Culturally rich and with immense land mass, this region is on the way to recovering its past glory. Indeed, throughout the antiquity to the western middle-ages period, it played a major role by connecting the traders of the known world. The Greek written Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, nowadays called the red sea, confirms the role played by the Horn of Africa in connecting antique world’s commerce together. One can see in this map, the names, routes and, locations of the Periplus.
The region, however, has lost its competitive edge after the rise of the Arabo-Islamic civilisation and later on, the european domination of the world has put an end to its trading activities.
After few centuries under a darkened sky, the Horn of Africa has, today, the opportunity to re-activate its past trading partnerships. Because the world is changing and, China, Persia, India, Indonesia, etc, are knocking on the doors; the region has to see its interest first. Its people are in need of economic prosperity and have the capacity and trading disposition to achieve it.
Nevertheless, some existing powers might feel nerveous regarding this potential re-birth of the old trading routes. And as the world has experienced throughout its history, when a powerful civilisation feels threatened, its reactions are generally irrational and unpredictable. The Horn is already witnessing such unthoughtful reactions, be it:
– Militarilly: US bases in Djibouti, Ethiopia and, soon in Somalia (Tacit agreement with Somali government for a US base), Warships armada surrounding the region.
– Politically: Major political changes driven by external powers affecting all the countries in the Horn.
– Economically: Competition for the resources and particularly the control of the maritime route.
To diffuse these pressures, the people must organise. Organised men can sew the sky on one step doubled, as says a Somali proverb. And, the responsibility to achieve this aim falls to the governments in the region.
The goal, here, is to look at the ways these governments construct a better organised and cohesive society. To this end, I will analyse the systems of government chosen, the policies put in place and, the stewardship of the public finances.
The posted writings are destined to further the existing debate within and outside the societies of the Horn. As to the readers that will come across this blog, they are welcomed to share their criticisms and present their recommendations because, as a Timbouktian scholar once said, reading is an open discussion between the author and the reader throughout time and space.