Country Profile: Djibouti
Official languagesArabic and French
Recognised regional languagesAfar, Somali
AreaTotal 23,200 km2
Djibouti, officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
The nation of Djibouti has a wealth of natural resources, as well as a growing industry and agriculture sector. The economy of Djibouti is based on service activities connected with the country's strategic location and status as a free trade zone in northeast Africa. Two-thirds of the inhabitants live in the capital city, the remainder being mostly nomadic herders. The nation also has newly created a tourism industry that is funded mostly by government programs and also by direct foreign investment.
Djibouti has a very unique and old culture that relates mostly to that of the Arab world. Among nomads, many wear a loosely wrapped white cotton robe called a tobe that goes down to about the knee, with the end thrown over the shoulder. Women typically wear the dirac, which is a long, light, diaphanous voile dress made of cotton or polyester that is worn over a full-length half-slip and a brassiere. Married women tend to sport head-scarves referred to as shash, and also often cover their upper body with a shawl known as garbasaar. Unmarried or young women, however, do not always cover their heads. Traditional Arabian garb such as the male jellabiya and the female niqab is also commonly worn. For some occasions such as festivals, women may adorn themselves with specialized jewelry and head-dresses similar to those worn by the Berber tribes of the Maghreb.
In the future, Djibouti will look to grow based on its agricultural strength and also its expand tourism industry. Due to the success of government implemented economic reform policies, the tourism industry has been able to take off for Djibouti and has attracted immense foreign investment from countries such as France, England and the United States. The opening of Djibouti Port has also attracted immense foreign investment and has further stimulated their economy.
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