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Djibouti president optimistic about country's economic prospects

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh said on Monday the country's economy was growing at 6 percent and "could go beyond this rate in coming years."

"This growth should not remain in a single sector and should not be experienced only at one place," Guelleh said when he spoke in the capital during celebrations to mark the country's 39th independence anniversary.

"It is the responsibility of the government to ensure this growth is inclusive and that it benefits everyone across the national territory. It is the responsibility of government that this growth reinforces our education, health and housing for all policies," the president explained.

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He said to achieve the desired development goals, the government will continue implementing the major reforms, by placing more emphasis on decentralization which guarantees equal development for all regions.

"We should also continue investing in the training of our youths to overcome the challenge of unemployment and poverty," Guelleh said.

A former French colony, Djibouti which has a population of less than a million people, got its independence in 1977.

The country is situated along an important maritime route that goes through the Suez canal, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. At least 20,000 vessels transit through its coastline every year.

The strategic location makes Djibouti to be an ideal place for the fight against piracy and terrorism. Besides hosting France's largest foreign military base, Djibouti also hosts the only U.S. military base in Africa as well as Japan's first foreign military base.

It is estimated that every year, Djibouti receives at least 100 million euros for hosting the military bases.

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