Gateway to the World

Gateway to the World Djibouti in north-east Africa has big ambitions to become a shipping and financial powerhouse, though its location places the country at the heart of a global fight against piracy and terrorism.
Shipping makes up 80% of the Djibouti's economy and China is financing a new hi-tech port there. Finance Minister Ilyas Dawaleh describes the partnership as "a game changer" and praises China's willingness to invest. The presence of a US base, key to fighting piracy and terrorism, offers another source of income, with the Pentagon spending $140 million a year. A Chinese base is being constructed nearby, but foreign minister Mahamoud Youssouf played down any tension: "our motivation is to assist and help friendly countries to protect their interests". US Captain James Black insists the proximity of the bases presents no issue, stating: "we're looking for opportunities to cooperate".

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