14 August 2018

Ethiopia: Ethio - Eritrea Thawing in Democracy, Economic Integration

Almost two months are on since hope flickered in the Horn of Africa as Ethiopia and Eritrea put an end to their two-decade enmity.

Indeed, apart from bringing an ever-lasting peace and prosperity to the peoples of the respective countries , the rapid thawing between these two sisterly countries would contribute a lot in upholding democracy and justice in the Horn and making Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) the strongest regional organization in Africa as well..

This is because, from now on, in every single regional and international issues, affairs and initiatives, Ethiopia and Eritrea will be working closely aiming at safeguarding the all common interests of the Horn region.

For instance, within the last two weeks, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Dr.Workneh Gebeyehu and his Eritrean counterpart Osman Saleh had met several times and exchanged views on how both countries play their due role in realizing the recent Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship in Asmara. According to the Declaration Both countries will jointly endeavor to ensure regional peace, development, and cooperation. By doing so, they will for sure speed up economic integration--the aspiration of the people of the Horn.

Yes, the regional economic integration will interlink Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan Djibouti and Somalia with the needed modern infrastructure with a view to overcoming the challenges to own free trade zones and customs union as well as to ensuring free movement of the Horn African Nationals and investors in the Horn of Africa as a whole.

Of course, homegrown and genuine democracy should come to exist in the Horn region in a bid to win the ongoing regional economic integration efforts.

If these two sisterly countries have been role models of democracy and regional integration, they will attract other IGAD member states to join the integration and democratization process.

Undoubtedly, the existing exemplary and extraordinary friendship and solidarity between Ethiopia and Eritrea will play irreplaceable role in realizing the regional economic integration and genuine democracy sooner than later.

Of course, stemming from the prolonged civil wars, terrorist threats, recurrent political unrest and drought, the Horn of Africa has been described as a turbulent region by a large number of people. But, more recently, the region is being seen as beacon of hope for several developing African countries as Ethiopia has been registering the fastest economic growth in the world for over one decade.

Moreover, unlike the previous times, instead of waiting the international community for resolving violent conflicts and civil strife, Horn African countries have begun to prevent any full-scale wars in their region.

Hence, working towards strongest economic and cultural ties between these two sisterly countries, in one way and another will for sure help to bring an end to the unrest in some parts of the Horn.

As many politicians and diplomats say on several occasions that Ethiopians and Eritreans are the same people living in two countries. This statement is absolutely true to all Horn Africa countries and people as they have more things in common than differences.

In general, for ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy across the Horn of Africa, strong and far-sighted leadership is needed now, more than ever. Every fellow Horn Africans need to firmly believe that governments won't stay forever for various reasons but people will stay forever.

Therefore, for better future of the peoples of Horn region as whole, other Horn African countries need to follow the footsteps of Ethiopia and Eritrea in the efforts of realizing democracy through regional economic integration.

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