More information about Djibouti is available on the Djibouti Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Djibouti in 1977, following its independence from France, and had consular representation in the former colony of French Somaliland since 1929. Since independence, Djibouti has had two presidents -- Hassan Gouled Aptidon, was first elected in 1977 and ruled for 22 years until the current president, Ismail Omar Guelleh, was elected in 1999. The country had a single legal party from 1981 to 1992. Additional political parties became legal and formed beginning in 1992. The country’s nearly decade-long internal conflict between the government and a rebel group officially ended in 2001.
Djibouti is located at a strategic point in the Horn of Africa and is a strong U.S. partner on security, regional stability, and humanitarian efforts in the greater Horn. The Djiboutian Government has been supportive of U.S. and interests and takes a proactive position against terrorism. Djibouti hosts a U.S. military presence at Camp Lemonnier, a former French Foreign Legion base in the capital. Djibouti has also allowed the U.S. military, as well as other militaries with presences in Djibouti, access to its port facilities and airport.
The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Food for Peace program maintains a warehouse for pre-positioned emergency food relief in Djibouti -- the only one of its kind outside the continental United States -- allowing expedient delivery of humanitarian assistance to famine-stricken countries from Africa to Asia. International Broadcasting Bureau facilities in Djibouti transmit Arabic-language Radio Sawa programming, and Voice of America Somali Service broadcasts to neighboring Somalia and the Arabian Peninsula.
U.S. Assistance to Djibouti
Djibouti’s prosperity is hindered by serious unemployment, poor health, food insecurity, and less than effective governance. U.S. assistance aims to help improve health and education and to promote stability, which is critical to improving Djibouti's capacity to provide basic services to its people in the long term.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Djibouti is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The government has spearheaded the creation of a deep-sea port, which has increased private sector investment. U.S. exports to Djibouti include vegetable oil, wheat, machinery, and foodstuffs. U.S. imports almost always transit Djibouti from origin countries farther inland, like Ethiopia. These imports include coffee, vegetables, and perfumery and cosmetics. The United States has signed a trade and investment framework agreement with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, of which Djibouti is a member.
Djibouti's Membership in International Organizations
Djibouti and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
Djibouti maintains an embassy in the United States at Suite 515, 1156 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 (tel. 202-331-0270).
More information about Djibouti is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Djibouti Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Djibouti Page
U.S. Embassy: Djibouti
USAID Djibouti Page
History of U.S. Relations With Djibouti
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Travel and Business Information