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Download this article in PDF format Abstract Upon Eritrean independence inEthiopia became landlocked and therefore dependent on neighbors — especially Djibouti — for access to international markets. Previewing the main argument, this article shows how Ethiopia was able to anticipate dangers and opportunities linked to growing involvement of Gulf Arab States in the ports of the region, and how it embarked on an expeditionary foreign policy mission in the Gulf specifically in the UAE in order to steer investment towards the port town where Addis Ababa could derive the most strategic advantage — Berbera in semi-autonomous Somaliland.
These have coincided with various actions taken by Horn of Africa states to affect the regional distribution of power to their advantage. It is the development of the port of Berbera, in particular, that may prove the most radical in terms of challenging regional power dynamics as well as international law.
Of the three ports, Berbera is closest to Ethiopia proper and offers the potential of opening up the vast, albeit isolated eastern region of Ethiopia to trade, particularly in the export of livestock and agriculture.
However, the port is located in the Republic of Somaliland, which declared its independence from the Republic of Somalia in but remains unrecognized internationally, therefore representing a political and legal headache for states wishing to engage with it substantively.
While developments involving recent ports deals have International case developing verifiable goals scant attention by area specialists they have potentially wide-ranging consequences. What commentary that does exist overwhelmingly focuses on foreign involvement; it sees events as being externally driven and controlled, denying agency to the Horn of Africa states even though they are the actors with the largest stake in the course of events Ulrichsen, ; Burke, ; Lefebvre, This omission is most striking in relation to Ethiopia, an aspiring regional power with considerable strategic interests in which regional ports are developed and by whom.
Lastly, we trace and analyse the actions Ethiopia took to advance its interests and counter potential threats. Hierarchy in the Horn and Ethiopian Aspirations The view that regions should be treated as the critical unit of analysis in international politics gained greater prominence after the Cold War.
Given the intense security interaction between Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia, the Horn of Africa forms a region under this interpretation.
These are measured in terms of demographic size, economic capacity and military prowess. Third, they must have political aspirations to dominate neighbours or at least be the leader in regional matters if domination is not attainable Genrewold, ; 5.
In purely material terms, but also relative to its neighbours, Ethiopia has a good claim to be a regional power. First, with a population somewhere close to million it is demographically much larger than its neighbours. In sum, the distribution of power capabilities within the Horn of Africa overwhelmingly favours Addis Ababa.
But what of its aspirations for leadership? It has fought wars with both Somalia and Eritrea, and Eritrea is aligned with anti-Ethiopia factions in Somalia Genrewold, ; Being the seat of the African Union AU confers some influence on Addis Ababa regionally, but its legitimacy as a leader is undermined by its internal troubles, which include high levels of poverty, ethnic conflict, and food insecurity Dehetz, There will always be a considerable gap between its aspirations and its ability to act as regional power so long has it has a high level of dependency on one neighbour to access international waters.
Due to lower transaction and transportation costs, ports also serve as nodes for production and manufacturing. Conversely, landlocked developing countries are at a major disadvantage Paudel, ; Faye, et al. The lack of direct sea access inhibits integration with the global economy and entails a transport cost disadvantage compared to states with sea access.
Also, the fact that trade from a landlocked country must pass through a sovereign transit country in order to access international shipping markets creates a serious political vulnerability on the former.
If a landlocked country and its transit neighbour are in conflict, either military or diplomatic, the transit neighbour can block borders, implement regulatory changes that impede trade, or simply increase tariffs. Even when there is no direct conflict, landlocked countries are extremely vulnerable to the political vagaries of their transit neighbours.
To be sure, Ethiopia has suffered from its dependency on its neighbours for an outlet to the sea Wuhib, With the loss of Eritrean territory and the Red Sea ports of Massawa and Assab, Ethiopia effectively became landlocked.
Though Ethiopia briefly continued to use the port of Assab — where three-quarters of Ethiopian trade passed through duty-free until — it was forced to shift its trading route to the port of Djibouti, which at that point had a poorly functioning railroad and limited port facilities Faye et al.
Opened inDoraleh container terminal and port became the sole facility in the region capable of handling 15,tonne-plus container vessels Styan, ; 6. Infrastructure development across national borders is more difficult to arrange than similar investments within a country.Complexity characterises the behaviour of a system or model whose components interact in multiple ways and follow local rules, meaning there is no reasonable higher instruction to define the various possible interactions..
The term is generally used to characterize something with many parts where those parts interact with each other in multiple ways, culminating in a higher order of emergence.
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