radeMark East Africa (TMEA) and the Agence Française de Development (AFD) recently signed a €29.9 million (approx. USD 35.5 million) grant agreement to contribute to more sustainable and inclusive regional economic integration in the Horn of Africa.
The TMEA-AFD project will focus on the Djibouti corridor as the main artery of trade for Ethiopia. The overall objective is to enhance the competitiveness of the corridor through logistical and regulatory improvements- reduction of transport and transit times at ports and border crossings, simplification of procedures and reduction of associated costs.
The support aims at reducing trade costs and time along the Djibouti-Ethiopia corridor, from Djibouti Port to the Galafi border post and the dry ports by simplification and harmonization of procedures, standards and regulations governing trade between the two countries.
It will also support enterprises and producers in the logistics sector both in Ethiopia and in Djibouti and the most vulnerable populations: small traders at the borders.
In 2019, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia launched a Horn of Africa Initiative with the overall objective of ensuring the rapid development of the sub-region.
“The European Union is working closely with AFD and TMEA on the Djibouti-Addis Ababa corridor. This €32m initiative will facilitate trade and support value chains along the route. Europe’s single market is one of the greatest achievements of the Union,” European Union Head of Delegation to Djibouti Ambassador Aidan O’Hara noted.
“We have been working on regional integration for over 70 years and we know how it is done. Together with AFD and TMEA, we are bringing our #TeamEurope approach to market integration in the Horn of Africa and we are confident it will boost growth and create new opportunities for entrepreneurs and consumers.”
Speaking during the signing ceremony at TMEA Headquarters in Nairobi, AFD Regional Director for Eastern Africa Mr. Christian Yoka explained:
“We are proud to implement the first Horn of Africa Initiative Pillar 2 project, with the EU contribution. We are also very pleased to implement this project with TMEA and the various stakeholders in Djibouti and Ethiopia,”
Added he; “Deepening regional integration in the Horn is key to enable local markets to reach a critical size for the development and competitiveness of African firms and producers. This is the ambition of the AfCFTA, which the AFD group is also supporting, and it is one of the main thrusts of AFD’s regional strategy in East Africa. We are therefore delighted to contribute to improving regional integration through the Djibouti Addis corridor.”