As Djibouti gears for polls on April 8th, some government ministers have come out to defend rapid development in the country.
The tiny African nation has established strong economic relations with its landlocked neighbour Ethiopia.
With a population of about 850, 000 people, the port country aims to become an economic hub in the horn of Africa region.
The country has been undertaking key steps to realize this dream. In 2011, Djibouti connected to Ethiopia’s national power grid.
A major 752 kilometre highway connecting Djibouti to Addis Ababa has been under construction and is expected to be opened soon while there are plans to construct a road link between Mekelein Ethiopia Tadjoura port in Djibouti
“we are the umbilical cord for #Ethiopia,says FM Youssouf, concerned to dispel that Djibouti exists solely to service the Ethiopian economy”— Häq | ሐቅ (@Afri_Kawi) April 1, 2016
China is the main financier of these key infrastructural projects and analysts estimate that the Asian economic giant’s investments in Djibouti amount to $14.4 billion.
Additionally, Djibouti is considered a prime location for the world’s military superpowers and plays a critical role in international efforts to fight piracy in the region.
It’s already home to U.S., French and Japanese military bases.
But even with the solid growth the country has been enjoying over the years, analysts say that unemployment still remains high at about 60 percent.