Lying on the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the tiny African nation of Djibouti serves as a gateway to the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.
Its port is the lifeblood of its economy, providing the biggest source of income and employment in this otherwise barren country.
Djibouti’s proximity to restive areas in Africa and the Middle East and its relative stability have made it a prized location for foreign military bases and ensured a steady flow of foreign assistance.
Former colonial power France maintains a significant military presence and the country also hosts America’s largest military base in Africa.
- THE REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI
- Capital: Djibout
- Population 923,000
- Area 23,200 sq km (8,950 sq miles)
- Languages French, Arabic, Somali, Afar
- Religion Islam
- Life expectancy 57 years (men), 60 years (women)
- Currency Djiboutian franc