During the World Bank Group/IMF Annual Meetings held on 18 October 2019 in Washington, D.C., the Ministers of Finance and other representatives of the Horn of Africa (HoA) countries highlighted the importance of developing a coordinated approach and came together in the Horn of Africa Initiative, bringing the nations together to address shared regional challenges.
Challenges such as natural disasters, pandemics, insecurity, and fragility know no borders and share commonalities. On the other hand, better regional connectivity, more trade, and improved access to energy and digital services can significantly contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction. There are also inherent economies of scale to be explored in the Horn of Africa Initiative.
To this end, the HoA countries agreed on priority proposals in four thematic areas (i) Regional infrastructure connectivity (ii) Economic and trade integration (iii) Building resilience and (iv) Human capital development, where the national policies of the countries converge to achieve deeper regional cooperation and integration in the Horn of Africa.
The Horn of Africa Initiative (HoAI) presents a new business model for regional integration, encompassing policy dialogue, investments, and political ownership. Its key priorities are fully aligned with the World Bank’s Regional Integration and Cooperation Assistance Strategy.
A Secretariat has been established with a team of experts under the guidance of the Head of the Secretariat to support the Initiative’s functions. The HoAI Ministerial Group offers strategic guidance to the Initiative and is chaired on a rotational basis. Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Treasury and National Planning chaired the Horn of Africa Initiative in 2022 (including early 2023) and handed it over to Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance, H.E. Ahmed Shide on March 8th, 2023.