The Horn of Africa (HoA) is one of the most geo-politically important regions of the world. Unfortunately, the region has been notorious for its crises and instability. This was due to the internal and external destabilizing factors related to ethnicity, tribalism, resource sharing, poverty, superpower rivalry, porous borders, and hegemonic desires. Let us keep Kenya and Uganda aside as they are more stable and affluent, and narrow the directly affected countries in the Horn into six: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan. This means we are talking about a region of well over 145 million people (est. 2010).
The nations in the HoA share many common socio-cultural and linguistic heritages. This solid bondage could be used as a foundation for creating a common ground for sustainable peace and economic progress in the region and avoid the continuous suffering. Indeed the region has suffered for so long as a battle ground for internally and externally instigated political, cultural and linguistic dominance as well as lust for power. This created unhealthy and zero-sum relationships shrouded with mistrust, collective ambitions and rivalries for economic, cultural and political dominance. The detrimental result has just triggered continuous tensions among nations, different nationalities and ethnic groups. It has also created a fertile ground for drifting further into abject poverty, humiliating famine and drought, environmental degradation, poor governance and squandering and mismanagement of the very meagre available economic resources.
By Mengsteab Tesfayohannes, Ph.D and Yohannes Mengsteab
Sigmund Weis School of Business, Susquehanna University
University Avenue, Selinsgrove, PA, 17870
e-mail: Mengsteab@susqu.edu; Tesfayohannes@susqu.edu