Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022

Strategic Plan Development Process

This regional Strategy has been developed following a process that included baseline scan and studies, literature reviews and stakeholder consultations at the national and regional levels. The process involved the undertaking of independent and objective background studies that commenced in September 2014 on six IGAD priority sectors in each IGAD member state. A total of 105 reports composed of national level “State of the Sector Reports”, “Country Reports” regional level “State of the Sector Reports” and “State of the Region Reports” were produced.  A reflective study entitled ‘The State of the Region Report’ reviewed and reflected on the key development issues that prevail in the region. The “State of the Region Report” highlighted root causes and effects of underdevelopment in the IGAD region, status of IGAD development agenda, achievements, challenges, opportunities lessons learnt and future aspirations.

Further issues were identified through Member States stakeholder and technical consultation process facilitated by IGAD secretariat throughout 2014 and 2015. The IGAD Regional Strategy 2011-2015 and sectoral strategies among other relevant IGAD documents were also referred to in the development of these background studies.

IGAD also facilitated a stakeholder consultation workshop in October 2015 to verify the findings of the state of the region report and identify the broad directions for the new strategy. The consultation process produced a significant volume of detailed and diverse feedback which was synthesized for input into the development of this strategy. IGAD has been committed to capturing member states input into the strategic plan and has continuously provided ample opportunity for eliciting and coordinating member states’ input. For instance, the draft strategic framework was presented to member states and key stakeholders in November 2015. Key stakeholders who will play an important part in implementing many of the actions have also been consulted in face-to-face meetings prior to finalization of the draft strategy. Much of their input has been captured in the ‘Implementation Plan’ which accompanies this strategic framework. This document is ‘live’ for the duration of the Strategy and IGAD will periodically seek to collect data for reporting progress on the strategy and update the plan.

Characteristics of the Strategy

The IGAD Regional Strategy is meant to be a living, dynamic and flexible document to accommodate for both the current and emerging development issues. It embraces the principles and approaches of sustainbale development and focuses on the real problems of the region and has linkages to both national and global strategies. Further, it focuses on the promotion of regional cooperation and integration in order to achieve sustainable development, peace and security in the region. The underlying principle is that IGAD will remain focused on policy level interventions and development of concepts of trans-boundary nature with regional relevance; development information; capacity development; and research, science and technology agendas. In this connection, the IGAD priority programmes must reflect the higher development goals of the Organisation. 

Hence, the strategy would require that:

  • The Member States address common regional development challenges through joint efforts in IGAD priority areas.
  • The IGAD Secretariat, the Member States and development partners harmonise programmes to maximise development impact and minimise wastage/duplication of efforts and resources.
  • The Member States aim to pool their resources to invest on long-term development while giving adequate focus to emergency response and recovery activities.
  • The Member States and the Development Partners use IGAD as a development vehicle especially on the basis of its experiences and knowledge on trans-boundary issues.

IGAD pursues a pragmatic and progressive approach, which focuses on what is strategically useful and feasible politically, economically, socially and technically at regional, national and international levels, with the available human and financial resources. IGAD is adopting a holistic programmatic approach to its development initiatives instead of the stand-alone project interventions of the past. To facilitate this transformation as well as enhance its organizational performance, efficiency and effectiveness, IGAD has put in place a Result Based Management (RBM) system.

The national development policies, strategies, legislation and programmes of the Member States are recorded in documents like the National Development Plans,  Poverty Reductions Strategy Papers (PRSP) and Sessional Papers on specific issues. IGAD will work with the line ministries and other national institutions whose role is to implement policies in their respective countries to leverage national priorities, with the potential for signficant value addition. In carrying out these actions IGAD employs an intensive participatory approach, thus ensuring that the ownership remains with the Member States. Much of IGAD’s work is carried out in a process approach involving intensive background studies followed by a series of workshops and meetings to come up with common regional positions on the issues at hand which usually are endorsed by the sectoral policy organs and approved by higher IGAD Policy Organs. 

IGAD shall continue to maintain its proactive approach towards the relevant emerging issues, both of a regional and international nature. It will increase its involvement in promoting issues like good governance, democratic culture and human rights in the IGAD region and consider their linkages to peace, security and sustainable development. IGAD will focus on developing a regional consensus on such issues and putting in place mechanisms for their implementation. It will further ensure the participation and involvement of its Member States in addressing and monitoring of emerging issues globally Further, IGAD will adhere to and promote integrity, accountability, cooperation and transparency in its dealings with Development Partners, Member States and other stakeholders.

Building On the Previous Strategy

This strategy builds on the IGAD Regional Strategy (2011-2015), which established the foundation for strategic direction in enhancing regional cooperation and integration for the region. Its implementation has focused attention on core issues, priority areas of concern and key opportunities in three priority areas of food security and environmental protection, economic cooperation, regional integration and social development, peace and security. The process has also helped bring regional stakeholders together with a common focus and, in doing so, has provided a framework for partnership building and collaboration towards common goals and allowed more directed and prioritized interventions at the regional and member states level.

Analysis of the activities implemented across the Region in response to the 2011-2015 strategy identified several principal regional achievements including:

  • Much more positive engagement of member states;
  • working together and development of successful partnerships;
  • awareness raising in the regional community and on targeted sectors e.g. drought risk management;
  • signing of a joint financing agreement (JFA) with donors to support implementation of phase 2 of ISAP 2012-2014 and now Phase 3 (2016-2020)
  • working towards better monitoring, evaluation and reporting for improvement;
  • enhancement of capacity within the secretariat.
  • adoption of the Minimum Integration Plan (MIP)
  • Development and harmonization of regional sector policies and strategies such as the IGAD Environment Policy, IGAD Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Policy Framework, the IGAD EIA Protocol, etc.
  • preparation, adoption and implementation of the IGAD Sustainable Tourism Master Plan
  • development and approval of an IGAD water policy.
  • continued IGAD led peace processes in member states such as Sudan and Somalia

While there have been achievements in the above key areas, a lack of concise information regarding the impacts of this progress has made it difficult to provide a meaningful assessment of the positive changes  arising out of these initiatives.

