The European Union and UNDP to enhance cross-border cooperation in the Horn of AfricaFeb 28, 2018
Erik Habers, Head of Cooperation in the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Ethiopia, and Lamin Momodou Manneh, Director of Regional Service Centre for Africa, UNDP, signed an agreement for a cross-border initiative to address causes of conflict and instability between Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
The US$10 million three-year project for the Support for Effective Cooperation and Coordination of Cross Border Initiatives in South West Ethiopia – North West Kenya, Marsabit – Borana and Dawa, and Kenya – Somalia – Ethiopia (SECCI), will be implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with UN Environment (UNEP), in partnership with Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Violent conflict has been, and continues to be, a major obstacle to development in the Horn of Africa. This has led to destruction of properties and displacement of people. The historic incidence of violent conflicts over access to natural resources such as pasture and water, is exacerbated by the impact of climate change and is becoming increasingly entwined with the spread of violent extremist ideology and its manifestations.
“The project is an integral part of a programme addressing the underlying root causes which create fragility and hamper the development prospects in the region,” said Lamin Manneh, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, and “through investment in conflict prevention, cross border trade and private sector development, it is expected that livelihoods will be diversified and the management of shared natural resources will be improved”.
The initiative is also in line with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ push for a focus on prevention and strengthening the nexus between development, security and peace.
The cross-border programme builds on the ongoing development initiatives in the area, and is engaging a wide range of stakeholders including civil society, private sector, faith-based organizations, peace committees, development partners and financial partners in development.
"The EU is indeed investing additional EUR 35.5 million grants in these cross-border areas (in addition to the EUR 20 million along the Ethiopia-Sudan border) to increase the resilience of these peripheral areas and promote economic development and stability. The current agreement with UNDP will contribute to the ongoing operations though enhanced cooperation between the involved national and regional government, including on water diplomacy".