Countries that occupy the eastern-most extension of the African continent have launched an initiative to deepen their economic ties in a bid to build up on the improving political climate in the sub-region.
The countries which include Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya and Ethiopia have in times past experienced inter and intra-state conflicts that stalled their economic and political progress.
The five countries have, however, co-existed peacefully in the past few years and look set to profit from it.
The initiative was formalised on 18th October, 2019 under the auspices of World Bank Group/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meeting in Washington DC, America.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Union (EU) and the World Bank will partner the five countries who have agreed on priority projects and programs that will constitute the initiative. This will result in a financing forum in 2020 to seek investorsto realise the prioritised areas identified by the countries whose growth rate has seen significant improvements in the last 10 years.
Khaled Sherif, the African Development Bank’s Vice President for regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery acknowledged that, the Horn of Africa’s geo-strategic position with regard to the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, has important regional and international significance.
Adding that, “these can be harnessed to spur integration resilience and usher in a new era of prosperity, enabling the countries to reap significant dividends from the current peace initiatives”.
The four priority areas the Horn countries came out with includes; improving regional infrastructure connectivity, promoting trade and economic integration,building resilience and strengthening human capital development.
To enure the realization of this project, an amount of 15 billion dollars is required to finance it.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted revealed that, most of the Horn of Africa countries recorded better growth rate in 2018 than the continent’s average.
While Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3.5 percent, Ethiopia reached a staggering 7.7 percent, Djibouti recorded 5.9 percent and Eritrea 4.2 percent. Only Somalia could not outpace the continent’s average by recording 2.9 percent.
Story By: Dzifa jerrina