The review of activities and achievements across the Region also exposed some apparent structural and functional deficiencies with respect to progress in the integration process and implementation of the past strategy. These include:

  • a lack of progress towards ratification of the IGAD treaty
  • irregular meetings of the key IGAD organs particularly the Ordinary Summit Meeting of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State that has not been convened for a very long time
  • high reliance on donor funding and delay in transfer of committed funds to IGAD
  • slow domestication of protocols and policies

Furthermore, the review revealed that there are prevailing difficulties in monitoring progress and impacts from the previous strategy and a new framework is required to address this issue and make it possible to report on future outcomes and impacts.

Charting the Changing Trends in the Environment of the IGAD Region

This strategy outlines some of the issues that have been identified in IGAD’s operational environment over the past few years. Recognizing that a strategy does not operate in a vacuum, but rather within the context of social, political and economic change, it is helpful to track changing trends in IGAD’s external context for the purpose of adapting its implementation to embrace the changing regional and international dynamics and real circumstances in which the regional communities live. At the same time it is important to understand the internal realities that the IGAD secretariat as an institution faces as it looks outward beyond itself.

The External Environment and Megatrends

The internal and external contextual factors that serve as the conditioning framework for the IGAD region’s growth suggest that the region and its people live in a world that is in the throes of a transition and that is fraught with much uncertainty. The quest for transformation is thus faced with a mixture of challenges and opportunities, which need to be properly managed in order for the region to complete the path towards prosperity

These external shifts which carry implications for the region’s long-term prospects were collated and analyzed during the regional study scan of the strategic issues and emerging concerns around six of IGAD’s priority sectors; namely:

  1. Agriculture, livestock and fisheries development
  2. Natural resources and environment protection
  3. Social Development
  4. Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration
  5. Peace and Security; and
  6. Gender Affairs. 

The study culminated into a “State of the Region Report” which provided an independent and objective analysis of the key issues for the Region based on a scan of existing and emerging issues and consideration of changing socioeconomic, regulatory and political operating environments for the Region. As the Region moves into the next strategic period, it is apparent from the scan that many of the issues will remain unchanged. An analysis of these issues within the context of world development Megatrends are presented below.

1. Demographic Change and Urbanization: The main trend for the next 20 years in the region is that of a growing and young population that moves into the cities. The focus of population growth is on the youth bulge and its impact on savings: The region and in fact Africa in general has some of the highest active dependent ratios with a record number of young people to educate, feed and employ. Urbanization and cities in the region have not yet become the engines of increased productivity they have been on other continents and expanding city populations will demand rising investment in urban infrastructure and social services, putting further strains on vital resources. As urbanization is a long-term trend which is not likely to stop, it is critical to explore ways and means to enhance the productivity of urban based activities.

2. Diffusion of Power and New Political Dynamics: There is a shift in the global locus of economic power and influence from the West to the East. However that change in “the geography of wealth” has not been matched by a commensurate change in the geography of power, or a significant recomposition in the instruments of global governance.

3. War on Terror: There has been a recomposition of the global security agenda to incorporate a complex “war on terror”. The war on terror has had two major economic impacts so far:

  • An increase in overall military assistance to countries experiencing conflict.
  • The elimination of sanctions on arms exports to these countries

Regional states such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda have all experienced either an increase in military assistance or the elimination of sanctions that prevented their buying arms. Although some of these countries have experienced small increases in funding, these do not seem to have a significant long-term economic impact on the country or conflict. The campaign against terrorism has had political, as well as economic, repercussions. There has been a concerted effort to link conflicts to the terrorist attacks in the region (e.g. the September 2013 Westgate Mall and the April 2015 Garissa University attacks in Kenya) and to reclassify opposition and rebel groups as “terrorists.” Once rebel groups are classified as terrorists, governments feel less pressure to negotiate and become less willing to enter into a peace process. In many cases this disinclination towards negotiation leads a government to seek a military victory through the extermination of the rebel group. Several regional states are also experiencing direct US involvement in large counter-terrorism programs. The Pan-Sahel Initiative, now known as the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Initiative, was established in 2002 and is based in Djibouti. Between 1,200 and 1,500 US marines are training security personnel in a number of African countries. The US-led campaign to combat international terrorism is influencing armed conflicts around the world. Close attention must be paid to the broader impacts of the war on terror to understand the implications in different parts of the region even as traditional inter-state and intra-state conflicts endure around a plethora of issues.

4. Resource Scarcity and Climate Change:  the growing population in the region will lead to an increase in demand and consumption of energy, water, food and other resources. At the same time, over 50% of the region’s population will be living in areas of high water stress. Whilst the rising population will demand more food, millions in the region already suffer chronic hunger. The vast majority of hungry people live in transboundary areas of the region where the prevalence of undernourishment is quite high. More frequent and severe extreme weather (droughts), combined with ever growing numbers of people and exposure of productive assets (e.g. Livestock) will lead to massive economic losses.

5. Income: Many of the member states have shown impressive GDP growth rates over the past decade averaging between 5% - 8%. This has propelled a large number of people out of poverty with corresponding improvements in education, life expectancy, and access to public services. This has however been accompanied by a widening income and non-income inequality gap, derived both from the nature and pattern of the growth that is occurring The impact has been a  realignment of socio-economic structures, and the poverty of social policy across the region. Particularly badly hit by the dynamics of inequality are women, children, and the elderly. In many member states, the resulting social exclusion is becoming a problem, which if not addressed, could generate problems of governance and sustainability. Policies that foster the broadening of opportunity and inclusion need to be put in place, beginning with macro-economic policies, which ensure inclusive economic growth in the region.

6. Migration: People are not only migrating from rural areas to nearby cities, they are also migrating to other countries in the region largely as a result of violent conflicts as  refugees, IDPs and more than 17 percent of the global and half of Africa’s IDPs are in the Horn of Africa. The region also hosts 2.46 million refugees, while also producing 3.12 million refugees.

