On the world map
There is no oil, little water but plenty of stones, sand, and immemorial landscapes that date back to the dawn of time. Fate has placed Djibouti, a small country (23,000 km2) that has been independent for forty-five years, at the entrance to the Bab el-Mendeb Strait, a strategic crossroads on one of the world’s busiest trade routes.
Leveraging its geography, Djibouti has become a major port and logistics hub in just over two decades. It is also an essential transit point between Asia, Africa and Europe and the gateway to Ethiopia, Somaliland, Somalia, South Sudan (and its oil wealth) and Central Africa. With so little hard power, the country has become an island of stability in a turbulent region. Strategically, it is a pivotal point between China (which has invested heavily here) and the rest of the world. Djibouti successfully maintains a delicate balancing act between Washington and Beijing at a time when rivalry between the two superpowers is heating up. Large Chinese, American and French bases, the European Union’s anti-piracy forces (Operation Atalanta) and Japanese and German facilities coexist, attesting to its skillful diplomacy. And there is talk of building a satellite launch site soon. Djibouti can rely on a particularly dynamic diaspora connected to all the Somali-speaking populations of the world, which sees it as an ideal place for gathering and dialogue while managing a complex regional and economic context and facing climate change. Djibouti may be a "small nation" in the UN official terminology, but it does matters on the world map.
Dans la même rubrique
The Tunisian crisis seems to have come to a head. President Kais Saied dropped out of sight for days in late March, fueling all sorts of speculation and underscoring the fact that the country has had no Constitutional Court since 2011—despite two successive constitutions calling for its establishment. The stalemate is highly political (the independence of justice) and revealing of Tunisia’s paralysis. Opponents, intellectuals and journalists are in jail. Self-censorship has returned to the country where the Arab Spring began. Inflation has hit 10% since January, wiping out the working and middle classes. Young people, Tunisians or coming from sub-Saharan Africa, risk their lives crossing the sea while the well-to-do jet off to enjoy better lives elsewhere. The state is on the brink of bankruptcy, crushed by haphazard management and a debt of over $40 billion (93% of GDP). For months, the government has been negotiating a two-billion-dollar loan from the IMF, a possible windfall obviously tied to implementing major reforms, which nobody in Tunis seems willing to undertake. All this, while, roughly speaking, there is no way, budgetary wise, to make it until end of the year. Some certainly imagine that perhaps Russia, China, Algeria or a “knight in shining armor” will come to the rescue.
Global agriculture is at a crossroads. The planet is home to 8 billion people, a total which the UN predicts will rise to 10 billion by 2050. At the same time global food insecurity is rising due to the unprecedented rate of soil degradation and the increased frequency and severity of climate shocks, the pandemic, and regional conflicts. To keep humanity fed, farmers will have to nearly double their output. And it is possible to do just this while at the same time making a significant contribution to combatting climate change by rewarding farmers for increasing the amount of carbon stored in the soil they cultivate.
The national airline now serves over 127 destinations in more than 80 countries across four continents, while being profitable. Despite successive crises, Ethiopian Airlines is a unique African success story.