Kenya is a country of over 60 million people in East Africa. It borders South Sudan, Uganda, Somalia, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.
Eritrea, with a population of 6 million, has borders with Sudan, Djibouti, and Ethiopia.
The Horn of Africa refers to the region that includes the countries of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Sudan.
The region is interconnected culturally, politically, economically, and in terms of security.
Colonization, the Cold War, and outside meddling divided the region. Since World War Two and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the region has been in a constant state of instability and wars.
Things have changed drastically in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. Eritrea has interests in Ethiopia and Somalia. The stability of Somalia and Ethiopia is vital to the viability and future progress of the nation and the region.
Eritrea has played and is playing a pivotal role in the re-establishment of a strong independent Somalia. Kenya is interested in Ethiopia’s stability and has enjoyed excellent relations with Ethiopia for years.
Kenya’s relations with Somalia, however, have been rocky. Kenya is a central and significant nation in East Africa for various reasons. Many landlocked African countries depend on its ports, and it is fast becoming the fastest-growing economy in the region.
Ethiopia and Kenya share borders, and their economic ties have grown. Eritrea and Kenya share similar interests in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Somalia has a very long coastal area on the Indian Ocean, and Eritrea has an extended coastal area on the Red Sea, which is of great importance to Kenya because Somalia and Kenya share maritime borders. Instability in Somalia can hinder Kenya’s progress.
Hence, the interests of Kenya and Eritrea are the same. They both want to see a stable Ethiopia, Somalia, and a viable region. President William Ruto’s Visit to Eritrea signifies that. The visit also shows that the same development agenda bind Kenya and Eritrea.
Why is President Ruto’s visit to Eritrea significant? The visit of President Ruto is substantial because it marks the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. It signifies a hopeful future for the region.
Mr. Karanja Gacuca explains in detail the implications and his views on Kenya’s future and the region.