Djibouti city, capital of Djibouti, has a population of around 562,000 inhabitants,  which counts for over 70% of the country’s population.  It is a major transportation hub and is strategically positioned near the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

High demand in public transportation in Djibouti via Belt and Road Initiative

6 Mar 2019 Topos Magazine

The city state of Djibouti is one of the principal East African beneficiaries of the Belt and Road Initiative.  China has funded a major railway link connecting Djibouti City to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa which opened last year.

The Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ) will become Africa’s largest free trade zone when it’s completed, spanning 4,800 hectares and offering dedicated logistics, retail, business support and processing facilities and reportedly bringing an estimated 350,000 new jobs over the next ten years.

Mini-buses are common but difficult

There will be more of European expats living in the city.  Djibouti’s US$2 billion city-state economy is driven by a port complex, among the most sophisticated in the world.  However, the public transportation development in the city does not changed or had any improvement specially the local mini-buses.

In Djibouti,  a significant number of the city’s residents use the local informal minibuses and taxis.   There is no visible urban bus company or logo,  minibuses that are privately owned with no known schedule.  Sometimes it can be tricky as the majority of drivers’ assistants who call out for passengers do not speak French nor English.  He always say out loud the name of the place, and the person will just let you in or not, it is a sort of a code.  Tell your bus driver and his assistant what stop you want to get off at, and knock on the window as a reminder when it’s your turn to exit.

Business opportunity

It is super easy to access to Djibouti from neighbor countries, however local buses or local transportation system is not enough for such rapid growing economy.

From the lesson from different countries, the quality of the bus service can be improved by introducing an automatic fare collection (AFC) system.  People are getting more easy to take bus if there is a cashless payment system.  The owner of the bus can have more budget to improve the bus quality so it beneficial to all parties.

The writer is a frequency traveler.  For more detail, please visit

Post Author: GCSharing

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