Djibouti is a stable state with an authoritarian government under President Ismaël Guelleh, who entered office in 1999 and plans to run in the 2021 presidential election. Overall, the government made no significant changes in its political agenda.

Reforms to strengthen and support private sector development have not yet produced the desired outcomes. High levels of corruption and invisible market entry barriers affect the ease of doing business in the country. State-owned companies and business conglomerates closely associated with the president and his family dominate the economy.

The country’s level of socioeconomic development remains low, with high rates of unemployment and underemployment. Significant human rights issues such as unlawful killings and detention of opposition politicians as well as journalists characterize Djibouti’s governance. China has become a major partner of the government in infrastructure development and financing.

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