Housing Finance in Djibouti


This profile is also available in French here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2021 Djibouti country profile, click here.

Djibouti is a small country in the Horn of Africa and is one of the most urbanised countries in the world, with 78% of its population living in urban areas. This is due to the country’s minimal arable land coupled with harsh weather not conducive for agricultural activities. Djibouti has 42% of the population living in extreme poverty. The capital city Djibouti, which hosts 33% of the population, has 13 informal settlements. Djibouti’s housing problems have been further aggravated by COVID-19, which has forced an estimated 100 000 migrants who are unable to continue with their journey due to movement restrictions and lack of resources to settle in the country. Notably, the estimated 100 000 migrants represent nearly 10% of the country’s population of 1 006 127. Djibouti city is also home to over 30 000 refugees from neighboring countries.

Djibouti has a robust economy, one that withstood the COVID-19 crisis. For instance, The World Bank observes that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth remained stable at 0.5% in 2020, largely accounted for by the recovery of domestic construction, trade, and energy as well re-export activities spurred by Ethiopia’s strong economic activity. GDP stood at Fdj601.09 billion (US$3.38billion) in 2020 with a GDP per capita of Fdj609186 (US$3425.5). Djibouti’s GDP per capita is significantly higher than the Sub-Saharan 2020 GDP per capita of Fdj263876, 93(US$1 483.8) perhaps due to the country’s significantly low population size compared to its neighbors.

The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) projected Djibouti’s 2021 real GDP growth to hit 9.9% before settling at 8.1% in 2022. The AfDB observes that Djibouti’s economic recovery will largely be supported by the expected return of foreign direct investment and the country’s free trade zones. On the forex front, the Djiboutian Franc has remained stable over the years, supported by steady economic growth and a secure political environment. Further, the World Bank observes that the country’s inflation has remained low at 1.8% in 2020, a marked reduction from 3.3% recorded in 2019. The Country’s economy is projected to rebound due to the resumption of port activities spurred by the recovery of international trade and world demand. The projected economic growth coupled with increased interest in the country by international organisations such as World Bank, Africa Development Bank (AfDB), UN-Habitat among others, should be welcome news for home developers targeting expatriates. This is especially so considering AfDB projects have increased foreign direct investment (FDI) into Djibouti.

Djibouti suffered major flooding in 2019 which damaged a great deal of infrastructure. Consequently, the United Nations Habitat (UN-Habitat) in partnership with other United Nations agencies and the World Bank has supported the country’s housing and settlement sector in identifying the damages and outlining recovery strategies to address the short, middle as well as long-term housing needs of the country.

Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Djibouti, including key stakeholders, important policies, and housing affordability:

Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2021 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.

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