Home / Events / ISS International Conference, Nairobi BY INVITATION ONLY: Can the Horn of Africa Achieve its Economic Potential?
ISS International Conference, Nairobi BY INVITATION ONLY: Can the Horn of Africa Achieve its Economic Potential?
Date: 20 - 22 March 2012
Venue: , ISS Nairobi, Kenya

Seeking modalities that may enable progress

Presented by the Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division

The greater Horn of Africa - including Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda- is a region of great geo-strategic importance. Endowed with an abundance of natural resources, the Horn is also adjacent to two crucial international maritime trade routes, the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, which enables it to enter a lucrative international economic arena. It is endowed with valuable mineral resources, massive livestock reserves, and the potential to develop as the breadbasket of Eastern Africa and the Middle East.  It has massive developmental challenges to address before it can attain its proper future, and is presently plagued with various internal and external security threats.

Unfortunately, the Horn is a region in crisis and faced with multiple threats to security. The region is typified by weak governance structures that have undermined human security and promoted inter and intra state violent struggles. Ranging from the political turmoil in Somalia, political tensions in Kenya, 21-year unresolved situation between Sudan and South Sudan, interstate animosity between Ethiopia and Eritrea, Eritrea and Djibouti, the Horn seems to be in a perpetual web of conflicts that are immeasurable in terms of human and economic costs. Poor political relations in the region means that military rather than economic considerations tend to dominate national security debates. The region is also not helped by ecological systems that are undermined by cyclical drought and climate change. This has contributed to the displacement of large numbers of people across national borders.

What explains these disruptive socio-political occurrences? Is it a mere accident that the region is violently torn apart from within or can this be explained by structural weaknesses in institutions? What is the current status of normative, institutional and legal policy frameworks for responding to conflict and insecurity in the region? At a basic level, why is it increasingly becoming difficult to contain conflict and insecurity using current state formations and regional security architectures?

This international Conference will explore these among other issues with the aim of identifying drivers, dynamics and implications of the conflicts in the region. It will also qualitatively explore corrective frameworks at all levels for the conflicts and human insecurity.

The core objectives of the conference are to:

  • Contribute to the understanding and the solutions of the issues in the Horn in a holistic and integrated manner.
  • Create the space for co-operation by indicating in the recommendations the gaps that need to bridge and the work that still needs to be done in the Horn.
  • Introduce non-traditional stakeholders, specifically those in the commercial private sector as a means of highlighting the value of development in peace efforts.

On the third and last day of the Conference, there will be a closed-door session in which the outcomes and expectations of the policy recommendations will be revised and finally adopted. 

Please note that discussions occur under ISS Rules.  Participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed without his/her express permission.


ISS Nairobi

Email:Dr Issaka Souare
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