The absence of a free press, high levels of corruption and systematic repressions against individuals critical of the ruling RPP-led UMP coalition, make it clear that Djibouti is still far away from democratic standards.

Djibouti sustained growth with an estimated 6.7% in 2018 according to the World Bank, whereas foreign debt has more than doubled since 2014. Further, unemployment rates are high and the level of socioeconomic development remains very low.

Improved relationships between Ethiopia and Eritrea and the expansion of port capacities in Berbera will potentially challenge Djibouti’s monopoly as a major trade gateway for Ethiopia and Eastern Africa at large.

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