7. Increased Conflict and Fragile States: Although inter‐state conflicts have reached historically low levels in the past decade in most parts of Africa, many people in the IGAD region still live in areas affected by fragility, conflict or criminal violence.  There is a real risk that even more countries will experience periods of conflicts and fragility due to three factors: 1. Worsening socio‐economic disparities; 2. Resource scarcity and environmental constraints; and 3. Technological advancement. A widespread phenomenon will be the evolution of a range of radical and often violent social movements, frequently transnational in development as well as impact. They will be essentially anti‐elite movements that may have a focus in religious beliefs, ethnic identity, nationalism, political ideology or a complex mix of these.

8. Technological Advancements Economic growth, especially in the regional economies, will stimulate increased technological innovation which in turn will shape socio‐economic developments. New technologies are being adopted faster and innovation cycles become ever shorter. The technology gap between the developed and developing countries will narrow. With regards to the information and communication technologies sector, most of the region’s population is now connected to mobile broadband. Social media will continue to expand, enabling both useful and dangerous communications across diverse user groups and geo‐political boundaries.

9. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063

In September 2015, the world leaders signed up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, of which 17 SDGs are central, and which aims to address the three interconnected elements of sustainable development: economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability.

On the other hand, at the African Union (AU) Summit in May 2013, Heads of State and Government in their 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration laid down a vision for the Africa they want to see in the next half a century. The vision later became Agenda 2063, which aims for a peaceful, integrated and prosperous continent by 2063 and is “an endogenous plan for transformation”.

The two agendas relate to each other, and have considerable implications, challenges and opportunities for their domestication processes. UN Member States’ (including African Member States) affirmation that Africa’s Agenda 2063 and its 10-Year Implementation Plan is integral to the universal SDGs agenda indicates that while the continental agenda articulates Africa’s specific aspirations and responds to the continent’s specific development challenges, its implementation is also guided by the spirit and principles of the global Agenda 2030.

Agenda 2063 and the 2030 SDGs Agenda broadly converge on social development (people), inclusive economic development (prosperity), on peaceful and inclusive societies and responsive institutions (peace), and on a number of environmental sustainability issues (planet). These two agendas will have an impact on the IGAD countries and their development partners in terms of both challenges and opportunities, especially as governments decide on their priorities.

The Internal Environment

IGAD has also undergone a series of institutional changes that have strengthened its internal institutional capacity in areas such as strategic planning and human and financial resources management. A raft of new programmes such as IDDRSI, ISAP, and CAADP, and institutions like the ICPALD were put in place.  IGAD is also attracting more development partners through some of these programmes. On the other hand, some of the existing and even newer programmes are facing challenges due to resource scarcity and inadequate staffing.

What does this mean for IGAD Today? 

IGAD’s external environment has become a much more influential field of operation than it has been in the past. In response to this, it is imperative that IGAD develops and practices a new visionary mindset. IGAD also understands that it can no longer take the support from the member states and development partners for granted. It is imperative that IGAD should deliver and meet the expectations of stakeholders.

IGAD in today’s regional context needs to earn its relevance through the building and deepening of relationships within the member states which it serves and partners that support it. Therefore IGAD needs to be able to effectively implement various programmes it commits to undertake and to support new and growing initiatives throughout the region. IGAD needs to shift its mission from Norm-Setting to Norm-Implementation, and advance towards the norm-implementation phase of existing treaties and policies. Visible changes resulting from the implementation of existing policies will ultimately determine whether IGAD effectively respond to peoples’ demands and engender member states buy-in and renewed faith in the institution. At the same time IGAD needs to find new ways to support and work together with other REC’s  in the region that add value to IGAD’s priority sectors.

Renewed Thrusts for 2016-2020

This strategy document affirms the vision, mission, values and goals as laid out in the 2011-2015 document and attempts to update it by taking into account the internal and external environments affecting the region and the Organisation. Additionally the same four Strategic Pillars laid out in the 2011-2015 plan (Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment; Economic Co-operation and Integration and Social Development; Peace and Security and Corporate Development Services) will continue with adjustments to the changing environment. 

Although the basic environment in which IGAD finds itself has not changed in essence, it is the belief that the environment externally has continued on its developmental path influenced by socio-political and environmental trends listed before, while internally the pressures created by that environment, both negative and positive (expansion of programmes and activities, shortage of finances, loss of influence in the member states in some cases, etc.) have continued to increase. Moving forward, IGAD is still in a very strong position to meet the challenges that lie ahead. 

A summary of the situation analysis of six IGAD priority sector is provided in Appendix 1 at the end of the Strategy document. Further details of the same can be found in the IGAD State of the Region Report.

Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Agenda

One of the main thrusts of IGAD is boosting agricultural production and sustainable management of natural resources and the environment to ensure resilient livelihoods and sustained economic growth in the region. This is in line with the vision and mission of the African Union and its organs such as the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) and the African Union Commission’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (AU-DREA), whose mission is to “strengthen the agricultural sector, rural economies and the environment in order to improve the livelihoods of the African people and ensure poverty eradication”. To drive its agriculture and environment agenda, IGAD developed regional policies and strategies such as the IGAD Food Security Strategy; the IGAD Fisheries Strategy IGAD Regional Environment Policy; IGAD Environment and Natural Resources Strategy; IGAD Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Policy Framework; IGAD EIA Guidelines; IGAD EIA Protocol; IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) Strategy; and IGAD CAADP. IGAD’s policies and strategies attempt to realize the AUC-DREA’s crucial three pronged roles in developing improved environmental, water and natural resources management, including developing responses to the consequences of climate change and desertification. IGAD has also created a specialized centre for pastoral areas and livestock development (ICPALD) which will domesticate AU’s policy on Pastoralism in Africa. IGAD is also implementing programmes such as the IGAD Inland Water Resources Management, which will translate the African Water Vision 2025 into reality in this region

Some 70% of the IGAD region is classified as Arid and Semi-arid Lands (ASALs). In the past, the ASALs were wrongly regarded as expanses of unproductive wastelands that attracted little or no interest or investment from the private and public sectors. Following the severe drought of 2010-2011, the IGAD Heads of State and Government directed the IGAD Secretariat to lead the process of ending drought emergencies in the region. Consequently, the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) with seven thematic areas (components) and harmonized regional programming paper (RPP) and country programme papers (CPPS) was produced.  The IDDRSI Strategy underscores the importance as well as the true value of the region’s resources and opportunities at the ASALs. Whereas the predominant livelihood system in the IGAD ASALs is pastoral livestock production, the contribution of livestock and livestock products to the agricultural GDP is frequently underestimated in all countries. This underestimation of the region’s principal product obscures the region and the livestock and dryland products sector from the political limelight that usually inspires government support and thus undermines the region’s potential for enhanced productivity and progress.

