Executive Intelligence Review


Djibouti Begins To Flourish with China’s Help

Feb. 9, 2018 (EIRNS)—A long article, “How Djibouti Became China’s Gateway to Africa,” in Spiegel Online yesterday, pointed out that many Djiboutians

“are dreaming of creating, with Chinese help, something similar to Singapore and the Gulf States. It may not be easy to make something of this parched land, but there is a true feeling of ambition here, a willingness to take risks and move forward.”

In other words, China’s involvement in developing port infrastructure, and even a military base, in Djibouti has created an environment of optimism which the Djiboutians, who were long exposed to the European and American presence in their land, hadn’t experienced.

That optimism is perhaps based upon their witnessing first hand just how quick the Chinese are at turning plans into reality. “A new port has already been built on the coast, and the gigantic cranes in Doraleh have become Djibouti landmarks,” wrote author Dietmar Pieper. One such example he cites is how China is helping to bring Djibouti and Ethiopia closer.

“The Chinese are handling the development of that infrastructure. The electrified train line connecting the two capitals [Djibouti and Addis Ababa] has been finished for some time now, though there isn’t enough electricity for regular operations over the entire line. The water pipeline from Ethiopia is already functioning, with its final completion approaching, and a gas pipeline is also in the planning stages. From the Chinese perspective, this is all meant to fit into a larger whole: the New Silk Road.”

Pieper also quotes Ge Hua, a Chinese economist based in Djibouti, that China

“is also making sure that all people involved profit. ‘It is important that the Djiboutians make good income from the projects so that they will have a better life and are able to repay their debts,’”

she says.