Highlighted results

Improved detention conditions and fairer trials through the construction of the Mogadishu Prison and Court Complex

221 journalists delivered higher-quality news reports through professional training

11,000 people in Somaliland received legal services from the government

235 African policymakers trained in good governance, combating sexual and gender-based violence, counter-terrorism and reconstruction

Strengthened AU and IGAD capacity for early identification and mediation of conflicts, including a new peace agreement in South Sudan


The Horn of Africa has experienced encouraging developments. Since the appointment of the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia, many positive changes have been set in motion. Local conflicts have persisted, however, leading to large numbers of displaced people.

On a regional level, a fresh wind is blowing since the Ethiopian leadership extended a concrete helping hand to Eritrea in breaking the 20-year impasse of no war but no peace. Ethiopia and Eritrea reached a historic peace agreement and Eritrea sought to resume relations with its neighbouring countries following a long period of isolation.

In Somalia, the federal government implemented political, economic and security reforms. The government budget increased but the situation remained unstable, as the Al-Shabaab terror organisation remained very active.

The humanitarian situation in the region remains a cause for concern due to persistent extreme drought and conflicts.

The Netherlands has bilateral programmes in various countries in the Horn of Africa, namely Ethiopia and South Sudan (the results of which can be found in the associated country pages). This page only highlights results related to the regional organisations AU and IGAD and the results achieved through the Somalia programme.

Results 2018


The Netherlands made a meaningful contribution to strengthening the Somali state by supporting the development of rule of law, (maritime) security, stability and legitimate governance. The construction of the prison and court complex in Mogadishu, for example, will soon lead to more suspects of serious crimes being tried and detained in accordance with international legal standards. The capacity of the maritime police has also been strengthened, allowing more and better investigative activities to be carried out.

Regional organisations

The Netherlands contributed to strengthening the African Union (AU), the organisation of which all African countries are members. The work of the AU is in the direct interest of the Netherlands because the organisation contributes to the stability of Africa. Partly due to its location, the African continent has a direct impact on Europe in the fields of security, migration and economic relations, among others.

The Netherlands also contributed to strengthening the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the most important organisation for co-operation between the countries in the Horn of Africa, and the think tank Institute for Security Studies (ISS).

Results by theme

Security and Rule of Law

Featured project Horn of Africa

Mogadishu Prison and Court Complex (MPCC)

The construction of the prison and court complex in Mogadishu will soon lead to more suspects of serious crime being tried and detained in accordance with international legal standards.


Read more about the MPCC project on OpenAid

Security and Rule of Law



Support to the African Union's Peace and Security department



On track

The donor group supported the daily work of the Peace and Security department, so that the African Peace and Security Architecture could be implemented.

Through this activity, the Netherlands and a group of like-minded donors (EU, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom) jointly contributed to the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), the framework within which all of the African Union's work in the field of peace and security is carried out. The Netherlands also contributed separately to conflict mediation in South Sudan and Sudan, and to the establishment of early conflict detection systems.

Among other things, these contributions have enabled the AU to do the following:

play a role in conflict mediation in various conflicts in Africadevelop a system that enables countries to identify their vulnerability to conflictcontribute to tackling extremism in the member statesidentify conflicts at an early stage.

The implementation of activities in the reporting period was largely on schedule. Implementation of APSA as a whole is a long-term process, which requires regular monitoring.

Enabled the AU to play a role in conflict mediation in various conflicts in Africa

Support to IGAD Peace and Security



Progress, not on track

The donor group supported the IGAD Peace and Security department in facilitating and improving all aspects of its work in that field.

Through this activity, the Netherlands and a group of like-minded donors (EU, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark) contributed to the implementation of IGAD activities in the field of peace and security. The Netherlands has decided to change the form of its support and to align more closely with a major EU programme in this field, implemented by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). Within this framework, the Netherlands and others have contributed to:

conflict mediation in South Sudan and Somalia

strengthening the infrastructure for conflict mediation in smaller conflicts

strengthening the role of women in conflict prevention

setting up structures to prevent extremism.

The support lagged behind IGAD's planning, mainly due to unexpectedly lower revenues. IGAD received fewer contributions from donors and member states than hoped.

Strengthened role for women in conflict prevention

Support to the Institute for Security Studies, Addis Ababa


235 people trained


On track

Through this activity, the Netherlands contributed to strengthening the capacity of African policymakers in the field of security.

Using an interactive method, policymakers were trained in fields such as:

good governance

combating sexual and gender-based violence


reconstruction following conflict


More training was provided than planned (eight courses instead of five) and a total of 235 people received training. Participants came from the AU, Regional Economic Communities (organisations from African regions), national governments, police, ministries of justice, the army, NGOs and the media.

235 policymakers trained

Number of maritime police officers trained in effective patrolling at sea




Progress, not on track

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) – Maritime Crimes Programme

The Netherlands contributes to strengthening the rule of law in Somalia. The main components of a constitutional state are a well-functioning police, judiciary and prison system. The UNODC programme in Somalia focuses on all of these components and along with other donors, the Netherlands contributes to this. The focus of this programme is on combating maritime crime.

