New Initiatives announced during US-Djibouti binational forum
Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016
US Assistant Secretary of State Antony Blinken has today concluded a two-day visit to Djibouti, which saw the announcement of important new programmes. These initiatives included:

• Plans to construct a pipeline carrying oil from Ethiopia's Awash region to Djibouti. Black Rhino, an American company that invests in African infrastructure development, will fund the project, which will also include the creation of new oil storage facilities in Djibouti. Work will begin in June.

• The signing of a $1m grant agreement provided by the US Agency for International Development, which will support community programmes for women, young people and vulnerable groups.

• The launch of Djibouti's first international school of English with an American curriculum, operated by Quality Schools International.

Mr Blinken led the US delegation that attended the second annual US-Djibouti Binational Forum. During his visit, Mr Blinken held talks with HE Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, the President of the Republic Djibouti.

Mr Blinken praised the "quality of friendship and cooperation between the two countries and its two peoples". He said that the Binational Forum provided a "valuable opportunity to exchange ideas concerning the implementation of multiple initiatives and partnerships".

"Djibouti is one of the few African countries maintaining a privileged partnership with the United States concerning energy and economic developments," he said.

The United States contributes more than $100m a year to Djibouti's economy and is one of the country's largest employers. More than 1,700 Djiboutians work at Camp Lemonnier, the only permanent US military base in Africa.

Mr Blinken announced that more local companies would be able to obtain work contracts from Camp Lemonnier through the Djibouti First programme.

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