Horn of Africa and South Sudan
The Horn of Africa is one of only two biodiversity hotspots in the arid regions of the earth. The area suffers mainly from overgrazing, which leads to a large loss of habitats. Only a small fraction of the original ecosystem has been conserved. In the archipelago of Socotra, fishery, and the increasing sealing of the landscape remains a big problem. Economic development is dragging far behind the rapid population growth. Therefore, the socioeconomic mid-term outlook is very dreary.
Concerning this region, with its wars and other instabilities the international community, faces enormous challenges, marked by a general cluelessness. A further destabilization, due to a chain of weak and fragile states, triggering migration, and attracting violent players, stands against the interests of Europe, for which a stable African continent is of paramount importance.
On the drawing board
- A technical pre-feasibility study BRICKROAD will be presented to the new South Sudanese Government (which should be able to draw back on very substantial oil revenues in the near future – if the peace agreement with Khartoum will last). The idea behind BRICKROAD is the development of an industrial solar brick production. Clay and solar energy are two inexhaustible local resources in the Sudd (wetlands of the White Nile) of Southern Sudan.Thousands of square kilometers of fertile alluvial land between the Blue and White Nile could be agriculturally utilized if sturdy roads were existent. Because neither gravel pits nor quarries are available between the two streams, road embankments could be piled up with terra cotta grit or embankments could be ‘baked’ continuously into the ground and on the spot. Of course, the ecological impact of such infrastructure project would have to be evaluated prior to its realization. BRICKROAD should never develop in a megalomaniac project like the Jonglei channel project.
- To stabilize the region, the multinational operation Atalanta of the EU for the protection of humanitarian aid shipments to Somalia, unobstructed shipping and to fight piracy in the Indian Ocean was called into being. ANTHILLS’ feasibility study EAGLE RAYS analyses a scenario in which Atalanta is replaced or complemented by armed on-board security escorts in the long run. See details on the drawing board of the Transnational Protection Cluster.