updated 3:50 PM MDT, May 23, 2017
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Djibouti:SEACOM second cable repair underway

SEACOM’s repair vessel has arrived at the second marine fault on its cable in the Red Sea.

The fault was identified while it was fixing a separate fault on the cable – off the coast of Djibouti – which caused an outage in April. The second fault is north of the first one.

The planned service-affecting repair was scheduled to take place from 19 to 22 May, and started yesterday as planned.

“Given that the nature of the fault issue is not known until the cable has been retrieved and inspected, SEACOM can only estimate repair timelines,” it said.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Djibouti
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Where’s Djibouti? Africa for adventurous travelers

White Beach is a more traditional seaside resort, with a waterfront hotel.

WHEN I received an invitation from Djibouti tourism authorities to visit this Horn of Africa nation, my reaction was probably like that of most people. Where’s Djibouti?

Well, it’s a small, Arab- and French-speaking nation sandwiched between Ethiopia and Somalia, home to about 847,000 people and the only US military base in Africa.

My four-day trip there gave me a brand-new perspective of both the country and the continent. It would rank as an adventure holiday.

For starters

There are no direct flights between China and Djibouti. I had three choices: traveling via Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Istanbul in Turkey or Doha in Qatar.

The flight to Addis Abba, with a connecting flight to Djibouti, took 15 hours. The first thing I had to do upon landing was applying for a visa at the airport. The small visa office staffed by two people was crammed with visa seekers. They were mainly businessmen or workers.

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Lewiston-Auburn residents protest Djibouti president in Kennedy Park

Mako Hussein, in pink, of Lewiston, stomps on a photo of Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh on Friday afternoon in Kennedy Park. Dozens of people gathered in the park with signs and a bullhorn to protest.
Dozens of people gathered in Kennedy Park in Lewiston Friday afternoon with signs and a bullhorn to protest Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, the treatment of his people and Guelleh's allowing the Chinese to build a new military base in Djibouti.

Abdillahi Bouh, who owns the Djibouti Store & Halal on Lisbon Street, said Lewiston has a roughly 800-900 member Djibouti community.

"Today we're just manifesting," said Omar Youssouf, who's been in the U.S. since 1983. "He's got to go, man. That's why we ask America, we need help."

Fahmi Galab, who also lives in Lewiston, said the new Chinese naval base upsets him.

  • Written by Abdullahi
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Djibouti studying Saudi Arabia’s success in tourism

JEDDAH- Djibouti is looking at the example set by Saudi Arabia as it looks to bolster its own tourism industry, a minister from the African republic said.
Djibouti’s Minister of Trade and Tourism Hassan Ibrahim praised the efforts of the Kingdom in travel and tourism, speaking during a meeting on Saturday with the President of the Arab Tourism Organization Bandar bin Fahad Al-Fehaid.
Ibrahim said the pioneering development of tourism at the local and regional levels in Saudi Arabia deserves to be emulated.
According to an Oxford Business Group report, Djibouti has an ambitious goal to attract 500,000 visitors a year by 2030. The industry is slated to play a key role in the government’s economic development strategy, Vision 2035, the report said.
Al-Fehaid received the minister and accompanying delegation at the headquarters of the Arab Tourism Organization in Jeddah. He pointed out that Djibouti has a strategic location at the entrance to the Red Sea

Source: Arab News

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US and China Move In On Djibouti As It Distinguishes Itself From Horn of Africa Neighbors

Merlin Linehan -
It was no accident that James “Mad Dog” Mattis made Djibouti one of his first overseas trips as US Secretary of Defence, this tiny African country on the Horn of Africa is home to the USA’s only African military base, a significant hub for the ongoing fight against terrorism across Africa and the Middle East. Djibouti also hosts French and Japanese bases and will soon house China’s first overseas military logistics centre.

Many countries are described as strategically located, which often a cliché, but in Djibouti’s’ case it is true as it guards the Bab el Mandeb Strait at the entrance to the Red Sea where much of the world’s shipping traffic passes. Djibouti City which houses much of the nation’s population is a lively trading entrepôt terming with merchants and traders from Africa, the Gulf and beyond as well as soldiers, sailors and spies on account of the number of military bases there. According to the Djiboutian government the Russians also requested permission to build a base in the country something which the authorities are currently considering.

In this spirit the country has declared itself open for business; foreign investment is encouraged and foreigners are given (in theory at least) the same rights as locals in terms of property. The Djiboutian Franc is pegged to the dollar giving a degree of foreign currency stability not enjoyed by other African currencies. The nation’s lack of natural resources bar its location means that it has been forced to look elsewhere to make a living.

There are noises about Djibouti becoming the next Dubai, which is seems a bit fanciful right now but the country has attracted much attention and funding from the Emirate including the building of luxury complex the US$400 million Palace Djibouti Hotel. In the long term in order to emulate Dubai the Djiboutian government are focusing on the three “Ts”; namely Trade, Transport and Tourism.

Transport is an obvious sector as Djibouti is the link to the sea for landlocked Ethiopian trade, its proximity to busy shipping lanes also make it an obvious logistics hub for passing container traffic. Chinese companies have featured heavily in the development of transport links building the new rail line to Addis Ababa and the new Dorelah port which has massively increased the nation’s port capacity.
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The country is also encouraging light manufacturing centres which can complement neighbouring Ethiopia’s industrial drive. To help this ambition Chinese firm Dalian Port Corporation just started construction work on a what will be Africa’s biggest free trade zone and will house numerous manufacturing facilities.
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Tourism is less obvious but the government are planning to make the country a eco-tourism destination and could expect to attract tourists from the Gulf region, the wider Middle East and even Europe. The country features the world’s saltiest lake, active volcanos and excellent scuba diving.

All this make Djibouti an idea place to set up a regional logistics firm, eco-tourism centre for visitors from the Gulf or some kind of manufacturing facility, perhaps for goods started in Ethiopia and completed in Djibouti.

Overall Djibouti’s economic performance has been good of late with GDP growth of 7% in 2016 which indicate that the country is at least moving in the right direction.

  • Written by Abdullahi
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