Djibouti – a sea of opportunities

Djibouti is one of the smallest countries in Africa. Its strength lies in its location at the southern entrance to the Red Sea and the fact that it is adjacent to some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, acting as a bridge between Africa and the Middle East.

According to the World Bank’s global economic prospects report, Djibouti is expected to experience the strongest growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in Africa this year. The country’s growth remained positive at 0.5% in 2020, following the recovery of key domestic markets. What is more, the output growth in Djibouti is set to reach 5.5% in 2021 and average 6.1% a year in 2022 and 2023. This will put the country’s shipping, logistics and telecommunication services to the test.

Djibouti’s ports lead the country’s economy. The system is among the most sophisticated in the world, and trade through these ports is expected to grow rapidly in parallel with the expanding economy of the country’s largest neighbour and main trading partner, Ethiopia.

In October 2020, the Djibouti Sovereign Fund provided support to pool the country’s wealth, invest in partnerships on international projects, boost the domestic private sector and steadily increase savings.

Meanwhile, the Vision 2035 development plan established in 2013 has led to:

  • the development of a first-rate ecosystem and new railway line to Addis Ababa (October 2016);
  • the commission of the Doraleh Multipurpose Port (2017-2018);
  • the building of mineral ports in Ghoubet (June 2017) and Tadjourah (June 2017);
  • the creation of the Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (July 2018);
  • an agreement between Air Djibouti and Ethiopian Airlines and the port of Djibouti (January 2021); and
  • a $350 million agreement with the China Merchants Group to redevelop the old Port of Djibouti (2021).

Other areas being developed include:

  • the tourism sector;
  • fishing, including untapped marine resources and artisanal fishing;
  • an undersea telecommunications infrastructure;
  • new digital…

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