The AU-HoA Initiative was launched in 2014, in Khartoum, Sudan, in response to the rise of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in the region. It involves so called ‘core countries’ Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan and neighboring countries: Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan. AU-HoAI also partners with Libya, Tunisia, Norway, Italy, Malta, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and Yemen as well as IOs such as IOM, UNHCR, IGAD and other RECs, Interpol, UNODC, and the League of Arab States.

AU HoAI aims at:

  • Supporting the effective implementation of the Migration Policy Framework for Africa and the Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, as well as other relevant policies, positions, and strategies at national levels as they pertain to Africa;
  • Promoting regular dialogue among participating countries and other relevant actors including other transit and destination countries;
  • Building common understanding on the causes, consequences, patterns and to predict future trends of irregular migration in the region;    
  • Enhancing cooperation among participating countries especially in the area of dismantling, investigating and prosecuting the criminal networks of smugglers and traffickers, while ensuring protection for the victims;
  • Devising appropriate mechanisms to address the issue of smuggling and trafficking in the region;
  • Facilitating technical assistance and capacity building; and
  • Engaging in the resource mobilization activities to ensure funding for projects implemented under the AU-HoA Initiative.

Current Thematic Focus

Specific areas of discussion include:

  • Prevention of human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
  • Strengthening of protection and assistance to victims of human trafficking and smuggled persons.
  • Enhancing rule of law, prosecution and border management

July - August 2014

The Italian Presidency of the European Union requests the African Union Commission to engage with the African Union Horn of Africa Initiative (AU-HoAI).


Regular consultations and dialogue among Ambassadors/ Permanents Representatives of the four countries in Addis Ababa with IOM and UNHCR joining, and the AUC as the secretariat

November 2012

Engagement of core countries (Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan) in response to the incidents of human trafficking, abduction and abuses of nationals from countries in the Horn/East Africa region in the Sinai and Yemen deserts.