Djibouti Economy


Djibouti had a an estimated population of 800,000 in mid-2007. Its GDP growth rate rose from 3.20 % ( in 2006 and 2007 ) to 3.50 % in 2008. Sector wise, in 2006, agriculture, industry and services contributed 3.2%, 14.9% and 81.9% respectively towards Djibouti's GDP. Unemployment rate of Djibouti economy rose from 50.00 % (in 2006 and 2007) to 59.00 % in 2008.

Djibouti economy overview

Djibouti has earned the distinction of being a free trade zone of northeast Africa. Two-thirds of Djibouti's population reside in its capital city. Rest of the population are mostly nomads. This country is drought prone and records scanty rainfall. Djibouti has minimal arable farm land. It produces just 3% of its food requirement. A substantial portion of food items is imported.

Traditional source of livelihood is rearing of livestock. Apart from this fishing industry is also present. A canning factory has come up with active financial support from Islamic Development Bank. Djibouti's economy is dependent on its closeness to huge Ethiopian market and a big foreign expatriate community.

Djibouti acts as a transit port as well as an international refueling and transshipment center. This nation is devoid of substantial quantities of natural resources neither is it heavily industrialized. Djibouti is hence much dependent on external assistance for financing its development projects and maintenance of balance of payments. High rates of population growth coupled with recession and civil war has scarred Djibouti's economy. Djibouti possesses a free-enterprise economy. It also has a French military base, which accounts for a substantial portion of its economic and commercial activities. Djibouti's income originates from its port, railway terminus, government administration, airport and construction industry (at present).

However, situation has turned for better from 2001 with substantial inflow of private sector investment, which had on an average reached over $200 million. Djibouti economy has also benefited from growth of a local banking hub, which pulled in $600 million worth of deposits.

As per reports available on September 2008, CERF had pumped in emergency funding for thousands of Djibouti residents who faced food insecurity. CERF along with UN was active in providing assistance to increasing number of refugees who were entering Djibouti from neighboring nations. Apart from these, WFP and UNDP were engaged in providing food assistance and assistance to rural people dependent on agriculture. WHO was also engaged in its efforts at prevention of malnutrition related deaths in this period.