The IDDRSI Strategy is designed to strengthen and build on the on-going interventions by the IGAD Divisions and Specialized Institutions, Member States and development partners including, non-state actors, which add value to building drought disaster resilience. It strengthens innovations and promotes best practices and promising technologies and takes cognisance of indigenous technologies and knowledge systems. 

The Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is an Africa-wide agricultural development framework which was adopted by the AU Heads of State and Government in 2003 with the objective of accelerating agriculture-led economic growth and poverty reduction. The IGAD Secretariat with the support of and in consultation with the Member States, development partners and technical institutions identified regional priorities that form the IGAD CAADP Compact and action areas. The IGAD regional CAADP promotes regional investments to complement national CAADP Compacts and Investment Plans, particularly in transboundary areas, to accelerate agriculture-led economic growth in the region.

Regional Integration Agenda of IGAD

IGAD’s agenda on regional economic integration is in line with that of the African Economic Community (AEC) and African Union (AU), including NEPAD. IGAD was among the signatories of the Protocol on the Relations Between the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the AU, signed 27th January 2008 in Addis Ababa. The ultimate goal of establishing the African Economic Community (AEC) is to accelerate economic and social integration of the members of the continent through integration efforts of RECs and Member States. Therefore the role of IGAD as a REC is derived from this strategic goal of the AU. This role entails harmonization and coordination of policies and programs among IGAD Member States and with other RECs and alignment with AU policies and strategies which are binding to all RECs, taking into account NEPAD to spearheading the process leading to creation of common African market as a prelude for AEC. Successful accomplishment of regional integration agenda in terms of economic, political, social, cultural in IGAD region facilitates achievement of other IGAD strategic objectives in maintaining peace and security throughout the region and promoting advancement in environment and agricultural sector leading to sustainable development of the region and consequently contributing to the continental integration and development. 

To this end, IGAD’s Heads of State and Government decided to implement the current Minimum Integration Plan (MIP) as a guiding and dynamic strategic framework for the economic and social integration.  Under the Regional Strategy, IGAD will continue pushing ahead with its regional integration agenda by developing an IGAD FTA, taking into account existing harmonized frameworks such as the Tri-Partite Agreement and the continental FTA to be achieved by end of 2017.

Peace and Security Agenda 

The Regional Economic Communities (RECs) constitute the building blocks of the African Union (AU). The AU and the RECs have close and mutually beneficial relationships. While RECs pursue their respective mandate priorities, still they play an important role in the implementation of the AU policy frameworks. To that effect, the goals, objectives and core programme areas of the IGAD peace and security agenda, guided by its Regional Peace and Security Strategy is consistent and in alignment with the AU Peace and Security programme, guided by the Africa Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). Accordingly, IGAD’s vision as defined in both its Regional Strategy and in particular that of Peace and Security Strategy which strives towards “A peaceful, integrated and prosperous IGAD Region that contributes to Africa Union Agenda 2063”  reflecting the same spirit and substance of that of the AU which envisions an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.

Moreover, IGAD’s peace and security core programme areas include Conflict Early Warning and Early Response, Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation, Transnational Security Threats, Governance, Democracy, Rule Of Law, and Human Rights, Humanitarian Affairs, Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development; and Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment for Peace . Recent achievements under the Peace and Security agenda include the negotiation between the two South Sudanese rivals to bring peaceful resolution of the conflict, the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Sudan and South Sudan and the restoration of a functioning government in Somalia achieved in the New Somalia Peace Deal.

Corporate Development Agenda

IGAD Institutional Strengthening Action Programme (ISAP) 2016-2020

IGAD recognises the need for the necessary and sufficient institutional capacity to deliver its mandate and meet stakeholder’s expectations. IGAD equally acknowledges that gaps in its capacity are considerable and would require sustained external support from various partner agencies and institutions. Consequently, IGAD launched an Institutional Strengthening Action Plan (ISAP). The primary objective of the Institutional Strengthening Action Programme (ISAP) 2016 – 2020), now a fully-fledged programme of IGAD, is to “increase IGAD institutional capacity to allow the Secretariat and Specialised Institutions to interact effectively and efficiently with Member States, Development Partners and other Stakeholders as a results-oriented organisation”. The ISAP (2016-2016) document with its annexed action plan is the policy framework document that describes IGAD’s strategy and action plan for institutional strengthening. This document is continuously being updated and in its current phase is in line with the overall IGAD Strategy (20116- 2016).

Different Development Partners are supporting IGAD in the implementation of the ISAP. The IGAD Secretariat, with the support of Denmark, prepared a report on Options for Harmonised Donor Support to IGAD (2008). This was followed by another report on Joint Financing Arrangement (JFA) between IGAD and Development Partners. The purpose of the JFA is to provide a dialogue framework for support to IGAD in delivering its mandate in line with the Paris Declaration principles of ownership, harmonization, alignment, results and mutual accountability.

On 28 August 2012 four partners, namely, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and IGAD, signed a JFA agreement to support implementation of phase 2 of ISAP 2012-2014. Other partners including the EU, Germany, World Bank and African Development Bank are contributing resources to ISAP implementation in parallel with the JFA funding mechanism.

Gender Affairs

Gender mainstreaming is the primary global strategy used by development organizations for promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. The IGAD Gender Policy and Strategy was formulated and launched in 2004 and revisited and updated into a new Gender Policy and Strategy Framework for 2012-2020. It focuses on facilitating the mainstreaming of gender perspectives into IGAD’s policies, strategies, programmes, projects and activities to make them gender responsive and to contribute to achieving sustainable socio-economic development in the region.

