Announcement of a New Policy Brief “Regional Integration in the Horn of Africa:by SIDRA

Today, Tuesday the 4th of December 2018, SIDRA Institute  released its 8th Policy Brief titled “Regional Integration in the Horn of Africa: Is Prime Minister Abiy’s Initiative an Institution ahead of its Time?”. The Horn of Africa (HoA) region has been riddled with inter-state armed conflict, poverty, drought, extremism and famine. Dictatorships and authoritarian regimes have ruled much of the region and contributed to the broken political and social system in the region. Decades of underdevelopment coupled with  social disparity and divisions along ethnic, religious, tribal, cultural and political lines  have contributed to the conflicts and social upheavals within the region.

The Horn of Africa had not smelt any signs of integration until of recent in April 2018 when Mr.Abiy Ahmed was named Prime Minister of Ethiopia.  It would be overly simplistic to attribute the concept of horn of Africa regional integration only to the inspiration of Mr Abiy Ahmed. For some time, this idea of regional integration was floated in a number of local and international forums as the springboard to construct viable polity to improve security and trade in the region.

It is with this background that this Policy Brief aims at analyzing whether this integration is an instituton ahead of its time. The Ethiopian PM called for the three countries, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia to become one country with one leader, would this be possible? What are the challenges that may hinder the establishment of such confederation? The tripartite agreement between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, didn’t include Djibouti, what are the implications to the region of not having Djibouti to such a plan? What implications it may have for “The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)”, the eight-country security, economic and trade bloc in East Africa? Is the current Federal Government of Somalia in a position to cement such a plan, with Ethiopia and Eritrea who are much stronger politically, militarily and economically?