: Rains boost pastoral lands but rising food costs threaten food security for many

Food availability has improved in most inland pastoral areas of Djibouti where the July to September rains performed well, the Food Early Warning...
DJIBOUTI: Clean water for 25,0...

DJIBOUTI: Clean water for 25,000 people

In a bid to alleviate the problem of perennial water scarcity among poor residents of rural Djibouti, aid donors, the government and a United...

National name: Jumhouriyya Djibouti


Capital : Djibouti
Major Towns: Tadjoura, Obock, Khor Angar, Yoboki
Location (geographical coordinates/latitude and longitude): 11°36'N, 43°10'E
Time Zone: EAT (UTC+3)
Size (Land and Sea) 23,000 sq km
Borders with Eritrea 109 km, Ethiopia 349 km, Somalia 58 km
Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Lac Assal -155 m; highest point: Moussa Ali 2,028 m

Head of State: President: Ismail Omar Guelleh (1999), Prime Minister: Dileita Mohamed Dileita (2001)
Form of Government: Parliamentary democracy
Independancy (from France): June 27, 1977 
Currency: Franc (DJF)


Main industries: Construction, agricultural processing, salt
Natural resources: geothermal areas, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble, salt, diatomite, gypsum, pumice, petroleum
Agriculture: fruits, vegetables; goats, sheep, camels, animal hides

Population and People  

Population: 496,374 (July 2007 est.)
Population density per sq mi: 58
Growth rate: 2.0%
Birth rate: 39.07 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 5.23 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 100.8/1000
Religion: Muslim 94%, Christian 6%
Languages: French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar
Ethnic groups / Tribes: Somali 60%, Afar 35%, other 5% (includes French, Arab, Ethiopian, and Italian)
Average age: 0-14 years: 43.4% (male 107,957/female 107,233); 15-64 years: 53.2% (male 137,111/female 126,952); 65 years and over: 3.4% (male 8,626/female 8,495) (2007 est.)
Life expectancy: 43.3
Literacy (definition: age 15 and over can read and write): Total population: 67.9%; male: 78%; female: 58.4% (2003 est.)

  • Bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea
  • Djibouti lies within a geological feature known as the Afar Triangle, one of the hottest and most desolate places on Earth
  • Hot, dry desert
  • Mountains in the center of the country
  • 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
  • Djibouti provides services as both a transit port for the region and an international transshipment and refueling center
  • Has historically been part of several states
  • Two main ethnic groups: the Afar and the Somalis
  • Originally inhabited by nomadic tribes
  • Djibouti (capital), 19th-century city with a distinctly Arabic feel
  • Lively Central Market
  • Tropical Aquarium with underwater exhibits from the Red Sea
  • Gulf of Tadjoura: many species of fish and coral and is ideal for diving, snorkelling and underwater photography
  • Coral reefs in the Red Sea
  • Lake Abbé with a gathering place for flamingos and pelicans and the location of strange natural steaming chimneys
  • Dormant volcanoes and lava fields
  • Lake Assal: one of the lowest surface areas anywhere on the planet (150m/570 ft below sea level)