An article about the University of Djibouti by Barbara Schumacher (English translation)

Djibouti, situated at the Horn of Africa, is a member country of the Arab League. In Germany it is mainly known because of the UN Atalanta Mission and its big salt deposit (Lac Assal). The country has just the size of Hessen and a population of about 850 000. Approximately 500 000 people live in the capital which has the same name as the country. Djibouti is considered as a stable country and attracted a certain attention in recent times because of the extensive development of its infrastructure, e.g. the container terminal of Doraleh (which is the biggest and most modern port of its kind in Eastern Africa), as well as several other ambitious and huge economic development projects, - this all against the background of the positive developments in the neighboring country Ethiopia which doesn't have a port. The first Djibouti-German Economic Conference in Djibouti took place in March 2014, which had the objective to attract German investors towards Djibouti.


Dr. Djama Mohamed Hassan is president of the university and proud of its development: since Ismail Omar Guelleh, the president of Djibouti, conferred the full status as university on this education institution in 2006 it established four faculties until today:

1. Faculté des lettres, langues et sciences humaines (F.L.L.S.H.)

2. Faculté de droit, économie gestion (F.D.E.G.)

3. Faculté des sciences (F.S.)

4. Institut universitaire de technologie (I.U.T.).

The university has academic contact with 46 partner-universities in Africa, USA, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, among them Helwan University in Cairo, and the University of Sana'a in Yemen. As goals for the coming years the responsible Ministry for Higher Education and Research plans to modernize the administration and the service sector and to increase efforts in the area of research. The compound of the university constitutes a separate district of the city, which neighbors the attractive, historical city center with its well preserved colonial buildings of different architectural styles, its markets, parks and cafés. The university has 29 buildings for teaching, about 7000 students and 250 professors. Its compound is surrounded by a wall with numerous gates which are guarded by security guards. There are meting points for students such as outdoor cafés and book shops close to some of the gates. The university has its own mosque. There is no gender segregation.

The Technical Institute of the University (I.U.T.) has about 1500 students. Dr. Ayan Mahamoud is Associate Professor Applied Mathematics and Engineering. She was born in Djibouti, made her Master in France at the universities of Metz and Nancy and returned to Djibouti in 2005. She speaks excellently English: "I made my PhD at the École Centre Nantes staying in Djibouti. Since 2006 I teach at the University of Djibouti in all academic years (i.e. at all levels). We have about 80 students in the 1st year. 30  of them reach the 3rd year and ca. 25 of them make their Master degree in Applied Mathematics. The number of female students is very low. At the moment we have 7. I teach 15 hours/periods per week."

Asked about the employment opportunities after the graduation she replies: "We invite experts from the business and economic sector on a regular basis to attend conferences and courses at the university so that our students can get realistic ideas about future jobs in a sufficient time. The students like these events. For them they  these events can never be long enough. There are many interesting jobs in Djibouti. We have excellent contacts with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its president Youssouf Moussa Dawaleh who also organizes information events for students at the Chamber. The cooperation with the business sector goes even so far that the curricula has been adjusted to the needs of the economic and business sector. The businessmen themselves formulate job requirements and so we consequently improve the respective learning content, for instance for the following sectors: Electrical Maintenance, Logistics and Transportation und Civil Engineering"

Barbara Schumacher