France and Djibouti


Political relations

Djibouti and France have remained very close since the former’s independence. Djibouti is a French-speaking enclave in the Horn of Africa. French stands alongside Arabic as one of the country’s two official languages, and the authorities remain very committed to francophonie which is considered to be the key factor of the national identity.


To France:
  • President of the Republic of Djibouti: Mr Ismail Omar Guelleh: official visit on 21 December 2011, Élysée Summit in December 2013, official visit to France on 28 February 2017.
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Mahmoud Ali Youssouf (March 2016, February 2017).
To Djibouti:
  • President of the Republic (January 2010).
  • Minister of Defence (July 2015).
  • Joint Chief of Staff (January 2016).
  • Minister of State for Relations with Parliament (October 2016).

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Economic relations

French exports to Djibouti grew 23.5% in 2015, reaching €86.5 million. The main export sectors are agrifood products (€17 million), electrical and household equipment (€14 million) and industrial, agricultural and miscellaneous machines (€10 million). In addition to companies several decades ago by French nationals, there are a dozen French concerns including the Banque pour le Commerce et l’Industrie Mer Rouge – BCI MR (a subsidiary of BRED-Banque Populaire), Stereau, Air France, CMA CGM and the Bolloré Group.

There are interesting business opportunities for French companies in the areas of services, infrastructure work, equipment and telecommunications.

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Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

In July 2013, the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID) confirmed Djibouti’s addition to the French list of cooperation priority countries.

Cooperation is very dynamic:

  • Cultural cooperation takes place in close partnership with the French Institute of Djibouti (IFD);
  • The Alliance Franco-Djiboutienne is an important element of our language cooperation in Djibouti;
  • French scientific cooperation relies primarily on the Djibouti Study and Research Centre (CERD) to support different areas of research;
  • Inter-university scientific cooperation has developed: launch of the promotion of French higher education, opening of the Campus France centre, scheduling of scientific visits for doctors and post-doctoral researchers from Djibouti;
  • Cooperation in the area of governance has been restarted by increasing the number of training scholarships – that are all co-funded – to strengthen Djibouti’s administrations.

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Military Cooperation

The Defence Cooperation Treaty between France and Djibouti was signed in Paris on 21 December 2011. It entered into force on 1 May 2014. By that Treaty, France reaffirmed its commitment to the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Djibouti. The Treaty sets out the operational facilities granted to stationed French forces, which make up our largest military base abroad with some 1,300 troops.

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Updated: 19 May 2017

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