12-09-2017, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning brought together Member States and IGAD development partners for the first meeting of its kind aimed at facilitating interaction between development aid end recipients and donors.
The objective of this one-day meeting was an opportunity to highlight achievements by IGAD organisation within the framework of the regional programmes and country level programmes with IGAD assistance, and also to touch on the challenges and opportunities in face of the organisation.
All IGAD Divisions, Specialised Institutions, and Programmes were represented at the highest level for this key exercise. IGAD Member States were represented by their Focal Points at respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, while development partners and financial institutions turned out in significant numbers.
The Executive Secretary of IGAD, H.E Amb (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim, during his opening remarks encouraged the audience to hold frank and open discussions. “Development partners and financial institutions present have bilateral agreements and working relations with our Member States. What we need to shed more light and focus on is the programmes and projects, both at regional level and country level, operationalised or facilitated by the regional organisation”, he said.
The Executive Secretary also gave a brief overview of the Programmes and Projects currently underway, the new developments at the organisation’s Secretariat such as the newly established Health & Social Development Directorate. He also announced that IGAD Member States Ministers of Foreign Affairs will be meeting with officials the European Union Commission in Brussels on September 29th this year.
Ms. Rina Kristmoen, Counsellor at the Embassy of Norway in Addis Ababa, underlined the uniqueness of such meeting as an opportunity for development partners and financial institutions to communicate with IGAD Member States on a regional platform for enhanced collaboration. “We recognize the commendable lead efforts by the regional organisation in the stabilisation processes in Somalia and South Sudan”, she said. Ms Kristmoen also recalled the many IGAD programmes and projects supported by development partners and financial institutions, while hinting at gaps in certain areas that might be touched on during the meeting.
The floor was then open for an exchange moderated by the co-chairs.
In conclusion, the Executive Secretary thanked IGAD Heads of State and Government and IGAD Council of Ministers for their commitment to the organisation. He appreciated the support provided by development partners and financial institutions to the regional organisation. “Steady communication between IGAD Member States, the regional Development Partners, and we are committed to it. We will look into ways of making this kind of encounter regular in time”, he said.