The Horn of Africa Initiative Launches its Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF)

Horn of Africa Multi-Donor Trust Fund

The European Union (EU) made a €30 million contribution to the Horn of Africa Umbrella Program Multi-Donor Trust Fund to be administered by the World Bank Group (WBG) on behalf of the donor, to support the Horn of Africa Initiative priority projects. The Horn of Africa Initiative (HoAI) welcomes other donors to contribute to the Trust Fund to further advance regional integration in the Horn. 

The objective of the Multi-Donor Trust Fund is to support activities that deepen the regional integration of the countries of the Horn of Africa, in line with the purposes of the Horn of Africa Initiative. The activities to be financed by the Trust Fund are undertaken within the context of the HoAI. The current scope of the  HoAI is described by the following four pillars: 

(a) Pillar 1: An Interconnected Horn will implement cross-border regional infrastructure projects across a  spectrum of thematic areas such as economic transport corridors, energy, and digital among others, and address policy and regulatory aspects of developing regional markets. 

(b) Pillar 2: More Trade, More Growth, More Jobs will focus on trade and economic integration covering trade facilitation, regional value chains, and improvements in the investment climate. Activities supported under this pillar could include topics such as logistics, behind-the-border regulatory convergence,  trade strategy and negotiations, and planning and facilitation of cross-border infrastructure, particularly in the areas of urban infrastructure, transport, trade facilitation, and private sector development. 

(c) Pillar 3: A Resilient Horn will focus on building resilience to climatic shocks, e.g. recurrent droughts I  floods, the current locust crisis, and conflict and displacement. Activities supported could include implementing effective mitigation practices and adaptation mechanisms such as innovative financing instruments ranging from insurance schemes to concessional financing for climate- or refugee-related interventions. 

(d) Pillar 4: A Skilled Horn will focus on human capital development to find regional solutions to improve human capital and service delivery in view of the current global health pandemic and its potential long-term impacts. Activities support under this pillar could include strengthening regional epidemic preparedness and response systems, developing platforms for addressing skills development of youth,  and setting up interoperable ID systems to allow improved targeting of safety net programs. 

Three broad types of activities that will be supported by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund will include the following. 

  • Advisory Services and Analytics on Regional Integration (RI) Priorities such as research, analysis,  surveys, studies, policy notes, etc. including expert advisory services, training, and human resource or organizational development to inform upstream project development; support reform diagnostics and implementation; support for policy harmonization and institutional strengthening.  
  • Technical Assistance to Design Bankable Projects and capacity building such as project preparation or identification, e.g. feasibility and design; identification of spillovers; social and environmental and social safeguards studies, assessments, and preparation of action plans.  Appropriate capacity-building support to countries to refine HoA priorities and implement these will also be provided. 
  • Convening of countries and stakeholders such as through conferences and workshops on thematic areas related to regional integration; outreach activities that provide a platform for dialogue between key stakeholders (e.g. CSOs, youth groups, media, non-governmental organizations) and also that enable the capture and dissemination of good practices using a  variety of communication/media tools; support for maintaining the HoA Initiative website;  twinning arrangements (e.g. between institutions in Africa and OECD countries); and South-South knowledge exchange, in particular with countries that have had successful experiences in promoting regional integration, trade and cooperation. Support for the HoA Initiative Chair through a small Secretariat will also be supported under this activity.  

The following studies are planned to be supported for the first year of the Multi-Donor Trust Fund.  

Feasibility studies
HoA Infrastructure Integration Project (Somalia) 
Ethiopia-Somalia Transmission line Feasibility study and ESIA 
Ethiopia-Sudan transmission lines FS update 
Advisory Services and Analytics
HoA Study on broadband missing links and regional market enabling environment
Prepare business plans for possible investments in livestock regional value chains
Closing data gaps and understanding trade and poverty linkages
Promoting Girls’ Higher Skills Development in HoA
Strengthening Medical Supplies Supply Chain Management Systems and Capacity for Vaccine  Manufacturing in Kenya and Ethiopia 


HoAI’s Development Partners have agreed to update the priority package of $15.89 billion to include the development priorities of its new member, South Sudan. The World Bank, Africa Development Bank, the European Union, and others shall continue to collaborate closely with the member countries’ governments, regional organizations, private sector, and civil society in the Horn to unlock maximum regional development and prosperity.

For further information and for partners interested in joining the Multi-Donor Trust Fund, please contact the World Bank via email. [email protected]

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