Republic of Djibouti


The Republic of Djibouti, covering an area of ​​23,200 km2, is located in the Horn of Africa and shares borders with Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. It has a coastline of 370 km, which overlooks the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.


Djibouti's population is estimated to 818,159 inhabitants by 2009, more than two thirds live in Djibouti City, which is the capital of the country. The rate of population growth is very high (6%) with 3% of the contribution by the migratory. The official languages ​​are French and Arabic. Somali and Afar are the national languages. The majority (98%) of the population is Sunni Muslim religion. Young people under 20 years account for nearly 53% of the country's population.


The Horn of Africa has always been a cultural and trade crossroad between Africa and Asia, especially Saudi. The contacts with the populations from Saudi have intensified to the 7th century with the spread of Islam in the region and the establishment of Muslim kingdoms. The first lasting contacts with the Europeans dates from 1839. In 1862, local chiefs of the region signed treaties with the French who founded Djibouti in 1888, the current capital of the Republic of Djibouti. The territory became a colony under the name of French Somaliland then Afars and Issas of French Territory in 1967. After three decades of advocacy and protest led by the APLI (African People's League for Independence), the colonial power held a referendum May 8th 1977 where the majority of the territory's population voted for independence.

The country achieved independence on June 27th1977 under the name of Republic of Djibouti, and Hassan Gouled Aptidon was appointed as the first President of the country. A single party, the RPP (Rally for Progress) conducted the affairs of the country.

An armed rebellion broke out in 1991 in the north of the country. A new constitution which introduced a multiparty system in the Republic of Djibouti was passed in 1992. A peace agreement was signed in December 1994 between the government and the FRUD (Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy).

The presidential elections were held in May 1999, after which a new president, His Excellency Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh was elected.

After one year of negotiations, the government and the anti-government forces of FRUD signed May 12th 2001 an agreement sealed permanent peace in the Republic of Djibouti.

Political organization

Djibouti is a presidential and pluralistic republic. The President of the Republic, who is also Head of Government, is elected by direct universal suffrage for 6 years, renewable once. He appoints various ministers on the proposal of the Prime Minister and may dismiss them. The Ministers are responsible for implementing the government policy. Legislative power is vested in the National Assembly which consists of a single chamber with 65 members elected by universal suffrage on a list for 5 years.

There is a mutual independence between the President and the National Assembly.

The President has no power to dissolve the assembly and the latter cannot, in turn, undermine the authority of the President.

Other institutions provided by the constitution are the Constitutional Council, the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, the High Court of Justice and the Ombudsman of the Republic.


The economy of Djibouti is mainly based on the tertiary activities, which account for almost 83% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Around the Port and the Djibouti-Ethiopian Railway developed banking, insurance and trade. The part of the Administration in GDP is also very important. It represents about 30% of GDP in 1998.

The primary and secondary sectors are underdeveloped. Their contributions to GDP amounted respectively to 4% and 13% in 1998. Breeding is the main activity in rural areas. The harsh climate and the lack of agricultural tradition hinders the development of this sector. However, fishing is a growing sector. This trend will increase with the recent inauguration of a fishing port and a training center for the profession of fishing.

The development of the secondary sector comes up against several obstacles,such as the scarcity of natural resources, the absence of skilled labor and the high costs of inputs.

After several years of recession, Djibouti is experiencing a positive nominal economic growth of around 1.3% in 1998 and 3% in 1999.


The Republic of Djibouti is divided into five administrative units called districts. The new government policy on decentralization has created the Regional Councils within the districts. The council members are chosen from residents of the districts and have a broad discretion in public management.

External Relations

The Republic of Djibouti is a member of the African Union (formerly OAU), the Arab League and IGAD. The country is also a member of the UN and most major international (World Bank, IMF, ADB, ACP, ...) and regional (COMESA, SIN-CED ...) organizations.


The Constitution ofSeptember 15th, 1992

Title 1, State sovereignty

Article 1: The State of Djiboutiis a democratic republic, the sovereignty is integral and indivisible. It ensuresthe equality of allthe people before the law withoutdistinctionoflanguage, origin, race, sex orreligion.It respectsall beliefs.His motto is"Unity, Equality, Peace".Its principle isthe government of the people, by the people andfor the people.Itsofficial languages

Article 2: The capital of the stateisDjibouti.The emblem ofthe Republic is theblue, green, and white hitafive-pointed redstar flag.


No.91/AN/00/4th Act of July 10th2000concerning the definitionof theSeal of the Republic

Article 1er: Le sceau de la République de Djibouti est représenté par une couronne de lauriers à l'intérieur de laquelle figurent un bouclier et une lance surmontée d'une étoile à cinq branches. Le bouclier et la lance sont entourés de part et d'autre par deux mains tenant chacune le poignard traditionnel djiboutien.

Article 1: The seal of the Republic of Djibouti is represented by a laurel wreath within which are a shield and a spear topped with a five-pointed star. The shield and spear are surrounded on both sides by two hands each holding a traditional dagger of Djibouti.

Article 2: The laurel wreath is representative of the peace recognized by people of Djibouti after his victory in the independence June 27th 1977. Shield, lance and star symbolize the defense of national sovereignty and integrity of the territory. Both traditional daggers held by two hands symbolize the culture and traditions of the people as the foundation of National Solidarity.