RPT-PROFILE-Key facts about the Red Sea state of Djibouti

Fri Apr 8, 2011 9:37am GMT
 

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April 8 (Reuters) - Here is a profile of the former French colony of Djibouti which holds presidential polls on Friday. Independent candidate Mohamed Warsama is the sole challenger to President Ismail Omar Guelleh. [ID:nLDE737060]

* ECONOMY:

-- Djibouti's port, run by Dubai's DP World(DPW.DI: Quote), is the lifeblood of its economy. Djibouti hosts France's largest military base in Africa plus a major U.S. base, and the port is used by foreign navies patrolling busy shipping lanes off the coast of Somalia to fight piracy.

-- Djibouti has few natural resources and little industry. The nation depends heavily on foreign assistance for its balance of payments and to finance development projects. An unemployment rate of nearly 60 percent in urban areas is a major problem.

-- Consumer prices in Djibouti rose 0.3 percent in February, pushing the year-on-year rate to 3.8 percent, driven mainly by the cost of tobacco and a popular mild narcotic called Khat, official data showed. Annual inflation was 2.8 percent in 2010.

-- Djibouti is one of the world's poorest countries in terms of human development. Life expectancy is 56.1 years.

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