An American University Senior Fellow believes the Ethiopia-Somaliland MoU will boost economic growth and regional cooperation. The agreement also lays the groundwork for developing critical infrastructure and aligning with the Africa Agenda 2063 vision, aiming to connect continental regions through transportation grids.

Below is an article published by the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA)

American University Senior Fellow in Moscow, Matthew Ehret, told ENA that the Ethiopia-Somaliland agreement will foster economic growth and regional cooperation.

The senior fellow, who highlighted the importance of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on January 1, 2023, said the sea route with strategic trade significance would play a crucial role in enhancing Ethiopia’s fast economic growth.


According to him, the agreement is vital to unlock new economic opportunities, transform regional connectivity, and benefit not only Ethiopia and Somaliland but also the wider Horn of Africa region.

The deal would also enable Ethiopia to get access to the sea through Somaliland, providing Ethiopia with an alternative transit route and potentially lowering logistical costs.

Djibouti has been the only pathway for Ethiopia, and the country needs to branch out. Ehret thinks the deal with Somaliland has been something which was wonderful.

“This is extremely important. Ethiopia, being landlocked, desperately requires access to the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. And this deal does provide this blessing.”

Ethiopia-Somaliland MoU Opens Door for Growth, Regional Cooperation
Matthew Ehret is a journalist, cartoonist, director of the Rising Tide Foundation, founder of the Canadian Patriot Review, senior fellow of the American University in Moscow, and author of the Untold History of Canada series. Follow him on X @ehret_matthew

The agreement also paves the way for developing critical infrastructure, connecting the region, and aligning with the Africa Agenda 2063 vision, aiming to connect continental regions through transportation grids.

“If any of them (transportation grids) were going to happen, that one would happen first. And increasingly, we’re seeing similar momentum for more southern, east-west routes,” Ehret elaborated.

The senior fellow underscores that the potential benefits extend beyond Ethiopia and Somaliland. Improved trade and connectivity are expected to stimulate economic growth throughout the region, creating jobs and opportunities for neighboring countries.

Ethiopia is growing very fast and is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world, with a 13.5 percent GDP increase forecasted for 2024 by the IMF, Ehret stated.

Ethiopia: On Course To Recognizing Somaliland’s Statehood
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Somaliland President Muse Bihi are shaking hands after they signed the MoU in Addis Ababa on 1 January 2024.

Emphasizing the importance of moving beyond past conflicts and focusing on future opportunities, the senior fellow stated that win-win cooperation and collaborative initiatives like the Africa Agenda 2063 hold the key to unlocking Africa’s potential.

For Ehret, the deal marks a promising step for a more connected and prosperous region by leveraging it to build infrastructure, harness resources, and foster cooperation so that the region can pave the way for a brighter future for its people and economies.