Working in Djibouti?

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Working in Djibouti

The economy of Djibouti is still weak, and opportunities are scarce, despite a very favorable position on the Red Sea and a lot of potential. If you have already secured a job position, working in the country is a unique and enriching experience. Find out more in our expat guide!

Economic Overview

Expats who are seeking recruitment in Djibouti will find that the country's economic prowess revolves around its location on the Red Sea. It offers easy access to the Gulf of Aden, which other countries use to their advantage. It is used by many landlocked African countries for the transportation of fuel, alongside other goods.

As there is little room for both industrial and agricultural development in Djibouti, the government struggles to address the country's poverty problems. Work is often hard to come by, which means expats who do move there do so with an international organization that's already operating in the area. However, it is worth noting that as well as being home to a number of embassies, Djibouti is open to foreign development. Although the country doesn't have many natural resources, there are no patent laws, and the chalk, wax, cereal and hides are some of the areas open to investment.

Work Permits for Djibouti

Expatriates who wish to find work in Djibouti must usually find a job before they arrive. Upon arrival in the country they can obtain an identity card by providing proof of their offer of employment, a copy of their passport, and four photos. Individuals who do not have an offer of employment, but wish to start a venture in the country, must provide four passport sized photos, a copy of their passport, and details of their investment as well as evidence of the funds available.

How much each person needs to pay to secure their visa and identity card depends on the country they come from. For example, those coming from other areas of Africa pay 196 USD, whereas American citizens pay 280 USD. As there is no fixed minimum wage in Djibouti, all wage agreements are made between the employer and their employee. Other requirements for those seeking work permits include evidence of their yellow fever vaccination.

Taxation in Djibouti

Taxes in Djibouti are set at flat rates. Around 15.7% of an employee's salary goes towards their social security contributions, which are deducted automatically from their wages. Employees are expected to pay a further 4% voluntarily. Corporation tax stands at a flat 25%, or 1% of the company's turnover, depending on which is higher. In addition, there is a local trash collection tax of 4.5% of an employee's wages, as well as 7% VAT on certain goods sold in the country. Fuel tax is usually included in the price of fuel, and stamp duty has various rates.

Brandon Le Clerk

"Facing expat life in Djibouti was quite a challenge, but I'm really thankful for my new-found contacts in humanitarian circles. "

Sabine Baumeister

"Mingling with InterNations expats and residents of Djibouti helped me adjust the preconceptions I had about moving to Eastern Africa. "

Global Expat Guide