African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 392

Full Length Research Paper

The promise of regional projects for Africa’s landlocked countries: Focusing on Ethiopia

Ebssa Wakwaya
  • Ebssa Wakwaya
  • Political Science and International Relations Program, College of Social Sciences, Wollega University, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 10 December 2012
  •  Accepted: 25 December 2014
  •  Published: 28 February 2015


Landlocked countries face significant development challenge merely from their geopolitical position. This is magnificent specifically in terms of their access to the sea. However, some argue that regional arrangements can be promising in solving at least such specific challenge in their development endeavor. In this context, this article reviews real and potential challenges and prospects Ethiopia has to deal with at three levels: domestic, regional, and international levels. Thus, by relaying on secondary data sources and qualitative research method, it highlights the major concerns and developments in the Horn of Africa by focusing on IGAD and COMESA and how different factors at different levels interact to work against or for the success of such projects. Approaching the issue from this angle, it argues that despite the challenges that seem distinct in this specific region, there is new development in this regard that seems promising. However, the sustainability of even this relative success is still dependent on the proper coordination of the dominant actors at all levels than the unilateral commitment of specific state in the region.


Key words: Landlocked countries, regional projects, regional integration.


AfDB:               Africa Development Bank

Biz CLIR:           Business Climate Legal and Institutional Reform

COMESA:         Common Market for East and South Africa

CPA:                Comprehensive Peace Agreement

CSOPNU:         Civil Society Organization for Peace in Northern Uganda

EAC:                East Africa Community

IGAD:               Inter Governmental Authority for Development

IGADD:             Inter Governmental Authority for Drought and Development

MOI:                 Ministry Of Information

NAFTA:             North American Free Trade Area

RECs:               Regional Economic Communities

RPCC:              Regional Project Coordination Committee

RTA:                 Regional Trade Arrangements

SACU:              South Africa Customs Union

SADC:              South Africa Development Community

USAID:             United States Agency for International Development

UN:                   United Nations

(UN)ECA:          United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

UNDP:              United Nations Development Program