Horn of Africa Initiative Secretariat, Addis Ababa: March 25th, 2023: Finance Ministers from 5 countries under the Horn of Africa Initiative (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan) and a representative of Eritrea held the 17th Ministerial Roundtable in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on May 24th, 2023.
The Roundtable held in the margins of the on-going AfDB Annual meetings was co-chaired by H.E. Mr Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance for Ethiopia, and Ms. Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, AfDB Vice President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery. A presentation made on private sector mobilization and engagement underscored need to mobilize greater resources in support of the HoAI given the financing gaps arising from the current international circumstances, increasing debt distress and limited fiscal spaces.
The presentation notes among other areas, mapping on-going private sector programmes at national and regional levels, mobilizing DFIs financing, identifying potential business opportunities at the regional level in areas aligned with HoAI and promoting regional linkages amongst private companies. The Roundtable further received and adopted specific proposals from the Republic of South Sudan into the HoAI investment package.
The proposals presented by the Minister of Finance and Planning for South Sudan, Hon Dr Dier Tong Ngor, will see HoAI extend coverage of ongoing and already planned operations to include additional operations under the regional infrastructure connectivity Pillar. The additional areas/projects aligned to the priority projects include construction of various infrastructure facilities, ICT intervention projects and energy development. The Ministerial observed that significant financing in excess of US$2 billion, is required, thus raising the overall funding envelope envisaged for the Initiative to close to US$18 billion.
On borderlands, the Ministerial gave greenlight for the next steps of preparation of a roadmap on accelerating development in the Horn of Africa Borderlands and tasked the Secretariat to expedite the process leading to its endorsement at the next Ministerial Roundtable. The African Development Bank, European Union (EU), the World Bank Group and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) attended the Ministerial Roundtable that also welcomed the Federal Ministry of Co-operation and Development (BMZ, Germany) as a new Development Partner. The Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Fund for Development, AFREXIM Bank and participated as observers.
The Communique will be shortly available on the website. -endsNOTES TO EDITORS The Horn of Africa Initiative (HoAI) was launched in 2019 by the Finance Ministers of the five Horn of Africa countries — Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. The Initiative seeks to address common development challenges that hamper growth through regional, coordinated and concerted action among the countries.
The mandate of HoAI is to support projects under four pillars: (i) improving regional infrastructure connectivity (transport corridors, energy and digital integration) (ii) promoting trade and economic integration (iii) building resilience and (iv) strengthening human capital development. Ethiopia is currently the Chair of the HoAI.
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Horn of Africa Initiative Secretariat: Email: [email protected]