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HoAI Secretariat publishes regional Trade Facilitation Roadmap for the Horn of Africa

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From 6 to 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 elaborate a consolidated matrix identifying 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 Horn of Africa Initiative was born out of the philosophy that Horn of Africa countries are ‘stronger together’ and is built on the logic that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". In practice, this means that a regional, coordinated and concerted approach towards the common development challenges these countries face is more effective than actions put in place separately by each one of them individually. Member of the HoAI are Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan, with the latter that recently accessed to the Initiative (beginning of June).

At the Ministerial Meeting of 21 April 2022 held in Washington DC, the Ministers of Finance of the HoAI and the Developing Partners who support the Initiative (World Bank, African Development Bank and European Union) endorsed the consolidated matrix elaborated at the Nairobi trade workshop of April 2022, mandating the HoAI Secretariat to develop a clear strategy for achieving the objectives described in this document. Following two months of intense work, the HoAI Secretariat published a Regional Horn of Africa Trade Facilitation Roadmap that sets out a strategy for reforms and policy actions deemed necessary to increase convergence of trade, customs and transport policies of HoA member States, with a prioritization matrix, agencies responsible for implementation of measures proposed and specific deadlines for achieving the goals and activities described in the roadmap.

The document, which was elaborated by us with the contribution of the above Developing Partners, as well as key stakeholders from Ministries and government agencies with trade-related responsibilities in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti, is now available on the Horn of Africa Initiative website and can be downloaded at this link.

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