The Horn of Africa Initiative (HoA) Finance Ministers and Senior Officials from Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are holding a two-day meeting (3 -4, February) focusing on promoting economic integration and regional cooperation in Djibouti. The meeting aimed at reviewing the overall policy approach to ensure effective trade amongst the countries.
According to the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, The ministerial meeting conferred as well on how to finance identified critical economic corridors, prioritized infrastructural projects, and regulatory changes required. In this aspect, the meeting has been able to demonstrate the need to mobilize over 15 billion USD investment.
speaking at the meeting, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance, Dr Eyob Tekalign, said: “So much progress has been made since we have launched this initiative last year to take forward the collective desire of our countries to deepen regional economic integration and promote regional cooperation by leveraging the renewed political momentum in the Horn of Africa.”
The Ethiopian State Minister also affirmed his country’s commitment to work towards better coordination among the Horn countries. He emphasized the need to prioritize collaboration on job creation for the vast- working-age youth in the sub-region and stressed the need to further develop infrastructure networks in transport, energy and digital sectors to bring about an effective and functional market in the Horn. Taking into account that this part of the world has suffered through years of conflict, the Ethiopian State Minister emphasized that much care should be taken so countries do not undermine the remarkable progress being made in terms of promoting peace and stability in the region which is critical in promoting regional integration. Furthermore, he explained the importance of addressing climate change and promoting resilience to reduce the region’s vulnerability to shock.
This Ministerial meeting was able to allow the ministers to update their plans for the outreach to financing partners and in ensuring implementation readiness of the Initiative. The Ministers also discussed requirements for providing coordination support to the Initiative. Countries under the HoA Initiative have been instrumental in providing oversight and guidance for the work over implementing agreements reached to promote trade and economic integration.