World History

Djibouti | History, Capital, Language, Flag, Facts

History of Djibouti:

Djibouti has been inhabited by nomads for thousands of years. Local ethnic groups of the Somalis and Afars embraced Islam early in history and were part of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century. After this, the French took an interest in the area and it soon became known as the French territory of the Afars and Isates.

The country of Djibouti was founded in 1977. The first president was Hassan Gould, who ruled until 1999 when the first multiparty elections were held. Ismail Omar Guelleh then became president. In the 1990s, the country was embroiled in a civil war between the Alar and Issa tribes.

Djibouti still has close ties with France that date back to colonial times. France maintains a fairly large army in the country. The area is considered strategic due to its location at the tip of the Red Sea.

Information about Djibouti:

Capital Djibouti
Population 1,139,262 (Source: 2023 worldometer)
Major Cities Djibouti (capital), Obock, Tadjoura, Ali Sabieh, Arta, and Dikhil
Borders Eritrea to the north, Ethiopia to the west and southwest, and Somalia to the south
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $3.3 billion (2019 wikipedia)
Currency Djiboutian franc (DJF)

Flag of Djibouti:

Djibouti Economy Key Industries:

Djibouti Major Industries: construction, agricultural processing, salt

Djibouti Agricultural Products: fruits, vegetables; goats, sheep, camels, animal hides

Djibouti Natural Resources: geothermal areas, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble, salt, diatomite, gypsum, pumice, petroleum

Djibouti Major Exports: reexports, hides and skins, coffee (in transit)

Djibouti Major Imports: foods, beverages, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products

The Geography of Djibouti:

Total Size of Djibouti: 23,200 km² (source: wikipedia)

Geographical Low Point of Djibouti: Lac Assal -155 m

Geographical High Point of Djibouti:  Moussa Ali 2,028 m

Climate of Djibouti: desert; torrid, dry

General Terrain of Djibouti: coastal plain and plateau separated by central mountains

World Region or Continent of Djibouti: Africa

Geographical Coordinates: 11 30 N, 43 00 E

The People of  Djibouti & Culture

Djibouti Nationality: Djiboutian(s)

Djibouti Government Type:  republic

Djibouti National Holiday: Independence Day, 27 June (1977)

Djibouti Independence: 27 June 1977 (from France)

Djibouti National Symbol:

Djibouti National Anthem or Song: Jabuuti (Djibouti)

Djibouti Languages Spoken: French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar

Djibouti Religions: Muslim 94%, Christian 6%

Interesting Facts about Djibouti:

Hussein Ahmed Salah is the only Djiboutian athlete to win an Olympic medal. He won a bronze medal in the 1988 Marathon in Seoul, South Korea.

Lake Asal, a crater lake in central Djibouti, has ten times the salinity of the sea. In fact, it is the second saltiest body of water in the world after Don Juan Pond in Antarctica.

Several countries, including France, the United States and China, have military bases in Djibouti. Djibouti’s status as a paragon of stability in a volatile region and its proximity to the world’s busiest shipping lanes make it a particularly attractive destination for the world’s military powers.

Djibouti is located on a plain known as the Afar Triple Junction, where three ramifications of the Earth’s crust separate: the African Plate, the Somali Plate, and the Arabian Plate.

In 2017, a 750km new railway line was opened, linking Addis Ababa in Ethiopia with the city of Djibouti. This route replaces the old French decommissioned railway that opened in 1917.

The rail line, which opened to the public in 2018, was part of what inspired Lonely’s Planet to list Djibouti as one of his 2018 Best Travel Destinations.

Djibouti is made up of two main ethnic groups, the Somalis and the Afars.

Carts of addictive drugs are often chewed by Djiboutians. Imported in large quantities from Ethiopia and Kenya, this leaf causes a mild amphetamine-like euphoria in the user.

In Djibouti, it is illegal to photograph public buildings, airports, military installations, harbors, bridges and other infrastructure. Your camera equipment may be confiscated and you may be arrested.

Whale sharks, the world’s largest known fish, regularly visit Djibouti’s shores, making the country a perfect place to swim with them.