Djibouti Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

Djibouti Basic Information


  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Official name of the country: Republic of Djibouti

President : Ismail Omar Guelleh (in office since 8/5/1999)

Political tendencies: President Ismail Omar Guelleh (born in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia) has been in power since 1999. He won the 2021 election for the fifth time and his family has held power since independence from France in 1977. The main domestic political event of 2021 was the presidential election in Djibouti. Opposition parties and groupings boycotted the election, which, together with their discord, which was already fully manifested in regional, parliamentary and municipal elections in previous years, led to the unsurprising victory of the current president. The presidential coalition UMP (Union pour la majorité présidentielle) also holds a majority in the Parliament, having won 57 seats out of 65 in the last elections. The elections were traditionally accompanied by a very low voter turnout. Space for civil society and independent media remains minimal. Check cancermatters to learn more about Djibouti political system.

Composition of the government: Prime Minister – Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed

State Secretary for Youth and Sports – Hassan Mohamed Kamil

State Secretary for Decentralization – Hamadou Mohamed Aramis

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – Mahmoud Ali Youssouf

Minister of Economy and Finance – Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh

Minister for State Budget – Abdoulkarim Aden Cher

Minister of Interior – Moumin Ahmed Cheick

Minister of Defense – Hassan Omar Mohammed Bourhan

Minister of Health – Mohamed Warsama Dirieh

Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries – Mohamed Ahmed Awaleh

Minister of Justice and Criminal Affairs – Ali Hassan Bahdon

Minister of Infrastructure and Transport – Moussa Mohamed Ahmed

Minister of Education and Vocational Training – Moustapha Mahamoud

Minister of Higher Education and Research – Nabil Mohamed Ahmed

Minister of Muslim Affairs and Culture – Moumin Hassan Barreh

Minister of Energy – Yonis Ali Guedi

Minister of Labor – Isman Ibrahim Roble

Minister for Women and Family Affairs – Hasna Barkat Daoud

Minister of Urban Planning, Environment and Tourism – Mohamed Abdoulkader Helem

Foreign policy of the country

In foreign policy, Djibouti has long been making excellent use of its strategic position at the Bab Al-Mandab strait near Somalia and Yemen; it thus represents a regional hub in the fight against terrorism and maritime piracy. The USA, China, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Italy and Spain operate their military bases here. Russia also planned to open its base, but the pressure and finances of the Americans ruined the plans. Germany, which is involved in the EU’s anti-piracy mission together with Spain, withdrew its troops in 2021. China, on the other hand, plans to significantly expand its presence in the country. The Djibouti government receives approximately 250 million USD per year from the rental of these installations alone. Check prozipcodes for Djibouti defense and foreign policy.

From Djibouti’s point of view, regional relations remain complicated despite the efforts of various actors. They have been tense for a long time with Eritrea (the closed border, which until the outbreak of the Qatar crisis was guarded by soldiers from this very country, accusing each other of supporting anti-government elements). Relations with the United Arab Emirates are still at freezing point – Djibouti unilaterally terminated the thirty-year contract with the Emirati company DP World, which operated the port in Doraleh (DCT – Doraleh Container Terminal). DCT was subsequently nationalized by the government and the new terminal manager became China (via the China Merchants Group), which decided to expand the terminal as part of a huge $3 billion infrastructure project. Construction work on the extension has started in 2021 and is expected to take approximately 2 years.

Djibouti continues to closely monitor the UAE’s involvement in Somaliland. The Dubai company DP World is involved in the construction of a port in Somaliland’s Berbera, in which Ethiopia owns 19% and wants to use it in the future as an alternative to Djibouti ports. In addition, the Berbera road corridor will soon be completed in its entire length.

Despite all the current security problems, Ethiopia is one of Djibouti’s main political and economic partners, for which access to the ports in Djibouti is absolutely essential. The crisis in Ethiopia thus has a profoundly negative effect on income from logistics services and re-exports. Djibouti increased its military presence along the Djibouti-Ethiopia border during November and December 2021 to prevent the potential spillover of instability into its territory.


Population: according to the World Population Review as of February 2020: 1,012,943

Average age: 25 years

Capital: Djibouti, 530,000

Average annual population growth according to the World Population Review, estimate for 2022: 1.39%

Demographic composition: 50.2% men, 49.8% women

National composition: Issa (60%), Afar (35%), the remaining 5% are French, Arabs (mainly Yemenis), Ethiopians

Religious composition: Sunni Muslims (94%), Christians (6%)