Djibouti - Industry

No minerals are mined in Djibouti, despite the fact that perlite (on the Ergelaba plateau), limestone, gypsum (located at Ali Sabieh), and high magnesium content diatomites (present at Lake Assal) have been found by surveys. In 1997, a U.S. company received a license to prospect for gold, although it is unclear if deposits exist.

Manufacturing is small, providing only 5 percent of the GDP, with only 13 companies employing more than 10 people in 1989. The most important producers in the industrial sector are the water bottling plant, the dairy plant, the Coca-Cola plant, the flour mill, and the ice factory. All of them closed during the civil war, however, and many remain idle. Privatization of parastatal enterprises is being discussed as part of economic reforms.

Construction has been depressed by low industrial activity and by the fact that most people in Djiboutian towns live in shanty areas, despite some state housing and donor-funded sanitation schemes. The reconstruction of the port and the airports will be major projects in the near future.

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