March 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron met French troops stationed in Djibouti as he concluded his visit to the Horn of Africa to strengthen economic ties between the two nations. France, the United States and China all have military bases in the former French colony located strategically on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean.

Despite many limitations, the economy is performing well. Djibouti is expanding its transportation and utilities infrastructure to leverage its strategic location as a shipping hub and host to military bases. Private consumption is another driver along with an ambitious debt-financed infrastructure program. Already, the country benefits greatly from being nearly the sole conduit for Ethiopia’s imports and exports. Consequently, Djibouti will need to continue proving its attractiveness to outside powers such as China and the United Arab Emirates as it seeks additional infrastructure developments to further its goals in the years ahead.

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