Ethio-Djibouti Relation




Djibouti is located in the Eastern part of the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Ethiopia in the North West. Ethiopia and Djibouti have long-standing political and socio-economic relations. The relations between the two countries go back to 1897. But formal diplomatic relations have been established in 1923 when Ethiopia opened its General Consulate Office in Djibouti. Later the Republic of Djibouti opened its Embassy in Addis Ababa, in the aftermath of its independence from France in 1978.

The two countries have strong historical ties sharing a common culture, social values, and languages. Ethiopia has been using the ports of Djibouti for its imports and exports. Currently, about 95% of Ethiopia’s imports and exports are through Djibouti. Besides port usage, transport, telecommunications, trade and investment, security issues, electric power, and potable water are the various areas the two countries have developed strong ties.

The two sisterly countries have longstanding diplomatic, political, economic, social and cultural relations. The two countries have maintained strong cooperation in different areas based on mutual benefit, trust, and respect.

The Ethio-Djibouti strategic partnership is further coordinated by the Joint High-Level Commission which was established in 2009. So far 2 High-level Joint Commission, 15 Joint Ministerial Commission and 25 Joint Border Administrators’ Meetings have taken place.

Thus, the Ethio-Djibouti Economic Integration is unique that could be a model to the countries of the Horn Region; and indeed, the rest of Africa.

Nowadays, the two sisterly countries are committed to realizing Economic Integration through ever-growing infrastructure development projects; such as railway, road, water pipeline, telecom networks and power interconnectivity. The recent inauguration of the Ethio-Djibouti Railway Line, which connects Addis Ababa with the Port of Djibouti stands as a remarkable testimony of the thriving bilateral relations.

The recently inaugurated Tadjourah-Balhoroad which connects the Port of Tadjourah to the northeastern regions of Ethiopia will speed up the processing of potash and other commodities through the Port of Tadjourah. The port is the closest outlet for Afar and Tigrai regions of Ethiopia where there is a number of companies developing potash mines. The Tadjourah - Balho road will have a significant impact on the socio-economic life of the local people of the two countries. 

Recent Visits and Consultations between the Two Countries

The first official visit of Ethiopian Prime Minister H.E. Abiy Ahmed after being sworn on April 2, 2018, was to the Republic of Djibouti. The visit aimed at further promoting the long-standing bilateral relations between the two countries. During his visit, the prime minister conferred with the president of the Republic of Djibouti, H.E Ismael Omar Guelleh on bilateral and regional issues.

PM Abiy Ahmed held a discussion with Djibouti’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf in June 2019. During the minister’s visit to Ethiopia, he had discussed with the PM Abiy Ahmed on bilateral issues including accelerating economic relations,

Another high official visit between the two countries was Ethiopian Foreign Minister, H.E Gedu Andargachew’s official working visit to Djibouti in May 2019. During the visit, the Foreign Minister met with the President of Djibouti Republic H.E Ismael Omar Guelleh and discussed socio- economic, political and bilateral issues.

Djibouti is one of Ethiopia’s significant trading partners. As of 2017, the trade volume between the two countries reached 299.8 million USD and Ethiopia had a positive trade balance of 299.05 million in net Exports to Djibouti. Djibouti is the third-largest destination of Ethiopian exports in Africa next to Somalia and Sudan.



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