Leader Development & Education for Sustained Peace Program: Cross-Cultural, Geopolitical & Regional Education

Population and Countries of the Horn of Africa


Professor of African Studies and Political Science at the Pennsylvania State University Dr. Kidane Mengisteab answered the following questions on the Horn of Africa.

Q: What are the current countries in the HOA CJOA? What is the the population of HOA?

KM: Yes, there are two confusions:

  1. Different sources include different countries in the Greater Horn.  In the region, however, the Greater Horn consists of the 8 IGAD countries: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.  Some organizations include Tanzania but Tanzania is not considered to be a Horn country.
  2. The second confusion relates to the population estimates.  Here again different sources give different estimates.  According to most sources, the population of IGAD countries is roughly 225,842,000 (see Table below). The UNCTAD data is probably more preferred because it covers a long time period.

Population Estimates of the Greater Horn Countries


Population in 2012

Djibouti 923,000
Eritrea 5,581,000
Ethiopia 86,539,000
Kenya 42,749,000
Somalia 9,797,000
Sudan * 44,632,000
Uganda 35,621,000


* Sudan’s figures are of 2011before independence of the South

Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

More on the expert:

Prof. Kidane Mengisteab

Dr. Kidane Mengisteab is Professor of African Studies and Political Science at the Pennsylvania State University. His current research focuses on two areas. One deals with the relevance of Africa’s ‘traditional’ institutions of governance, in general and traditional judicial systems in particular, to conflict resolution and institution building in contemporary Africa. The second area deals with socioeconomic implications of the expansion of extractive industries and commercial farming in Africa. He is author or editor of several books on Africa. His most recent book, with Okbazghi Yohannes, is titled Anatomy of an African Tragedy: Political, Economic and Foreign Policy Crisis in Post-independence Eritrea (2005). Mengisteab is currently finishing up a book titled The Horn of Africa: a Hot Spot on the Global System, where he examines the key internal and external factors that have rendered the Horn of Africa prone to chronic conflicts.


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