The Horn of Africa and East Africa more broadly have some of the fastest growing economies on the continent, with emerging middle classes. But the relatively untapped markets are in dire need of investment in infrastructure and the security architecture required to attract investors. For their part, the Gulf Arab countries have sought to strengthen their economic ties to the Horn of Africa countries through the development and management of ports as well as the establishment of free zones. Gulf countries have also shown a clear military interest in the region, building bases to ensure strategic depth and provide logistical platforms in support of operations in Yemen, as well as regional counterterrorism and antipiracy operations.
AGSIW is pleased to host this panel discussion on the GCC and Horn of Africa examining political, security, and economic ties between the countries of the two regions.
AGSIW’s Gulf Rising series analyzes the energized role of the Gulf Arab states in the international system, looking beyond GCC relations with the United States to examine ties with other key countries and regions. Additionally, it investigates motivations behind Gulf Arab states’ foreign policy choices and evaluates the implications for U.S. foreign policy toward the GCC states and the region.
A light lunch will be served.
Unable to attend? Watch live at 12:30 pm EST on Thursday June 28. Follow the conversation on Twitter: #GCCHornofAfrica.
Annette Weber is a senior associate in the Middle East and Africa Research Division of the German Institute for International and Security Studies in Berlin. Her regional expertise is in the Horn of Africa. She works on conflict analysis, fragile states, nonstate actors, and state building as well as jihadist groups in Africa. Weber previously worked for the Ecumenical Network on Central Africa mainly on the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. She was also a researcher with Amnesty International in London for Sudan and a consultant for Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International on Sudan and Uganda. She received her PhD from the Free University Berlin and teaches at several universities on international relations and peace and conflict resolution.
Michael Woldemariam is an assistant professor of international relations and political science at Boston University. He is also a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Bradley Foundation, and Truman National Security Project, as well as a research specialist with the Innovations for Successful Societies program at Princeton University. His teaching and research interests focus on African politics, particularly the dynamics of armed conflict, the behavior of rebel organizations and self-determination movements, and postconflict institution building. Woldemariam has special expertise on the Horn of Africa region, where he has traveled extensively and conducted fieldwork. He has recently published his first book Insurgent Fragmentation in the Horn of Africa: Rebellion and its Discontents. In addition to his scholarly work, Woldemariam has consulted with a variety of international organizations such as USAID on peace and security issues in the greater Horn of Africa region. He holds a PhD and a master’s degree from Princeton University.
Taimur Khan is a non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington as well as a journalist who has written extensively on the contemporary politics of the Gulf Arab states and Pakistan. He covered U.S. Middle East policy from Washington and New York for The National newspaper. His current projects include research and reporting on competition among Middle Eastern powers for economic and political influence in the Horn of Africa, Pakistan’s evolving ties with the Gulf states, and the interplay between Shia identity and politics in Pakistan and the current turmoil in the Middle East. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, World Policy Journal, Al Jazeera America, Men’s Journal, Critical Muslim, GQ.com, New York Magazine, and Devex.
Hussein Ibish is a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He is a weekly columnist for The National (UAE) and a regular contributor to many other U.S. and Middle Eastern publications. He has made thousands of radio and television appearances and was the Washington, DC correspondent for The Daily Star (Beirut). Ibish previously served as a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, and executive director of the Hala Salaam Maksoud Foundation for Arab-American Leadership from 2004-09. From 1998-2004, Ibish served as communications director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. He has a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.