The politics of the Red Sea and the Nile are being reshaped. The peace treaty between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the ignoring of Somaliland, one of the important actor in the region, the fragile stabilization of Somalia, the tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the ongoing transition in Sudan, and the renewed Saudi interest in developing its western coast have all contributed to the region’s complex geopolitical dynamics in recent years. The Gulf States have increased their political and economic involvement but not within a multilateral or cooperative framework. Turkey has also made inroads in the region. Competition over ports and bases is intense, threatening at times to derail economic cooperation and infrastructure projects.

Will these dynamics jumpstart a new era of competition or could cooperation over maritime security, water-sharing and economic development emerge? What are the hard security challenges faced by the region? And what is the real nature and level of interest of Western, Gulf, and Asian powers for the region?


For a discussion of these questions, please join this virtual event with Dr Mohamed Ali Guyo, Julian Reilly, Hafsa Halawa, and Camille Lons.

Be the first to know – Follow us on [wp-svg-icons icon=”twitter-2″ wrap=”i”] @Saxafi

Dr. Mohamed Ali Guyo is the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Special Envoy for the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and Somalia. Prior to joining IGAD, he served as the Director for Peace and Security in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, with a focus on the Greater Horn of Africa. He also served as a Special Advisor to the IGAD peace processes for South Sudan and Sudan, and as Director of the Institute of Security Studies Nairobi office.

Julian Reilly is the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office. He previously served as the Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Saudi Arabia.

Hafsa Halawa is an independent consultant working on political, social, and economic affairs, and development goals across the Middle East and North Africa, and Horn of Africa regions. A former corporate lawyer, Halawa has held positions in government, the United Nations, international non-governmental organizations, corporate multinationals, private firms, and think tanks.

Camille Lons is a Research Associate at the IISS−Middle East office. She covers political and security developments in the Gulf region, with a specific focus on Gulf countries’ economic and political relations with Asian powers and the Horn of Africa.

  • Chaired By Emile Hokayem
  • Speaker Dr. Mohamed Ali Guyo
  • Speaker Julian Reilly
  • Speaker Hafsa Halawa
  • Speaker Camille Lons


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.