Oxford Business Group (OBG) launched its first report ”Djibouti 2016” on the economy of Djibouti and potential opportunities for investors.
At the OBC conference on Saturday, entitled ”Djibouti’s development strategy: Launch of the Djibouti 2016 report”, Central Bank of Djibouti governor Ahmed Ali Osman directed his speech to investors saying that Djibouti calls on investors to launch investments in the sectors of power, industry, and seaports in the country.
Osman added that Djibouti will guarantee and ensure investors’ revenues will return to them in dollars, besides the facilitations that will be provided to them through a one-stop shop, legal framework, and taxation system.
The governor noted that the Djiboutian Franc (DJF) is a stable, appreciable currency, which is based on the dollar.
President of the Republic of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh expressed his appreciation of the first report from OBG, adding that the report provides Djibouti and investors with important information for upcoming investment in the country.
Guelleh said his country is close to economic development and its economy is growing rapidly. The country does not have any limitations for any investor wishing to launch new investments in Djibouti, he said, adding that the government is very committed to achieving tangible results in the economy.
“We want to be inclusive in generating our growth,” the president added. “Attracting foreign investment is not easy and requires an integrated economy.”
Director at the Djibouti Office of Industrial and Commercial Property (ODPIC) Ouloufa Ismail Abdo said that Djibouti is working on strategies to further develop the country by calling on investors to invest in energy production in the future.
Djibouti is collaborating with Ethiopia on water supplies, said Abdo.
Unemployment in Djibouti is a challenge but the country is working on developing solutions for this problem, in the hopes of significantly increasing employment rates within the next five years, she said. The Djibouti Ministry of Education is cooperating with the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce to undertake some projects in the industrial sector to create job opportunities.
She revealed that by May a one-stop shop will have been established to ease and facilitate the work of investors in the country.
Director General at Djibouti Telecom Mohamed Assoweh Bouh said the Djibouti 2035 strategy aims to make the country a regional hub for data services that can match the rising demand of regional operators. The country already has 25 operators connecting Tanzania, Rwanda, Somalia, Yemen, Kenya, and Ethiopia as a part of the country’s strategy to centralise all incoming internet data services to Djibouti and from there relay it to other countries.
According to OBG’s report on Djibouti 2016, the economy of Djibouti grew 5% in 2013 and by 5.9% in 2015; it is expected to reach 6% in 2016 and maintain an upwards trend.
The report mentioned that Ethiopia is Djibouti’s largest export partner, accounting for about 35.3% of merchandise leaving the country in 2014, followed by the EU at 20.6%.
The report said that the GDP has remained at about one-fifth of the total national tax revenues in Djibouti, higher than those of most sub-Saharan African markets.
The report noted that investments of about $14bn are expected to add new infrastructure to the country and improve its ability to compete in the international arena.
“Prior to 2011, 100% of Djibouti’s energy was generated from heavy fuel oil and diesel thermal power plants. Now, some 65% of the country’s electricity is supplied through a 150 MW interconnection line from Ethiopia,” the report read.
The Republic of Djibouti is a member in COMESA and has recently become a key economic player in east Africa. Located on the Red Sea, the nation serves as both a gateway to the Suez Canal—one of the world’s most important shipping lanes—and, increasingly, a vital transport corridor to inland Africa as well.
Djibouti has played a significant geopolitical role in the region, serving as host to major French, Japanese, and American military installations.