Flag of Djibouti

Flag of Djibouti

Djibouti Coastal Scenery

Djibouti Coastal Scenery

Country Republic of Djibouti – formerly the French territory of Afars and Issas – it became Djibouti in 1977  (Link to map of Djibouti)
Continent Africa – at the intersection of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden- the gateway to the Suez Canal- between Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia
Capital Djibouti – this port is the lifeblood of their economy
Population 923,000 – 75% live in the capital and the rest are nomadic herders

Major ethnic groups are Somali 60% and Afar 35%

The people are hospitable and the groups are peace-loving and stay in harmony by respecting each other’s traditions

The flag:  blue represents Issa Somalias, green the Afars, the red star for unity and the white is the color of peace and harmony

Language French and Arabic – – also Somali and Afar
Religion 94% adhere to Islam – 6% Christian

Both the Muslim holiday Ramdam and the Christian holiday Christmas are celebrated with pomp and glory

Terrain 8950 square miles in size – slightly smaller than NJ

Made up of dry shrub land, volcanic formations and Red Sea beaches

In Danakil Desert is Lac Assal  – 155m below sea level, the 3rd lowest place on earth, and is the saltiest lake in the world

The nomadic Afar people are settled along Lake Abhe

Lack of rainfall limits crop production so much food is imported

Natural resources include salt, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble, pumice and petroleum

Sports Football is the favorite
Animals It is a harsh climate for flora and fauna – the endemic bird Francolin and the colubrine snake are endangered
Facts of Interest Its prized location ensures a steady flow of foreign assistance

Has close ties to France and USA

Has America’s largest military base in Africa

Economy is concentrated in the service sector

Education is a priority with literacy rate (2012) at 70%

Has a long tradition of poetry and a rich musical heritage centered on traditional Somali folklore

Their food is influenced by French and Arab culinary art form  –  Chinese food is gaining popularity

Concerns Minimal potable water and limited arable land

Major infectious diseases – hepatitis A, typhoid, dengue fever

Unemployment nearly 50% and the youth unemployment 80%

Female genital mutilation widely practiced

Huge source of forced labor and sex trafficking

Mission The Diocese of Djibouti serves a small local Catholic population