Djibouti is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa: more than 70% of the population lives in urban areas, with 58% in the capital. Urban poverty also exists, presenting a challenge for the Djiboutian authorities. AFD is providing support for the Republic of Djibouti in several sectors, to help improve the living conditions of its citizens.
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Balbala neighborhood of Djibouti

Reforming education and fighting youth unemployment

Children from Andoli, in Djibouti

Reforming education and fighting youth unemployment

In Djibouti, AFD has been involved in the education sector since the 2000s. It has built or renovated around 15 schools, thereby markedly improving access to primary school in rural areas. AFD is supporting the Government in developing its " Education Blueprint ", whose objective is to make education and vocational training a vector in fighting youth unemployment.

In 2005, AFD supported the " Education for All Djibouti " (EPTD) project, which included improving access and quality, providing guidance for secondary education reform and strengthening the management of the education system. France's National Education Department provided decisive support for the writing of textbooks and programs.

Signed in 2014, the Education and Vocational Training Support Project (PAEFP) put the finishing touches on secondary education reform, along with the setting up of a Djiboutian baccalauréat (2016). Technical and vocational teaching has modernized so as to better adapt the profiles of students to the needs of the Djiboutian private sector.

Redeveloping precarious neighborhoods

Balbala neighborhood of Djibouti

Redeveloping precarious neighborhoods

Balbala, located west of the City of Djibouti, is the country's biggest slum. For AFD, improving the living conditions of its inhabitants is a priority area for intervention.

With this in mind, AFD has implemented a broad range of actions : it has financed the construction of a community health center, a police station and a minibus terminal, as well as the establishment of road maintenance. The project has also expanded workshops for training women and supported community development funds (for literacy classes, prevention and education programs, training in microproject management, etc.).  

Initial results can be seen with the modernization of sector PK12, carried out between 2002 and 2007. Inspired by this success, AFD has applied the same approach to other sectors, particularly through the integrated urban development program (5.5 million euros between 2008 and 2014). Its roadmap called for the construction of social facilities, roadwork, and the implementation of a new community development fund.

Waste management is a crucial element of urban development. Several initiatives have also been carried out thanks to three-way cooperation between the Republic of Djibouti, the European Union and AFD. These include the Doudsa waste treatment plant and the industrial landfill. A pilot project for waste collection has also been set up throughout the Balbala neighborhood.

Sanitation is also a major challenge. To improve the health conditions of the inhabitants of Balbala, AFD has financed (via a European Union delegated grant) the optimization of the liquid waste treatment system.

Fighting HIV/AIDS and improving maternal and child health care

A mural on the fight against AIDS in Djibouti

Fighting HIV/AIDS and improving maternal and child health care

AFD has been involved in the country's healthcare sector for around the last 12 years. In 2005, it mobilized 6 million euros for the fight against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. AFD's actions included modernizing the national center for blood transfusion and the laboratory of the Peltier General Hospital, building and equipping an outpatient clinic within this hospital, and organizing the screening and care of co-infected patients.
In 2016, it financed the project to transform the Bouffard Hospital – ceded back by France – into a referral hospital for maternal and child health care. The Republic of Djibouti thus now has the capacity to achieve its objectives for improving maternal health and reducing child mortality by 2020.

Diversifying the energy supply

High-voltage electric line in Ethiopia

Diversifying the energy supply

In Djibouti, AFD has supported renewable energies, especially geothermal power. In 2014, it committed 2.5 million euros of grants to geothermal drilling.

The greatest asset of the program is that it can diversify Djibouti's energy supply while ensuring low-carbon development. The technical and commercial viability of geothermal resources in the Assal Rift Valley will be examined.

Strengthening the private sector

Fruit and vegetable seller in Djibouti

Strengthening the private sector

To back up the national strategy for creation of wealth and jobs, AFD has implemented a wide range of financial instruments to support the country's private sector :

  • Two million euros to support actors in international trade in Djibouti via the Trade Capacity Building Program (PRCC) and to strengthen activity by the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce in its implementation of the " Vision 2035 " development strategy. The objective is to make Djibouti the " beacon of the Red Sea ", a trade and logistical hub for East Africa.
  • Proparco financed the Doraleh container terminal and unblocked its own funds so that the Bank of Africa Group could purchase Banque Indosuez.
  • Djibouti Télécom benefited from several direct loans to lay underwater optic fiber cables. Djibouti should eventually become a regional telecommunications hub.
  • The ARIZ guarantee fund, which targets local banks, facilitates access to investment loans by small and medium enterprises.
projects financed in 43 years
people have benefited from projects financed by AFD (73% of the population)
million euros of financing

The Republic of Djibouti is a country of 23,200 km² located in the Horn of Africa, at the entrance of the Red Sea. It lacks natural resources and has a semi-desert tropical climate. Djibouti's main asset is thus its geographical position, which it promotes by developing port and telecommunication activities, especially with Ethiopia. Its location also enables it to host military bases, which are sources of stability in a region subject to conflicts. The government's strategy seeks to develop an economy that creates jobs through the creation of a logistical and services hub that is attractive to regional and international private enterprises.

Since 2007, the Government has also undertaken a policy to reduce urban poverty, via the Program for Urban Poverty Reduction in Djibouti (PREPUD). Its goal is to reduce social inequality.

AFD has been active in the Republic of Djibouti since 1974. Its accumulated level of commitments is 91 million euros just for the period between 2003 and 2013. The driving force of AFD's intervention is to improve the living conditions of Djiboutians in three priority action areas: infrastructure, urban development and education. More than 600,000 people (73% of the population) have benefited from AFD projects.

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  • Climate
  • Employment and Shared Prosperity
  • Energy
  • Global Partnerships
  • Hunger and Food Security
  • Inequalities
  • Infrastructures
  • Poverty
  • Sustainable Cities

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  • Grant
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  • Non Sovereign Concessional Loan
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Evaluation document

Operating in Fragile States - Lessons from Experience

There are several approaches to fragile states. The first, based on the crisis cycle, distinguishes between deteriorating countries, countries in prolonged crisis, countries emerging from crisis, and countries showing gradual ...
Oct 2010