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Horn of Africa countries meet to elaborate solutions for increasing trade in the Region

On 6 and 7 April 2022, the Horn of Africa Initiative (HoAI) Secretariat, together with the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the EU Commission, a representation from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and delegations of officials from the Ministries of Trade, Finance, Transport and of the revenue/customs authorities of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti met in Nairobi in a Trade Workshop to discuss and identify a series of priority actions that HoAI countries governments should pursue in the short and medium term in order to facilitate trade and increase regional integration in the Horn.

The discussions, coordinated by our CEO Mr. Danilo Desiderio, who serves as trade advisor at the HoAI Secretariat, culminated in the elaboration of a consolidated Priority Matrix for Trade Facilitation in the HoA region, which was presented at the 12th Ministerial Meeting of the HoAI Ministers of Finance in Washington of 21 April 2022 to the Developing partners and the HoAI Ministers of Finance, who endorsed the document. The matrix has been elaborated on the basis of a study on trade integration and facilitation reforms in the Horn of Africa and Way forward elaborated by the HoAI Secretariat in the end of 2020, lastly updated in June 2021. The agenda of the trade workshop with the consolidated Priority Matrix for Trade Facilitation in the HoA region and other materials are now available on the HoAI website here, while the agenda, the communique and the discussion note of the 12th Ministerial Meeting can be viewed here. The 12th Ministerial Meeting was also attended as an observer by H.E. Agak Achuil Lual, Minister of Finance and Planning of South Sudan, who manifested interest to join the HoA Initiative.

The Horn of Africa Initiative is a coordination forum between 6 Horn of Africa countries (Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan) that aims at promoting convergence among their national policies to achieve deeper regional cooperation and market integration in the Horn of Africa. The Initiative has a rotating Secretariat that is currently hosted in Nairobi, Kenya, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary of National Treasury and Finance of Kenya, H.E. Amb Ukur Yatani.

The main areas of action (pillars) of the HoAI are four: 1) Improving regional infrastructure connectivity (transport, energy and digital connectivity); 2) promoting trade and economic integration; 3) building resilience to climate change and other shocks, including in the region’s borderland areas; 4) strengthening human capital development. A video that describes the initiative is available here.



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