Djibouti City, 27 June 2022 (TDI): June 27 marks the annual Independence Day of Djibouti. Independence Day is also the National Day of Djibouti. This Day marks the country’s declaration of independence in 1977. Before the independence, Djibouti had been ruled by France for almost a century.
Djibouti is an Eastern African country located on the northeast coast of the Horn of Africa. Although Djibouti is a small country, its location has special strategic value.
Meanwhile, Djibouti’s small size also makes the country’s development more concentrated. Therefore, Djibouti is the most urbanized country in sub-Saharan Africa. In this country, nearly four-fifths of the population is classified as urban citizens.
Furthermore, Djibouti’s economic development has its own characteristics due to its limited land area. Accordingly, Djibouti has few reserves of natural resources and a relatively limited level of agricultural and industrial development.
In contrast, the government of the country especially focuses on finance, telecommunications, trade-related service, and transportation. Thus, with the targeted national strategies and natural location, Djibouti is famous as a transportation and trade hub around the region and even the continent.
The History of Djibouti’s Independence Day
About two centuries ago, since 1888, Djibouti had been under French colonial control until 1977. Relations between Djibouti and the French territory have undergone constant development and many changes.
The first landmark event occurred in 1946, during which year, Djibouti became an overseas territory within the French Union. With such status, Djibouti had its own legislature and representation in the French parliament which could be considered remarkable progress.
As a part of the French Union at that time, Djibouti had the name which was French Somaliland until 1967. Afterward, it got a new name which was the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas.
The change of the name was mainly related to Somalia’s growing independence around 1958. Two referendums held in 1958 and 1967 respectively marked the change of the name. During the two referendums, the people of Djibouti both showed their will to stay with France.
The next most important change came in May 1977. In the third referendum, the people of Djibouti decided to be independent of France. On June 27th, Djibouti became the last of France’s African colonies to gain independence, following the result of the referendum.