Ethiopia has taken over as chair of the European Union-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative, also known as the Khartoum Process, for the coming year, as the term of Britain as chair ends.

The handover took place at a meeting here last week of senior officials from member States of the Khartoum Process, which provides an impetus for regional collaboration between countries of origin, transit and destination on the migration route between the Horn of Africa and the EU.

Ethiopia, which is now home to more than 800,000 refugees, holds a strategic place in the co-operation between Europe and the Horn of Africa, says Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu.

Addressing the Senior Officials meeting here Friday, he said: I have no doubt that the partnership programme that we have launched under the Khartoum Process will be strengthened during my country's chairmanship.

Referring to Ethiopia's out-of-camp policy for refugees, he said the policy, which allows refugees to live in the cities, had permitted young refugees to fulfill their ambitions in education, and professional aspirations.

However, Dr. Workineh stressed that job creation is a challenge which demands strong international co-operation, adding that migration and human trafficking cannot, and should not only be seen as an isolated national problem.

The Migration Policy Adviser at the British Foreign Office, James Sharp, urged co-operating states to strengthen their collaboration to mitigate migration and human trafficking.

Established in 2014, the Khartoum Process aims at establishing a continuous dialogue for enhanced co-operation on migration and mobility, while identifying and implementing concrete projects to address trafficking in human beings and the smuggling of migrants.

The Khartoum Process has 40 members with the membership of Libya, Norway and Switzerland approved as of March 2016. Ethiopia, Germany, Egypt, Eritrea, Malta, Sudan, South Sudan, Britain, Italy and France serve as steering committee members.