Ethiopian yonatan ask excuse Ethiopian Orthodox Church officially Five Horn of Africa countries have launched an initiative to forge closer economic ties, building on the improving political climate in the sub-region, the African Development Bank (AfDB) said. The five nations agreed on priority projects and programs that will constitute the initiative, which is being developed by the countries with support from the AfDB, the European Union and the World Bank. Khaled Sherif, the AfDB’s Vice President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery said the Horn of Africa’s geo-strategic position has important regional and international significance. “These can be harnessed to spur integration, resilience and usher in a new era of prosperity, enabling the countries to reap significant dividends from the current peace initiatives,” he added. The Horn countries identified four priority areas of focus which includes improving regional infrastructure connectivity, promoting trade and economic integration, and building resilience as well as strengthening human capital development, Khaled Sherif pointed out. The proposals require financing of around $15 billion. Most of the Horn of Africa countries easily outpaced the continent’s average growth rate in 2018. Africa’s gross domestic product expanded by an estimated 3.5percent last year, while Ethiopia reached 7.7 percent, Djibouti 5.6perecnt, Kenya 5.9perenct and Eritrea 4.2perenct Somalia was the exception at 2.9 percent.