Building Disaster Resilience

IGAD places resilience at the heart of its disaster risk management approach. IGAD recognizes that shocks and stresses are just one of many factors driving vulnerability and firmly believes that building resilience of affected populations in a holistic way is effective, cost efficient and sustainable. Resilience refers to the capacity of an individual, household, population group or system to absorb, adapt, and transform from shocks and stresses without compromising ‐ and potentially enhancing ‐ long‐term prospects. Absorptive capacity covers the coping strategies individuals, households, or communities use to moderate or buffer the impacts of shocks on their livelihoods and basic needs. Adaptive capacity is the ability to learn from experience and adjust responses to changing external conditions, yet continue operating. Transformative capacity is the capacity to create a fundamentally new system when ecological, economic, or social structures make the existing system untenable. The resilience concept is thus not just looking at the impact of disasters but also at what makes communities vulnerable to multiple shocks and stresses. It further examines to what extent communities are able to bounce back after a disaster, conflict or shock, therefore addressing their core vulnerabilities and putting more emphasis on the need for recovery from such shocks to mitigate future risks.

With climate change bringing about multiple risks and increasing regional vulnerability, IGAD’s efforts to build resilience aim at contributing to a sustainable reduction in vulnerability through increased absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacity of local populations, governments and other actors. This also entails improved ability to identify, address and reduce risk; and improved social and economic conditions of vulnerable populations. A resilience approach within the disaster risk management cycle provides the crucial link between emergency response, early recovery and long term development and a key area of focus for IGAD in the coming decade. Even though resilience building activities are domiciled within IGAD’s, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment pillar, this is a crosscutting theme that has application across all domains of IGAD operations.

Developing a Focus on Implementation Excellence and Relevance 

In the past, it has been imagined that one of the great attributes of any REC is that grouping together individual countries in sub-regions will always lead to achieving greater economic cooperation and integration. That may have been generally true a few years ago, but in recent times RECs have developed increasing variations in their outward appearance and operations. The increased number of options, with many overlaps in membership and growing flexibility presents many challenges for both IGAD and member states.  For example, in East Africa, Kenya and Uganda are members of IGAD, EAC and COMESA, whereas Tanzania, also a member of the EAC, left COMESA and joined SADC in 2001. 

This multiple and confusing membership creates duplication and sometimes competition in activities. RECs have transformed by highlighting their core competencies to more accurately reflect the needs of the member states and address the Member states priority needs in each region. With the existing structure of the RECs which is far from ideal, with many overlaps in membership, members states see each of the different RECs as important to them for very different and specific reasons and not for all the proposed integration goals of that REC and that of the AUC. Therefore, in as much as IGAD certainly needs to remain within the bounds of its strategy and clearly within the bounds of its programmatic areas authorized by the member states, implementation of its mandate need to be brought to life by the creativity and good delivery of the secretariat, making membership a meaningful experience and especially in those areas where IGAD has a comparative advantage, e.g. peace and security and mitigating effects of drought, desertification and food insecurity in the region. Member states need to come away from that experience knowing that they have a competent institution guided by excellence and relevance.

In addition to the above-mentioned priorities, IGAD needs to continue promoting regional policy reforms and increased investments in the priority areas of agriculture and food security, environment, peace and security, trade and market access, governance, infrastructure (energy, transport and water sanitation, and information and communication technologies), gender, and capacity development. IGAD will need to continue to promote the participation of the private sector, civil society organizations and the Diaspora in fostering development in the region.

This new strategy 2016-2020 will therefore continue focusing in the following key strategic areas within the next decade.

Principles and values

In preparing the Strategy, IGAD strives for excellence and integrity in accomplishing its mission and vision. It is guided by the high values and principles stipulated in the Agreement Establishing IGAD and other relevant regional and international treaties and charters that the Member States have entered into in pursuit of sustainable development in the region.  These values and principles include

  • Promotion of good governance that strictly adheres to the establishment and protection of fundamental human rights through institutionalisation of democracy and transparency;
  • Promotion of a sense of community that aspires to maintaining peace in the Region and finding peaceful resolution of disputes between and within the Member States;
  • The endorsement of those principles and values that encourage individual and collective responsibility;
  • The establishment and maintenance of frameworks which enable the people to identify their priority needs and be in the forefront in resolving them;
  • IGAD adheres to the principle of subsidiarity, which means that it operates at the levels in society where it can achieve maximum impact;
  • IGAD subscribes to the principle of variable geometry, which recognizes that its members are at different levels of development and move at different speeds and constellations depending on their priorities;
  • Adding value and complementing development efforts of the Member States in a consultative process that enhances cooperation and spirit of partnership in programmes;
  • Adherence to the principle of gender sensitivity and equity; and
  • Promotion of open, transparent and joint aid modalities with development partners.

Target Groups / Stakeholders

The immediate target groups are the IGAD policy organs, i.e. the Heads of State and Government and the Council of Ministers. Another important group is the key policy- and decision-makers including sector-ministers and other high government officers of the Member States’ institutions.  

Involvement of non-state actors would strengthen not only the strategic and operational mechanisms of IGAD but also among the IGAD Member States. Therefore, in implementing the strategy the target groups will include civil society organizations and private sector representatives. Development Partners, UN agencies and other regional and international organisations active in promoting sustainable development in the regional are also benficiaries of the strategy. 

Ultimately, all inhabitants of the region will benefit from the improved political conditions, resilience to drought and other shocks, improved security, prudently managed natural resources, a well-protected environment and enhanced regional economic co-operation. A special target group is the poor and food insecure people in the region’s rural and urban areas, particularly women and those living in marginal, drought – prone or conflict - prone areas.

Strategic Partnerships and Alliances

The IGAD Regional Strategy would require the support of all the stakeholders. In particular, successful implementation of the Strategy will not be possible without the concerted effort of the Member States who would avail the necessary political, institutional, legal, human and financial resources, etc. backing to the Strategy. With the support of the Member States, IGAD would be in a stronger position in mobilising other stakeholders to render the required financial and technical resources and partnerships for the implementation of the Strategy. 

