The Horn of Africa States: Navigating the Ongoing Challenges in the Region

The region of Africa, a horn-shaped region facing Arabia, the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean, and Sudan and Egypt, is the most eastern part of Africa and has been a significant cradle of humankind since Lucy, the Miracle around 3.2 million years ago. It has been a conduit of global trade and a transmitter of goods, knowledge, and belief systems to and from Asia, Europe, and Africa.

In the past, the region was strong enough to dominate the seas and parts of Arabia and India. However, it has weakened due to its own idiosyncrasies and interventions from powerful nations like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, the USA, and Europe. The region is currently struggling for survival due to internal rifts and clan competitions for power, indirectly instigated and managed by foreign actors. The need for the region to work together to manage common issues becomes increasingly important.

The region faces challenges in managing regional dynamics and interconnectivity, including sustainable developmental projects like ports, airports, rail, and road connections. It is crucial to find solutions at the regional level to prevent and manage conflicts within the region and within countries. Engaging the youth of the region through developmental projects can help prevent conflicts, violence, and migration. One major challenge is Ethiopia’s desire to have access to a sea, which has stirred the region.

Historical fallacies should not be used to justify this desire. Ethiopia already uses the port of Djibouti and can potentially access other ports like Somalia and Eritrea if negotiated through bilateral deals or regional platforms. However, it does not own its own piece of the longest coast in Africa, which is a historical legacies that cannot be changed. The lowlands of the region do not envy Ethiopia for their long coast of 4,700 km, but they do not envy Ethiopia for their lack of high mountains and waterfalls.

The region can work together economically, share common approaches to internal and external problems, and have a common foreign policy when dealing with non-regional parties. This can foster closer relationships between the peoples of the region, rather than causing animosity as seen in past failed regimes. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s recitation of quotes from old and failed politicians, who caused many of the region’s problems, is unfortunate. The region should be grateful for their absence and avoid pursuing their wrong goals, such as owning areas like Khartoum, Sudan, and Mombasa, Kenya. Such ambitions would only cause chaos, deaths, and destruction, and the region should be guided by a better way.

The proposal is to work together economically in a regional framework for the sustainable development of the SEED countries. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, HE. Abiy Ahmed, is invited to launch a program aiming to create a new regional block called the Horn of Africa States (HAS). This would allow Ethiopia to benefit from its resources and geostrategic location, making it a prime region of Africa. Ethiopia would enjoy 4,700 km of coast and a significant blue economy with its sister nations of Somalia, Eritrea, and Djibouti, eliminating the need for sea access.

AfricaAfrica StatesThe Horn of Africa States: Navigating the Ongoing Challenges in the Region