Djibouti Profile


Djibouti Profile

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With a population of 988,002 (2020), Djibouti differs in many ways from other African nations. It has had contact with the Arabian peninsula for more than a thousand years and even one of its national languages is Arabic. Djibouti was ruled in the nineteenth century by a Sultan, but by 1862 the French had started purchasing land there and eventually expanded the area into a colony known as French Somalialand, broadly reflecting Djibouti's current boundaries. The colony gained its independence from France in 1977, and was renamed the Republic of Djibouti, however was essentially two countries in one representing the Afars and the Issas. Djibouti itself is a predominately Muslim country with each and every town and village having its own Mosque.



Following independence, the country's first president Hassan Gouled Aptiodon, installed a Issas led one-party state and he continued to rule until his retirement in 1999 when his nephew, Ismail Omar Guelleh, was installed in office. Afar unrest was prevalent during the 1990s and has been described as civil war, however a peace treaty was signed in 2000 and since then there have been multi-party elections, even if the incumbent president, Aptiodon's nephew Ismail Omar Guelleh, was re-elected for his fifth five-year term in 2021 with 97.30% of the vote! Despite its location next to the sea, Djibouti is little visited by tourists, except for the French with their colonial ties, however it is used a military base for eight overseas nations, bringing important revenue into the country, where unemployment is estimated to be between 40-50% of the working population. For example, the Chinese People's Liberation Army Support Base has recently been completed in Djibouti having been built at a cost of US$590 million.


Djibouti Profile


Such external revenue is required as Djibouti has few natural resources and insufficient rainfall and arable land (most of the country is a stony desert) to feed itself, having to import most foodstuffs. Bases are built there mainly because of Djibouti's strategic location not least its control, with Yemen, of the Strait of Bab-el-Mandab, through which 10% of total world trade passes, represented by nearly 19,000 ships in 2020. For more about Djibouti, check out our country profile pages below including our Djibouti profile news which is updated daily.




Djibouti Profile: Volunteer in Djibouti

African Volunteer Work: Djibouti


Check out all the latest fee paying and free African volunteer work placements and charity work job opportunities abroad with local projects and volunteering organisations in Djibouti.

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Djibouti Profile: Djibouti History

Djibouti History


The history about Djibouti from ancient times to independence in 1977 in video and pictures. 77.

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Djibouti Profile: Djibouti Independence

Djibouti Independence


Pictures and images about the Djibouti struggle for independence achieved in 1977.

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Djibouti Profile: Life in Djibouti

Life in Djibouti


Facts and figures about daily life in Djibouti, one of the smallest countries in Africa and a strategic partner of the west, including video of the country.

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Djibouti Profile: Colonial Djibouti

Colonial Djibouti


We just love this video of picture postcards of old Colonial Djibouti between the world wars, a bit of African history to savour!

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Djibouti Profile: Djibouti Sea Life

Djibouti Sea Life


Djibouti's location adjacent to the Red Sea makes it an ideal base for exploration of the area's abundant sea life inbetween volunteering.

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Djibouti Profile: Djibouti Nomads

Djibouti Nomads


Exploring the lives of nomads in Djibouti whose very existence is being threatened by widespread droughts together with a Djibouti nomads video documentary.

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Djibouti Profile: Djibouti Airport

Djibouti Airport


Make a virtual landing at Djibouti Ambouli International Airport in this video where you are likely to enter the country for your volunteer work in Djibouti.

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Djibouti Profile: Djibouti Map

Djibouti Map


Use this Google Earth satellite map of the Republic of Djibouti to explore and take a virtual tour of Djibouti in Africa then check out our other Djibouti profile pages here to find out more about the country and the volunteer work opportunities available there.

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Djibouti Profile: Child Sponsor Djibouti

Child Sponsor Djibouti


Details of how to sponsor children in Djibouti with Djibouti child sponsor organisations, charities, programs and projects.

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Djibouti Profile: Djibouti News

Djibouti News


Read all the latest and breaking news from Djibouti here at our Djibouti news profile page. Updated daily.

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