During the reporting period, UNODC strengthened the maritime police in Mogadishu, Bosaso and Berbera by providing training and equipment to keep the maritime police units operational.

A total of 68 maritime police officers were trained, 41 of which through Dutch funding. The target of 72 officers was calculated based on a higher programme budget than that ultimately used. The reason for this was that the organisation also wanted to continue training in the following year. Because this benefited the sustainability of the project, the Netherlands agreed to its extension.

41 number of maritime police officers trained

Improved infrastructural capacity of the Somali criminal justice system to prosecute suspects of serious crimes


MPCC 98% first phase complete


Progress, not on track

Another UNODC programme supports the construction of the MPCC. This improves access to justice for high-risk suspects (particularly those accused of piracy and terrorism).

Prison rules and conditions will comply with international (human rights) standards and the complex has been designed in such a way that it can be built in phases. The first phase of construction makes the complex ready to receive 300 prisoners. Completion of the subsequent construction phases will increase the capacity of the complex. Construction of the complex has been delayed due to security challenges.


Strengthened (legitimate) governance in Somalilan


11,000 people


Progress, not on track

Somaliland Development Fund (SDF)

The SDF supports projects in Somaliland in a large number of areas that are in line with the priorities of the Somaliland National Development Plan. These include infrastructure, water, agriculture, fisheries, environment, education and health care.

Implementation of the projects will lead to improved service delivery by the Somaliland authorities. This will increase citizens' confidence in the government and contribute to stability.

Somaliland ministries are leading the projects with the help of the SDF. This increases the capacity of the government and also reinforces the sustainability of the Dutch contribution.

The progress made has been considerable but not as much as planned. The reason is that other donors contributed less than expected to the SDF. Political developments (presidential elections) and a severe drought also led to the authorities being less effective.


Improving the quality of journalistic reporting


221 journalists


On track

Free Press Unlimited – Strengthening Somali Media

Freedom of the press is essential in a constitutional state. When journalists are able to report freely and professionally, they contribute to transparent and responsible governance and the strengthening of the social contract. This leads to greater legal certainty for citizens.

The contribution to FPU has increased the quality of reporting by Somali journalists and laid the foundation for structural improvement of the education level of journalists in Somalia. FPU has achieved this through training courses and by helping to develop a training curriculum for Somali universities. A total of 221 journalists participated in this training and coaching programme to improve professional knowledge and ethics. This has led to improved quality of news reports.

Some of FPU partner Media Ink's training courses had to be postponed due to the security situation. Nevertheless, FPU managed to train more journalists than planned.

A local peace committee in Somalia. Interpeace and Peace and Development Research Centre (PDRC).

Background and future Horn of Africa


In Somalia, modest progress has been made on stabilisation, federalisation and security sector reform. The overall security situation remains poor, however, due to a lack of control by the Somali authorities over the entire Somali territory.

Terrorist organisation Al-Shabaab maintain de facto control over a large part of the country. Tensions between clans or other groups regularly lead to armed conflicts. Al-Shabaab continues to carry out attacks, often resulting in civilian deaths. Despite the severe drought, which almost plunged the country into complete famine a year earlier, Somaliland remains a beacon of relative stability in the region.

The AU is the organisation in which all African countries are represented and which focuses on peace and security, economic integration, good governance and representing Africa on the world stage.

IGAD is the regional organisation of the countries in the Horn of Africa. IGAD was founded to come up with a joint solution to the drought in the region, which led to food shortages. Later, its mandate was extended and IGAD has also become active in the field of peace and security. IGAD is the main platform for joint dialogue between the countries in the region.

ISS is a renowned African think tank. With Dutch support, ISS has been able to contribute to the capacity building of African policymakers.

Glimpse into the future


The Netherlands' focus in Somalia remains on rule of law development, legitimate government, stability and (maritime) security. More attention will be paid to combating radicalisation and violent extremism. In addition, the Netherlands is focusing on private sector development with the important aim of contributing to youth employment. The Netherlands will also continue to provide humanitarian aid and greater attention will be paid to increasing the resilience of the Somali population to humanitarian disasters.

Regional organisations

The Netherlands will continue to support the AU and IGAD in the field of peace and security. The Netherlands considers it important to work on conflict prevention, a functioning constitutional state and legitimate governance, equal rights and mediation in conflicts. Greater attention will be paid to the financial and wider reform of both organisations, to ensure that they function better and need less external support. In close collaboration with other partners, such as the EU, the Netherlands is committed to strengthening diplomatic ties with both organisations. The Netherlands will also continue to work with ISS and support will focus on the work of ISS with the African Union.

Additional sources

Results Security and Rule of Law

Download PDF with results for Security and Rule of Law in Horn of Africa

Expenditure by channel


Expenditure by theme