Djibouti--punching above its weight.

Djibouti is in many ways an outlier. Thanks to its strategic geographic location it has become a regional commercial and logistics hub and an important military base for the US, France and China. It is also slap bang at the centre of one of the most militarised areas of the world, controlling access to the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the all--important Suez Canal. With 30 per cent of global trade passing through routes it oversees, its leadership has had to learn how to keep several balls in the air and has acquired a mastery of international diplomacy.

This tiny country, nestling along the Bab el-Mandeb strait (Gate of...

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