International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Djibouti is expanding its infrastructure to leverage its strategic location and foster growth, reduce poverty, and create jobs. The remarkable investments in ports and railways-started in 2015 and mostly debt-financed by financial institutions from China-presents opportunities as well as risks. With public debt rising from 50 to
85 percent of GDP in just two years, the authorities need to advance rapidly with critical reforms. Such reforms would aim at translating the investment boom into strong, inclusive, and job-creating growth to reduce poverty and return to a sustainable debt trajectory given the current high risk of debt distress. While there is strong ownership of such reforms under the authorities' Vision Djibouti 2035, close government coordination will be needed to ensure their effective implementation.