Unity for peace and prosperity

Horn of Africa States

The Horn of Africa is the easternmost peninsula of Africa and faces on the African side, the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Somali Sea (Northern Indian Ocean) which is the main shipping route for the transport of oil and goods from Asia (West and East) to Europe and the United States. The Horn of Africa is home for four countries, namely Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti whose cultures have been linked throughout their long history. The Horn contains diverse geographical spaces such as the highlands of the Ethiopian Plateau and the Eritrean, Somali and Djibouti coastal belt, in addition to a largely ethnic homogeneity of the population and shared boundaries. The Horn of Africa is considered one of the most strategically important regions in the world.

Unfortunately, the Horn of Africa’s recent history is filled with recurring conflicts, droughts and instability. A major famine hit Ethiopia from 1983 to 1985. Somalia erupted into a civil war in 1991, steering the country into anarchy and famine. Due to the peninsula’s strategic location, the instability has caused great concern for the international community, as a result the region has become a target for a new order of global competition over strategic interests since the end of Cold War, particularly the rise of terrorism after 9/11 and the war on terror. Terrorism including the Pirates has intensified indeed increased the presence of the international community in the region.

The people of the Horn of Africa and their governments will have to steer through a delicate path to spare themselves and the region from the vagaries of strategic clientelism as well to encounter the challenges confronting the region via a united Horn of Africa States.


Somalia is bordered by Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean. It has the longest coastline on Africa’s mainland (3,333 km) and has a total area of 637,657 sq km. Its population is estimated at 30 million (February 2022). Somalia’s natural resources include uranium, iron ore, tin, copper, bauxite, natural gas, and oil reserves. Agricultural land comprises 70.3 percent of its territory.


Ethiopia is the largest country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Sudan. It has a total area of 1,104,300 sq km and an estimated population of 120 million (February 2022). The country’s key economic sectors such as telecommunications, banking, and power distribution are state-owned. It enjoys substantial reserves of minerals such as gold, platinum, copper, oil, and natural gas. Ethiopia is mainly an agricultural country (corn, teff, coffee, tea, cotton, sesame, flowers, etc.) and gives rise to the Blue Nile which feeds most water to Egypt. Ethiopia has food and beverages processing plants, clothing and textile manufacturers, leather manufacturing and cement industries.


Eritrea has a total area of 117,000 square kilometres and about 1000km of coastline on the Red Sea. Eritrea has an estimate population of 6 million. It has borders with Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Sudan. Its natural resources include gold, copper, zinc, and natural gas. Its main agricultural products are corn, cotton, tobacco, coffee, and vegetables. Major industries include food and beverage processing, clothing, and textile manufacturing.


Djibouti has an area of around 23,200 sq km. It shares borders with Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Its coastline is about 300 km long, along the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Djibouti is rich in mineral deposits such as gold, granite, limestone, and marble. Its economy is, in the main, based on its major ports that serve the region and beyond. Djibouti has a population of about I million people.


HAS will, on integration own the following main features as per current statistics:

  • A coastline of some 4,633 km, the longest in Africa.
  • An area of 1,882,157 sq. km (The 3rdlargest country in Africa after Algeria and DR Congo).
  • Population of about 157 million (The Second largest country in Africa after Nigeria).
  • The Great Rift Valley and the Blue Nile Valley and in between and around which there are high mountain ranges and a long coast marked by some of the most beautiful and healthy beaches in the world.
  • A diverse flora and fauna.
  • A strategic world-centered location overlooking and commanding one of the busiest trades and shipping routes in the world: – The Suez Canal/Red Sea/Bab El Mandab/Gulf of Aden/the northern Indian Ocean route.