Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, and H.E. Amb Ukur Yatani, Cabinet Secretary of Kenya, co-chaired the eleventh Ministerial of the Horn of Africa initiative (HoAI), the first under Kenya’s Chairmanship. The meeting, in the margins of the EU-AU summit, gathered Ministers of Finances of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia in Brussels, as well as representatives of the World Bank and the African Development Bank. For the first time, Team Europe Members also attended the Ministerial meeting.
Team Europe’s action in the Horn of Africa is fully aligned with the objectives and priorities of the 6th EU-AU Summit (Brussels 17-18 February 2022). Its action in the Horn of Africa initiative is one of the concrete illustrations of the renewed Africa-Europe Alliance, aiming at addressing both the immediate opportunities and challenges, as well as the long-term possibilities.
The Horn of Africa currently faces a range of critical circumstances: including the Covid-19 crisis, climate shocks, economic and political challenges. At the same time, important opportunities exist for the Horn of Africa, with growing younger generations, as well as in urbanisation, digitalisation and the emergence of new markets. Ministers recognised that there is an increasing need to deal with these challenges and take advantage of opportunities through a collective regional approach.
Commissioner Urpilainen welcomed ministerial colleagues to the forum: “It is my pleasure and honour to be hosting the Horn of Africa initiative Ministerial for the first time in Brussels with our Team Europe Members. It shows Team Europe’s commitment to continue engaging and supporting the region. Our Ministerial takes place during the week of the EU-AU Summit. The global challenges we face today demand a global response. Hence, we need partnerships at the continental, regional and bilateral levels.”
The Ministerial looked into the situation in the Horn of Africa, the role of individual participating countries and of the Horn of Africa initiative as well as what could be done to enhance regional integration. As the Team Europe action is taking shape, including since the EU has just completed its programming exercise, the EU used this opportunity to present Team Europe’s action, objectives and priorities with a specific focus on what it means for the Horn of Africa and the Horn of Africa initiative.
The Horn of Africa initiative has so far mobilised over $ 4.5 billion from its three development partners: the EU, the African Development Bank and World Bank Group. This financing covers critical regional priorities in transport connectivity, energy, digital economy, trade, resilience and human capital with the final objective to promote regional economic integration.
The next Ministerial of the Horn of Africa Initiative will be held mid-April 2022, as a side event of the World Bank –International Monetary Fund Spring Meeting.
The Horn of Africa initiative was created in 2019 to promote regional economic integration as a way to foster peace, stability and sustainable development in the region. The initiative has a twofold ambition:
- Political: it provides an open and frank political forum for the region at Finance Minister’s level
- Development: it is anchored on a solid development package along 4 pillars: regional infrastructures, trade facilitation, resilience and human capital.
It gathers Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia and (since 2021) Sudan as well as international partners, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank (WB) and the European Union (EU).
The EU (Commissioner Urpilainen) co-chaired the HoAI Ministerial on 15 February with the Treasury Cabinet Secretary of Kenya, H.E. Amb Yatani – as current Chair of the Horn of Africa initiative. For the first time, EU Member States took part in the discussion which shows Team Europe’s unity and commitment towards the Horn of Africa region.
- Publication date
- 15 February 2022
- Directorate-General for International Partnerships