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Djibouti Digital Economy: Opportunities and Challenges for Growth and Development

Djibouti, May 15, 2024 — The World Bank has released today a comprehensive report on the state of the digital economy in Djibouti. The report, titled "Djibouti Digital Economy Diagnostic” looks at challenges and opportunities in the country’s digital landscape, the importance of digital infrastructure development, the need for improving broadband access and affordability, and the digital skills required for socio-economic development. It also highlights the importance of telecommunications and data infrastructure development, digital platforms, financial services, and entrepreneurship as fundamental pillars for the digital economy. The report provides an overview of the current landscape in each of these areas and offers recommendations for further development. 

While Djibouti has made significant progress in the digital sector, the country still faces challenges in fully leveraging its technological potential. Limited investments in ICT within the country and barriers to affordability and accessibility of digital services are among the key challenges. However, recent initiatives, such as the establishment of the Multisectoral Regulatory Authority of Djibouti and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Innovation (MDENI), demonstrate the government's commitment to addressing these challenges and driving digital transformation. 

Djibouti has made significant progress in its digital infrastructure, but there is still room for improvement in terms of affordability, quality and access to digital services,” said Fatou Fall, World Bank Resident Representative in Djibouti. “Despite being one of the smallest countries in Africa in terms of size and population, Djibouti plays a crucial role in providing high-speed internet access to neighboring countries.” 

The report calls for the government, private sector, and civil society to work together to address the challenges and seize the opportunities to develop Djibouti's digital economy. It emphasizes the need for collaboration, capacity building, and the establishment of clear governance frameworks to drive digital transformation and achieve long-term ambitions.  

The report also discusses data governance and increasing use of data to better understand the needs of citizens and strengthen public trust. 

"The government is dedicated to tackling these challenges and propelling digital transformation forward. Our national flagship initiative, the 'Smart Nation program,' represents a move toward a more unified and comprehensive approach of digital transformation,” said Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, Minister of Economy and Finance, in charge of Industry in Djibouti. “We are devoted to capitalizing on Digital Dividends, with a particular emphasis on creating job opportunities for our youth.

The report also highlights the importance of digital skills among the workforce. It suggests the development of comprehensive training programs for public officials and improving digital skills among the general population, especially young graduates, and entrepreneurs. 

The World Bank in Djibouti 

The World Bank’s portfolio in Djibouti consists of 22 projects worth a total of approximately US$463 million in IDA financing and trust funds. The portfolio focuses on education, health, social safety nets, energy, rural and urban development, modernizing public administration, digital development, strengthening governance, infrastructure, and on private sector development, with an emphasis on women and youth. 

*The report was supported by the Digital Development Partnership, which aims to advance digital transformation in low and middle-income countries by building strong digital foundations and accelerators, facilitating digital use cases for the digital economy to thrive. 


Maissa Abdalla
Nicholas Andrew Keyes


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