Djibouti General Information
Known initially as French Somaliland and then as French Territory of Afars and Issas, Djibouti gained independence on June 27, 1977.
Location of Djibouti: The country is surrounded by Eritrea to the north; Ethiopia to the north, west, and south; and Somalia to the southeast. While towards the east lies the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Tadjoura extends over 100 km into Djibouti from the east coast.
Flora and Fauna of Djibouti: As the country is mainly rocky in nature, the vegetation is mainly made up of scattered drought-tolerant grasses and shrubs. Wildlife includes jackals, hyenas, ostriches, and gazelles.
Physical Map of Djibouti: Djibouti is made up of plateaus and mountains towards the north and south of the gulf. The highest mountain Moussa Ali stands 6768ft tall along the northern border where the Ethiopian and Eritrean boundaries meet. Towards the west, lies the desert lowland with depressions containing several salt lakes, the largest being Lake Abbé situated along the Ethiopian border. Very little of the country's land is arable, and there are no regularly flowing rivers or streams. Djibouti relies on an underground aquifer for fresh water.
Climate of Djibouti: Djibouti is hot and dry all year round, especially during summers. The average temperature varies from 23° to 29° C in January and from 31° to 41°C in July. Annual rainfall ranges from 127 mm in the capital to 380 mm in the mountains.
People of Djibouti: Over 60 per cent of the population is made up of people from ethnic Somali origin, who form the majority in the south. Around 30 percent is made up of Afar who are in majority in the north. The remaining 10 per cent is made up of Arab, French, and other small groups. Even if the official languages are French and Arabic, Somali is also widely spoken in the south and Afar in the north.
Economy of Djibouti: Livestock herding forms the backbone of Djibouti's economy and most of the people, even if they are residing in urban areas, make it a point to rear livestock in rural areas. Most of the people are also engaged in agriculture, though most of the land is barren and major portion of the food products need to be imported. The country is also heavily dependent on foreign aids from France and other countries for its development. Djibouti has very few big industries and the government is the main service sector employer. Port-related services, such as transport, communications and warehousing also contribute significantly to the economy. The 2008 GDP for Djibouti is US$508 million with the previous year being US$486 million showing an increase of 5.86%. The forecast for 2009 is US$548 million which is 6.86% more than the 2008 figure.
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