“Redrawing Horizons: Ethiopia’s Pioneering Recognition of Somaliland – Exploring the MoU’s Multifaceted Implications”

Written by  Gulaid Yusuf Idaan Senior Lecturer and Researcher



This strategic agreement, signed between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Somaliland’s President Muse Bihi Abdi, represents a watershed moment for Ethiopia’s quest to diversify its maritime access. Historically reliant on Djibouti for its maritime trade, Ethiopia’s pursuit of alternative seaports has been a long standing priority to mitigate dependency risks and streamline its import-export activities.


The MoU’s focal point lies in granting Ethiopia direct access to the Red Sea via Somaliland’s Berbera port. This move transcends economic implications by fostering deeper regional integration. The Berbera port, strategically positioned along the Red Sea, presents Ethiopia with a transformative opportunity to significantly bolster its trade capabilities. The Red Sea serves as a crucial international maritime trade route, and Ethiopia’s access to this vital corridor through Somaliland holds substantial economic promise.

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Click to access Redrawing-Horizons.pdf

Written by  Gulaid Yusuf Idaan Senior Lecturer and Researcher