IGAD recognises the need for close and cooperative partnerships with all stakeholders in translating the ideals of the Strategy to concrete results. To that effect, IGAD will enter into strategic partnerships and alliances with relevant stakeholders at local, national, regional and global levels that have similar mandates for achieving socio-economic and political resilience through sustainable development in the region. These include the NGOs, civil societies, private sector, UN agencies, development partners, RECs and the African Union Commission (AUC). 

Civil Society and private sector involvement

Civil Society and non-state actors will be given a bigger role to play in the IGAD development initiatives such as project preparation and implementation.The IGAD/civil society and non-governmental organizations Forum which was established pursuant to the decision of the IGAD Council of Ministers  would serve as the mechanism to involve civil society appropriately in the policy formulation and strategic planning discussions, and the planning, designing and implementation of IGAD strategies, programmes and processes. 

IGAD Development Partners

Over the years, IGAD entered into many partnerships and has had cooperation with many development partners. The European Union (EU), Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, USAID, Norway, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Canada, the World Bank and the African Development Bank are among the partners who have been supporting IGAD programmes for a long time. Coordination with and among development partners  happens in the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) which brings together, IGAD Member States, IGAD Secretariat and donors agencies and other members such as the UNDP and AUC at both political and technical levels. 

IGAD has had a number of institutional assessments which identified, among other things, the need for a comprehensive institutional capacity development so that it can deliver its mandate. Consequently, IGAD in collaboration with Development Partners and Member States produced an elaborate Institutional Development Action Plan (ISAP) in 2009.  A second phase of the ISAP was launched in January 2013. IGAD is now in the third phase of ISAP (2016-2020) where it has been transformed into a fully-fledged programme of IGAD. Under the ISAP, IGAD receives substantial support for capacity development from partners including the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden who have put their financial contributions in a Joint Financing Arrangement (JFA) mechanism. A similar financing mechanism was developed for the Peace and Security programmes by Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Netherlands. The joint financing mechanism was found helpful in planning, resource mobilisation, implementation of activities, reporting.

In order to implement the IDDRSI strategy and implementation programmes effectively and efficiently, IGAD established a Regional Resilience Platform to lead the process. The Platform is to provide a mechanism for coordinated and harmonised implementation of interventions at the national and regional levels with the aim of ending drought emergencies in the Horn of Africa by sustainably enhancing disaster resilience of vulnerable communities especially those in the pastoral and agro-pastoral areas.

The Platform brings together the Member States, IGAD Secretariat, Development Partners, the AU, other RECs, UN agencies, Civil Society and specialized research and training institutions. It comprises a General Assembly (GA) of all participating stakeholders, a Platform Steering Committee (PSC) and a Platform Coordinating Unit (PCU) hosted by the IGAD Secretariat. IDDRSI will also strengthen IGAD in the implementation of the UNCCD, in particular to implement the 10 Year UNCCD Strategy, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. In addition, it will enhance IGAD;s capacity in the implementation of the other two Rio Conventions, namely the UNFCCC and UNCBD, but most of all the IGAD overall strategy.

Further, in April 2012, the Global Alliance for Action for Drought Resilience and Growth, an informal network of donors and international organisations, was formed in response to the call from IGAD Heads of State and Government to support the initiative to end drought emergencies in the Horn. In addition, the Global Resilience Partnership, was created by USAID, Rockefeller Foundation and other partners to enhance resilience in South-eastern Asia, the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.  Members of the Global Alliance are committed to enhance resilience against chronic drought and promote economic growth in the Horn of Africa and Sahel. Both partnerships bring together relief and development actors and resources around common plans to promote alignment, coordination and harmonisation efforts. In the Horn of Africa, specifically, the Global Alliance and the Global Resilience Partnership arecommitted to support the development of the IGAD Regional Programming Paper (RPP) and the Country Programming Papers (CPPs). IGAD would be implementing the resilience strategy of the Global Alliance and the Global Resilience Partnership in the IGAD region.

Regional processes and Frameworks

IGAD will continue with its role of sensitising IGAD Member States on the WTO negotiations to enable the Member States to take steps towards enhancing their national WTO negotiations and programmes. IGAD will also play an active part in the ACP/EU negotiations together with the follow-up of the implementation of the RSP/RIP for Eastern Africa regional organisations under the Cotonou Agreement and IRCC. IGAD as a Regional Economic Community (REC) will continue to pursue regional coordination and cooperation within the AU/AEC/RECs framework, including NEPAD. In respect to relationships with EAC, COMESA and CEN-SAD where an IGAD member country would belong to two or more of these institutions, IGAD will negotiate and enter into cooperative agreements and understandings with such institutions to avoid duplication of efforts and wastage of resources.

The traditional forms of national sovereignty are increasingly being challenged by the realities of political and economic interdependence that call for joint effort at regional and global levels.  In shared resource, ecological and economic systems, most parts fall outside national jurisdiction entailing that sustainable development can be better achieved through regional approaches agreed upon mutually by the concerned countries.  In this respect, all countries of the IGAD region are party to several international conventions and initiatives including the UNCCD, CBD, UNFCCC, and the Human Rights Convention.  They are also members and beneficiaries of a considerable number of regional and international organisations dealing with general political and economic development issues but with varying mandates and geographical coverage.  These include AU, ECA, ADB, COMESA, EAC, IOC, ASARECA, OSSREA, RCMRD, IUCN, FEWS, FAO, WHO and ATU among others. The regional processes and frameworks would enable IGAD to effectively and efficiently complement member states efforts in the implementation of regional and global commitments / agreements to which they are Parties.

Communication Strategy 

IGAD scores low in public profile and visibility in comparison with its actual work and success. IGAD needs to enhance its visibility through a meticulous and comprehensive communications strategy that captures and disseminates the numerous successes of its work. Bridging the mismatch between the IGAD’s actual work performed and its rather ‘obscure’ image in the public and the media need to be another area of focus and support function. Moreover, its intra-divisional and inter-divisional communications, public outreach and regular communications with the Member States also need transformation. Thus, IGAD will develop an integrated Global Communications Strategy. 

