Making headlines for decades as a turbulent region, the Horn of Africa had been a burden to the international community serving as a breeding ground of terrorists, sea pirates, illicit arms traders, illegal human traffickers, and what have you.
The relations among and between countries in the Horn had long been characterized by hostility in which one harbor, arms and finances the enemy of the other that eventually ended up in mutual destruction. Put it another way, 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' worked to its fullest sense in this region.
The course of this tragedy has been irreversibly changed.
Today, the Horn region has leaders that frequently exchanged visits, closing the chapters of years of hostility and 'no war no peace' regime. To mention, Ethiopia and Eritrea's ties over the last two and half years have changed the geopolitical dimension of the region into one that is closer, peaceful and development-oriented.
Over the last three days, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Isias Afwerki toured around Ethiopia where major energy infrastructural projects have taken and are taking shape. Gilgel Gibe III Dam, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and Koysha hydro-power project were visited by the leaders in an unprecedented historical move that demonstrates the affinity of the two countries.
The projects have clear regional implications. The construction of these projects takes place at Transboudry-River basins in the first place. The second is that the experience amassed in mobilizing the public, in carrying out diplomatic activities and in undertaking the constructional works, among others, is worth replicating in countries of the Horn and Africa in general, this is not to mention the benefits of the projects to regional economic integration.
There is no need today to squander resources to benchmark experiences in either far-eastern countries or that of the western. The new generation of Africa is registering progress in various development fronts that could be emulated from one another. In many respects, Ethiopia has also been playing a lead goose role particularly in bringing clean energy infrastructure to a reality.
Ethiopia has set an example to all countries of Africa on ways and means of realizing massive projects, the GERD being an emblem of self-reliance when it comes to financing huge projects. It as well is a statue of determination in defiance to those who work to twist our arm into fulfilling their interests.
Unless countries in the Horn bring to reality grand projects, they cannot and will not respond to the demands of the sharply rising youth population. Not only would this be dangerous to the countries themselves, but sooner than later, it also surely knocks on every country's doors. The migration crisis facing EU countries could be a case in point in this regard.
Hence, it is incumbent on all to replicate the achievement that Ethiopia has registered. Developmental feats in the Horn of Africa amount to peace and security of the region and beyond. It would put Africa in its deserved position as an important strategic ally to the international community as well.