From Barriers to Bridges: Transformation of the Ethiopia-Kenya Border Region
A program initiated by the Kenyan and Ethiopian governments is driven by the need to foster peace and sustainable development in the cross-border area of Marsabit County, Kenya, and the Borana/Dawa Zones, Ethiopia
Consider this. The communities around the Kenya-Ethiopia border in Moyale-Borona area, have long been associated with internecine violence, extreme poverty, and environmental stress. These have led to disastrous societal consequences, including displacement, criminality and violent extremism.
The 2012-2013 intercommunal clashes in Moyale town, claimed the lives of over 200 people, destroyed thousands of properties, including schools and other social amenities. The region has been viewed as largely peripheral, both economically and politically, and therefore attracted limited public and private resources.
However, an innovative, comprehensive and integrated cross-border program initiated by the Kenyan and Ethiopian governments, in partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations (UN) is changing this narrative.
During the recent visit to Kenya by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, President Uhuru Kenyatta specifically mentioned, the Kenya-Ethiopia cross-border program and noted the importance of this innovative area-based development program, which he said has the potential of being replicated elsewhere.
President Kenyatta hoped that the initiative would help transform the region. “The program will see Moyale being turned into the Dubai of Africa,” he said.
The strong commitment of the two governments is reflected in an article the Foreign Ministers of Kenya and Ethiopia, co-authored, Kenya and Ethiopia: A cross-border initiative to advance peace and development.
The initiative is driven by the need to foster peace and sustainable development in the cross-border area of Marsabit County, Kenya, and the Borana/Dawa Zones, Ethiopia. It was launched in December 2015 by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia.