Germany and Djibouti: Bilateral relations

27.02.2024 - Article

Djibouti is a country that is important beyond its region, due to its relative stability and its strategically significant location in the crisis-ridden Horn of Africa. This was underscored when Germany opened an embassy there in spring 2010. Since the autumn of 2011, Djibouti has maintained an embassy in Berlin – now one of its 23 embassies worldwide. Diplomatic relations were established when Djibouti gained independence in 1977 and are amicable. The CSDP Operation ATALANTA, which tackles piracy in the Red Sea, maintains a liaison office in Djibouti. As part of the CSDP Operation ASPIDES, Djibouti has served as a supply port for the German frigate Hessen and other EU member states involved in the operation since the end of February 2024.

Although Djibouti is not one of Germany’s partner countries for bilateral development cooperation, it benefits from regional projects supported by Germany and organised via the IGAD regional organisation, as well as from EU and UN-funded measures.

The EU is the biggest donor to Djibouti. The priorities of EU engagement are infrastructure projects, particularly in the fields of water and sanitation, as well as macroeconomic support and assistance for good governance. The largest EU project in Djibouti to date is a seawater desalination plant with a total volume of 73 million euro, which commenced operations in March 2021.

Germany supports internally displaced persons and refugees in Djibouti (there are some 21,600 of them in a country of one million inhabitants) and in the neighbouring countries Somalia, Kenya, Yemen and Ethiopia, through the provision of flexible, regional UNHCR funding. Via IOM funding, Germany supports between around 600,000 and one million migrants, for whom Djibouti is a country of transit, destination and return. Funds from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) benefit refugees as well as the local population.

The German Government, through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, provides support to IGAD, including for its work to improve drought resilience and food security, as well as to promote a migration policy in the region. Germany is the second-largest donor to IGAD, after the European Union.

Djibouti offers investment potential for German companies, particularly in the spheres of transport, logistics (ports) and renewable energies (photovoltaic, wind and geothermal energy). Germany and Djibouti do not have an investment promotion and protection agreement.


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