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Horn Of Africa (HARP)

Our programme in the Horn of Africa

The HARP 2024 vision: To positively impact the peace and security dynamics in the region through a holistic, prevention-focused approach to regional issues informed by realities on the ground through creating spaces for people who are not commonly included and communities who are historically marginalized in decision making spaces/processes.

The Horn of Africa (HoA) region witnessed major and continuing shifts in peace and security dynamics over the last year including changes at both the national and regional levels. Shifting regional dynamics stemmed mostly from changes in bilateral relationships between states in the region as well as elevated geopolitical interest from international actors. 

LPI signed a host agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia in May 2014, after which the Institute formally launched HARP in Addis Ababa in October 2014. The establishment of HARP in Addis enabled LPI to engage in and influence regional and continental peace and security policy debates in the African Union (AU) and with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

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Partners are key to our success.

  • The African Union (AU), through its Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Division of the Peace and Security Department (PSD) of the Commission of the African Union (AUC) – AU Border Programme, Inter-Departmental Task Force for Conflict Prevention (IDTFCP) AU Youth Envoy; AU Special Envoy for Women Peace and Security; FemWise; AGA Secretariat; Youth Division

  • The Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD CEWARN), established in 2002. CEWARN is the principal regional platform or instrument for regional cooperation on conflict prevention and mitigation through data-based early warning and response in the HoA, with a special focus on pastoralist conflicts in the borderlands of the IGAD region.

  • IGAD's Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI), and the IGAD Peace and Security Directorate in charge of PCRD, Mediation Support Unit ICPAC, and Office of the Executive Secretary

  • InterAfrica Group (IAG): A long established CSO in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa and a long-time civil society partner for CEWARN. IAG works on peacebuilding, democratisation processes and sustainable development through research and creating spaces for dialogue.

  •  The Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA): a regional membership-based network of academics and researchers.

  • East Africa Sub-Region Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI): sub-regional CSO working in eight countries: Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Established in 1996, it is mandated to monitor the gender equality commitments of East African governments. We have partnered since 2017

  • ACT! Act Change Transform (ACT!) is a leading Kenyan not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation. Main programme focus areas are environment and natural resources management; democracy and human rights; and peacebuilding and conflict transformation. We have partnered since 2017.

  • Multilateral Agencies: UNDP, European Commission, World Bank, African Development Bank

  • The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR): Forged out of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2000, it seeks to build free democratic and inclusive societies across Africa

Our work

Theme 1: Transforming borderlands into centres of peace and enhanced human security. The borderlands in the Horn are, in many ways a microcosm of the region, where human security challenges are particularly pressing. Some of the most marginalised groups live in these ‘sub-regions’, located far from the centre spatially and in terms of access to decision making and basic services.

Borderlands will remain the flagship theme for HARP over 2021-2024. The 2017-20 programme phase successfully contributed to the development of an IGAD Informal Cross border Trade (ICBT) policy framework to influence Cross Border Security Governance (CBSG).

Our work will entail a focus on the support of translation of frameworks into implementation processes to bridge the gap from frameworks to action and further strengthening and extending the Cross-Border Cooperation Coalition.

Theme 2: Transitional Justice and Reconciliation. Emerging from our previous phase’s work on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD), Transitional Justice is a new theme for HARP. The concept of Transitional Justice and its overlap and tension with reconciliation and peacebuilding approaches form part of the challenge in developing Transitional Justice approaches that genuinely build positive peace.

As Transitional Justice practices become more commonplace globally, the Peace vs. Justice debate in Africa is an increasingly productive arena of discourse. Current continental interest is focused on issues of timing, modalities, balancing, and sequencing of transitional justice initiatives to deliver on their peacebuilding potential.

HARP will invest in strategic research, learning and accompaniment in the context of national reconciliation processes in the region and link those to the regional policy discourse. Further, engagement with the IGAD regional framework for reconciliation will be facilitated, with emphasis to civil society participation.

Theme 3: Climate Change and Conflict This theme has emerged as being of particular significance for the Horn of Africa, particular in the borderland regions which are clearly very vulnerable to both climate change as well as conflict. This is because borderlands in the Horn are often classified as Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) and the population are often reliant upon natural resources whose landscapes span borders.

The complex interactions between the environment, climate change and socio-economic and political drivers of conflict suggest the need to understand how these factors work together. This complexity calls for regional responses to cater to border environments adopting cross sectoral approaches that take into consideration local context specificity. In this context, HARP recognises the strong significance of climate change on human security in the Horn of Africa, and has designed an exploratory approach.

Theme 4: Promoting the role of youth in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding

With its civil society partners, LPI has gathered invaluable experiences on youth peacebuilding work, working with thousands of young people across the Horn of Africa. LPI is also well connected to global discussions on YPS through IPIP and. Creating synergies between country programmes.

HARP will both support specific youth efforts to enhance their direct influence in regional human security policy making, and work with integrated cross-cutting approach to enhance youth influence. The latter complements the direct approach aims to ensure youth can influence a range of policy work beyond Youth, Peace and Security related activities.

Approaches and methods 

  • Linking local to regional (bridging the gap)

  • LPIs willingness to stay in the background in peacebuilding and policy (modest approach)

  • Consultative approaches to decision making (internally and in programming) 

Useful Links:

The HAB bulletin

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Published six times a year, Horn of Africa Bulletin (HAB), focus on the development of the Horn of Africa and highlights issues about conflict resolution, peace and reconciliation. Read the HAB Bulletin here.

Related articles & resources
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Ethiopia - Addis Ababa

LPI’s regional programme and work in Ethiopia is administered from the office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Postal Address
P.O. Box 20002/1000, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Visiting Address
Bole Road, behind Dembel City Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Phone + 251 (0) 115 579049

Email addis.office@life-peace.org, info@life-peace.org