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Horn of Africa Ministers sign joint declaration on trade facilitation

On 6 to 7 April 2022, the Horn of Africa Initiative (HoAI) Secretariat, together with the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the EU Commission, 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.

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. At the beginning of July 2022, the HoAI Secretariat published a Regional Horn of Africa Trade Facilitation Roadmap setting 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.

On 8 August 2022, the Horn of Africa Secretariat prepared with our support a text of joint Ministerial Declaration on Trade Facilitation that formally approves the HoAI Trade Facilitation Roadmap and establishes a Task Force responsible for the preparation of project concept notes for each project or for groups of projects indicated in the Roadmap. The declaration is a commitment at the highest levels of the governments of the four countries to collaborate in the implementation of the policy reforms indicated in the roadmap. The signature of Joint Declaration by all the HoAI Ministers has taken long because of the busy electoral calendars in Somalia and Kenya. Its text is available here.

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