Cross-border Infrastructure Cooperation in the Horn of Africa (HoA) Region

Regional transport infrastructure provide linkage with global supply chains and distribution networks. Likewise, regional power infrastructure allows access to reliable and competitive power for businesses, households and public services. Although there has been considerable progress in recent years, the HoA Region has one of the lowest regional transport, power and ICT infrastructure connectivity. As regional infrastructure involves more than one country, its success largely depends on how well countries in the region cooperate from its inception, project preparation, construction and operation. Prolonged insecurity, limited institutional capacity, lack of harmonization of individual countries legal systems, lack of regional cost-benefit distribution analysis, and inadequate finance have been identified as major challenges impeding progress in C-B infrastructure. The lessons from the case studies singled out the following success factors for regional C-B infrastructure cooperation: regional cost-benefit distribution analysis and related compensation mechanism for countries that bear disproportionately large cost, benefit packages to communities that are affected; need for a strong and enforceable treaty for countries to agree on regional legal and institutional framework; and activist role of development partners in addition to resource mobilization and technical support. The study has also identified roles for individual countries, regional intuitions, and development partners to promote regional infrastructure. Individual countries need to increase institutional capacity in contracts and projects management and in effective implementation and operations in C-B transport, power and ICT connectivity. Countries should also keep the momentum in the recent improvement in domestic resource mobilization, because donor lending to C-B infrastructure financing is increasingly being tied to local contribution. Moreover, countries should gradually harmonize their transport laws and physical infrastructure to benefit from seamless movement of freight and reduction in trade logistics.