Ethiopia is afraid of being blamed for looking after its own interest
Tigrai Online, October 13, 2015
Unless unification of Ethiopia and Djibouti is a done deal Ethiopia should diversify its port access to different countries.
Ethiopia seems to be afraid of being blamed for looking after its own interest. Ethiopia can change the dynamics of East Africa politics, if Ethiopia can bring Djibouti to the Ethiopian federation as soon as possible while trying to get back the historic Ethiopian port of Assab to Ethiopia.
Ethiopia in order to protect Djibouti and its own national interest from Eritrean aggression the two countries should from a union on a political level. For Djibouti having a political union with Ethiopia can bring economic growth and granted progress to its own people.
Djibouti though should not overestimate its strategic port location when it comes to Ethiopia’s economy. By looking at what happened to Eritrea ports Djibouti can learn a thing or two how its port and its economy has tied to Ethiopia. If Djibouti overestimates its port value and use it against Ethiopia the same thing happen to Djibouti that happen to Eritrea, Djibouti port will become a wet desert.
When it comes to Ethiopia, Ethiopia should not put all its eggs in one basket. Unless unification of Ethiopia and Djibouti is a done deal Ethiopia should diversify its port access to different countries. Ethiopia is making a big mistake just building rail way infrastructure going east of the country only. Ethiopia should build a rail way connection to Port Sudan as well as to Kenyan ports. Sudan can easily get funding from some Arab states for the project if Ethiopia can set up a committee to coordinate this plan with Sudan. Somaliland can also have a good relation to some Arab countries that Ethiopia can exploit to solicit fund for Deridwa-Berbera port rail way project.
If the unification of Ethiopia and Djibouti had been done, some of these resources could go to strengthen infrastructure between Ethiopia and Djibouti but the unification process is instill in limbo. Ethiopia putting only resources on Djibouti line can become a trap unless the unification takes place. Until unification happens between Ethiopia and Djibouti Ethiopia should go ahead and connect its economy with other ports. Even after unification having different port out lets provides a layer of security that can be useful if Ethiopia has become stressed from one side of the country due to political or war situations.
Note from TOL: This short article was supposed to be a comment by one of TOL visitors, but after we reviewed it, we decided to post it as an article due to its valuable insight and valid arguments. If the writer of this comment would like to put his or her real name, Tigrai Online will gladly attribute it to the real person.