Strategic Partnership for Resource Mobilisation and Implementation

IGAD does not have a comprehensive policy and strategy for governing partnerships. The need for a partnership emanates from mutual recognition that no country or organization, particularly organizations like IGAD, can meet the 21st century’s challenges alone. Threats are often local or regional manifestations, but they also have global impacts and implications. Some of the MOUs with partners have not been operationalized yet. Also, there is a need for the IGAD to develop a mechanism for periodic performance reviews of MOUs with partners to ensure functionality and continued relevance. Thus, IGAD will develop a Strategy on partnership under which, the following actions will be taken:

  • Study on how to diversify funding sources and develop implementation plan on alternative sources of funding
  • Develop strategy on resource mobilization underpinned by innovative resources mobilisation anchored on performance and delivery based approach to deepen partnership and also with focus on rigorous lobbying for Member States timely and increased contributions  
  • Encourage and engage Member States to make timely and increased financial contributions
  • Mobilise Member States to make in-kind contribution in human, material and financial resources for the implementation of this Strategy in addition to the assessed annual contributions to the Secretariat’s core budget
  • Develop an partnership strategy that guides all partnerships including with development partners and the private sector and other actors
  • Strengthen partnership with traditional sources of funding  
  • Diversification IGAD cooperating partners by attracting non-traditional donors
  • Creation of an IGAD endowment and risk fund

Framework conditions

The strategy recognises a number of internal and external factors that could impact on its effectiveness and successful implementation. In this context, IGAD will pursue, monitor and evaluate a process that will ensure: 

  • That IGAD Member States continue to provide adequate financial support to the operations of the Secretariat and will also contribute to the funding of its programs.
  • That the members of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) continue to support IGAD and increase their financial contributions towards the implementation of its programmes.
  • That the IGAD Member States continue to see the need for collaboration and working relationship in conceptualising, planning, and executing regional activities that provide added-value to the Member States’ respective national programmes.
  • That IGAD takes the necessary management actions to implement the strategy.
  • That development partners increasingly channel support through Joint Aid Modalities to reduce transaction costs and improve policy dialogue.
  • That the strategy is flexible, dynamic and responsive to the changing global context so that the IGAD can capitalise on emerging opportunities or respond to new challenges as they arise.


The Geography of the Region

The IGAD region stretches over an area of 5.2 million km2 that comprises the countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. The region has about 6960 Km of coastline with the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Toudjoura and the Red Sea. Also, the IGAD region has a total of 6910 Km of international borders with Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. Map 1 above shows the region. Some 70 percent of the IGAD region is made up of Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALs), which receive less than 600 mm of rainfall annually. The rest of the region has a great variety of climates and landscapes including cool highlands, swamp areas, tropical rain forests and other features typical of an equatorial region. Furthermore, the region possesses diverse ecosystems and agro-ecological zones at different altitudes ranging from 150 meters below sea level (Dalul) to about 4600 meters above the sea level (Mount Kenya). Socio-economically, most of the IGAD Member States belong to the worlde’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and share similar economic growth rates and social ethnic groups across their borders, which could be a good opportunity for regional integration, if appropriately utilised. 

Farmlands account for 7 percent, forests 19 percent and permanent pastures 28 percent of the total land area. The remaining 46 percent is relatively unproductive or marginal land.  Additionally, this region also contains extensive mineral resources that have not yet been fully explored and exploited. One of the main challenges in maximizing the agricultural potential of this region is the high degree of variability in rainfall patterns in terms of both space and time. Furthermore, the IGAD region is prone to recurrent droughts and dry spells, making it one of the most vulnerable regions on the African continent for climatic variations, which accentuates the need for policies and programmes that enhance the technical and research capacities of the region. Land and environmental degradation are the most serious threats to the region as both affect its agricultural production and economic growth. Such degradation does not only contribute to food insecurity, famine and poverty, but may equally fuel social, economic and political tensions that can cause conflicts, wider poverty and misery. Sustainable management of natural resources is therefore essential if the IGAD Member States are to achieve sustainable development, eradication of poverty, peace and security. This is particularly true for transboundary natural resources, like surface and ground water resources. 

Demography of the Region

The IGAD region has a population of over 230 million people characterised by high natural population growth rates. The average population density is about 30 persons per km2. Variations in the population density between the IGAD countries are substantial ranging from 14.5 persons per km2 in Somalia to above 95 persons per km2 in Uganda. These variations are even more pronounced between the different ecological zones. For example, within the IGAD region there are deserts with scarcely anybody living in them, and conversely there are rural areas with high populations of more than 600 persons living on one km2.  Similarly, urban densities are quite high, for instance in Nairobi where there are 4,509 persons/km2 and higher still in Addis Ababa at 5,165 persons/km2.  However, the demographic age structure shows that some 50 percent of the population are youth, which provides a good opportunity for continued economic growth, if the youth is provided with, appropriate education and training. 

Moreover, there is a major trend for urbanisation in the IGAD region with large numbers of people from the rural areas migrating into the big urban centres in search of employment and better incomes. The average rate of urbanisation in the region is estimated at 4.1 percent. The capital cities of Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Khartoum have populations of well over three million each. Socio-economic and environmental problems in the ever-growing urban centres are on-going challenge, and present a very real threat to peace and stability in some countries of the IGAD region. 

Economy of the Region

The IGAD region is located in a strategic place in the Horn of Africa and blessed with a good climate, rich hinterland, a long coastline with deep natural ports and situated on major air traffic routes for tourism and commodity markets in Africa, the Far East, Middle East, and Europe. It is endowed with substantial natural resources such as oil and gas reserves, wildlife, high tourism potentials, diverse ecosystems, alternative energy resources (hydroelectric, solar and geothermal), marine, water and livestock resources. A population of over 230 million and vast expanses of territory coverage provide a sizeable market, which has the potential to attract both domestic and foreign investors. 

