Republic of Djibouti République de Djibouti Jumhouriyya Djibouti
CAPITAL : Djibouti
FLAG: A white triangle, with a five-pointed red star within, extends from the hoist; the remaining area has a broad light blue band over a broad light green band.
ANTHEM: No information available.
MONETARY UNIT: The Djibouti franc ( D Fr) of 100 centimes is the national currency. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 500 Djibouti francs, and notes of 500, 1000, 5000, and 10,000 Djibouti francs. D Fr1 = $0.0056 (or $1 = D Fr 177) as of January 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is in use.
HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Labor Day, 1 May; Independence Day, 27 June; Christmas Day, 25 December. Movable religious holidays are Milad an-Nabi, Laylat al-Miraj, 'Id al-Fitr, 'Id al-'Adha', and Muslim New Year (1st of Muharram).
TIME: 3 PM = noon GMT.
Over 90% of the land in Djibouti is desert. On Mt. Goda, near Tadjoura, there are rare giant juniper trees, acacias, and wild olive trees. However, most of the vegetation is typical of the desert and semidesert, consisting of thorn scrubs and palm trees.
In its animal reserves, Djibouti has antelopes, gazelles, hyenas, and jackals.
The Issa branch of the Somali people and related clans constitutes 60% of all Djibouti's inhabitants; most live in southern Djibouti or in the capital. The Afars, a related people of north and west Djibouti, who also live in the Danakil depression of neighboring Ethiopia, number about 35%. The remaining 5% consists of French (about 3%), Arabs of Yemeni background, Ethiopians, and Italians.
Although French and Arabic are the official languages, the home languages of the vast majority of Djiboutians are Somali and Afar, both of Cushitic origin.
There are five cercles , or districts, with councils and appointed administrators: Ali Sabieh, Obock, Dikhil, Tadjoura, and Djibouti.
Admitted to UN membership on 20 September 1977, Djibouti belongs to ECA and all the non-regional specialized agencies except IAEA and WIPO. It is also a member of the WTO, African Development Bank, G-77, League of Arab States, and AU, as well as a signatory of the Law of the Sea. In 1981, treaties of friendship and cooperation were signed with Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and the Sudan.
Cattle, fat-tailed sheep, goats, and camels are grazed in the interior; hides and skins are exported. In 2001, Djibouti had an estimated 512,000 goats, 475,000 sheep, 269,000 cattle, and 7,000 asses. Meat production in 2001 totaled 10,800 tons, of which beef accounted for 3,600 tons. An estimated 8,000 tons of milk were produced in 2001, along with 1,000 tons of cattle hides, sheepskins, and goatskins.
There is no local tradition of commercial fishing or seafaring, although the Gulf of Tadjoura, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea are potentially rich sources of commercial and game fish. The catch was 350 tons in 2000.
There are protected forests on the slopes of the mountains north of the Gulf of Tadjoura. Less than 1% of the country's total land area is forested.
Because Djibouti is an active volcanic zone, its two principal research organizations—the Higher Institute for Scientific and Technical Research and the Bureau of Geological and Mineral Research—concentrate on the earth sciences.
The State Insurance Co. of Somalia and about ten European insurance companies provide most of the insurance coverage.
Formerly a "Free Zone," although the term only applied to the port, Djibouti now levies customs duties on most commodities, with most import taxes ranging from 5–40%. Luxury goods, such as cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, are taxed at higher rates, as much as 160%. Additionally, Djibouti requires import licenses for all those wishing to import or sell in the country.
No information is available.
A chamber of commerce and industry, founded in 1912, has its headquarters in the capital. Youth organizations include the Association of Youth Homes in Djibouti, Djibouti Scout Association, and Red Crescent Youth of Djibouti (JCRD). The Eglise Protestante (Protestant Church) offers educational and social welfare programs as well as religious evangelism.
Hassan Gouled Aptidon (b.1916) was president from independence in 1977 until 1999, when he decided to step down; his nephew and handpicked successor, Ismael Omar Guelleh (b.1947) was elected to the office in April 1999.
Djibouti has no territories or colonies.
Aboubaker Alwan, Daoud. Historical Dictionary of Djibouti. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2000.
Kalb, Jon (ed.). Bibliography of the Earth Sciences for the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Djibouti, 1620–1993. Alexandria, Va.: American Geological Institute, 2000.
Koburger, Charles W. Naval Strategy East of Suez: The Role of Djibouti. New York: Praeger, 1992.
Schraeder, Peter J. Djibouti. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Clio Press, 1991.
Woodward, Peter. The Horn of Africa: State Politics and International Relations. London: I. B. Tauris, 1996.