The economic mainstay of the region is agriculture, both livestock and crop production, which provides the basis for food supplies and export earnings, as well as employment for over 80 percent of the population. The contribution of industries to the respective national economies of the IGAD Member States is about 15-20 percent, on average. Since they produce similar commodities and there is a low level of infrastructure development in the region, the level of intra-state trade remains low and markets are neither inter-dependent nor inter-linked. Among the impediments to development within the region is the poor transportation infrastructure, more so, for landlocked countries such as Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda. IGAD’s over-arching objective of regional integration is to create an open, unified, regional economic space for private operators – a single market open to competitive entry and well integrated into the global economy. This requires both regional infrastructure as well as the gradual harmonization of policies for removal of physical and non-physical barriers to inter-state transport and communications. Competitiveness of the region through trade expansion is hampered by the poor and inefficient road and railway network systems that in turn raise transport costs and lead to burdensome trade logistics. The road and railway missing links entail that the existing networks are not optimally utilized, and that opportunities are being lost due to the lack of economies of scale necessary to attract and sustain private investments in these networks. The other modes of transport also have specific challenges within the region. Key challenges for the railway sector include aging tracks and lack of maintenance, different gauges of tracks which prevents seamless regional connectivity, shortage of serviceable rolling stock that limits operational performance, and limited ranges of investment versus profitability choices for railway companies to invest in upgrading existing or developing new rail networks. Seaports within the region have capacity constraints that result in congestion and berthing delays. Lastly, growth in the region’s air traffic is not being matched with enhanced connectivity within the region. The air traffic control systems and the airport infrastructure are also inadequate.

Most of the IGAD Member States belong to the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDC). They face both human and material challenges in their pusuit for development. Nevertheless, the region has a wide range of agro-ecological zones (AEZ) with rich biodiversity and diverse agricultural potential, which if effectively cultivated and managed could turn the Region into a breadbasket for Africa and neighbouring Asian countries. It is against this backdrop that IGAD Member States have chosen to enhance their regional co-operation in an effort to maximize the potential of the vast resources and propel the region to new economic growth levels. Mobilising the necessary resources for the implementation of development programmes at the national and regional levels is a huge challenge for both IGAD and its Member States. The capacity of IGAD and the Member States to cope with development problems of the region on their own and without substantial external support is a consideration, which highlights the importance of regional cooperation and the IGAD as a regional organization. 

Governance Issues

The region is increasingly moving towards democratic governance and has made good progress towards establishing a competitive economy. Good governance with appropriate and conducive structures and institutions is a significant prerequisite for the positive outcomes of sustainable development at all levels. The IGAD member states have been progressively taking tangible steps towards improving governance systems both at the national and regional levels by strengthening structures and institutions in all development sectors and their respective inter-linkages by ensuring coherence, integrating policies, minimizing duplication of efforts and wastage of resources, and strengthening institutional capacities. The region has realised commendable economic performance through improvements in transparency and accountability, decentralization and empowerment, social inclusiveness and democratization. Nevertheless, some macroeconomic challenges remain which require continued and deepening institutional reforms and creation of an enabling environment for private-sector development as well as capacity development. Civil Society and non-state actors are not playing their role and should have much bigger role to play in the IGAD’s development initiatives such as project preparation and implementation.The IGAD civil society and non-governmental organizations Forum which was established pursuant to the decision of the IGAD Council of Ministers should serve as the mechanism to involve civil society appropriately in the policy formulation and strategic planning discussions, and the planning, designing and implementation of IGAD programmes and processes. Governance, peace and security and humanitrian affairs will have to increasingly play a pivotal role in responding to the various adversities that the region faces.

IGAD thrusts in regional development 

As part of the effort to deliver its mandate, IGAD has devoted considerable resources and energy towards mitigating the effects of drought, desertification and food insecurity in the region. Despite these efforts, however, drought and food insecurity continue to be major critical threats to the region. Hence, IGAD has adopted an integrated, multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach to address these threats. This new approach would contribute more effectively to the attainment of resilient economic development in the region, particularly in areas where the economic mainstay depends on primary production. With a view to ending drought emergencies while enhancing food security and environmental protection, maintaining peace and promoting economic integration in the region, IGAD continues to advance the implementation of the following multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary agendas.

Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food Security (ALFS)

Agriculture and Livestock remain the dominant component of the economies of the IGAD member countries in terms of their contribution to GDP, employment and income. One of the main thrusts of IGAD is to boost agricultural production and sustain management of natural resources and the environment to ensure resilient livelihoods and sustained economic growth. This is in line with the mission of the African Union and its organs. IGAD is charged with the responsibility of supporting national agricultural policies and promoting cooperation among the member states for mutual benefit while ensuring that these policies are based on rational use of natural resources and also encompass sound environmental management for sustainable development. Following one of the worst droughts in the region that particularly affected Somalia in 2010 and 2011, the region adopted the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) and a number of the related initiatives aimed at operationalizing drought resilience in the region’s arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs). Furthermore, IGAD developed the IGAD Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) in response to the Maputo Summit Decision of 2003.  

Other initiatives include the establishment of the Dryland Agricultural Research and Technology Programme aimed at enhancing food security in the dryer parts of the region through cooperation, integration, and exchanges of technologies and information on the promotion of production in the ASALs. This indicates clearly that, for sound socio-economic development, the real growth will be realized by developing this sector as the leading engine of agricultural growth. Development of this sector will be vital for poverty reduction, wealth creation and improving food security.

The agricultural sector (in its broadest sense) has a significant contribution to make to the economic development of the region generating almost 70 percent of export earnings. It employs more than 80 percent of the workforce and it is likely to remain the major source of inputs for the region’s emerging industrial sector. Considering the sector’s contribution to the GDPs of member states, it contributed 43 percent to Ethiopia’s GDP and 40 percent to that of Somalia. For Sudan, Kenya and Uganda the sector contributed 34 percent, 26 percent and 23 percent respectively. Countries like South Sudan and Djibouti had the lowest contributions to their GDP (15 percent and 4 percent respectively) (see table 3).  In terms of economic growth rates, Ethiopia has the highest rate at 7.1 percent, while other IGAD member states, on average had about 2.5 percent.

Natural Resources and Environment Protection (NREP) Sector

The IGAD region is characterized by complex geological and topographical formations that exhibit a wide diversity of terrains and landscapes. This diversity has produced regional variations as manifested with different ecological zones such as the East African Rift Valley, deserts, arid-, semi-arid, dry-, dry sub-humid, humid, mountainous and alpine lands in the region. In the distant past, the IGAD region had a pristine environment and intact natural resources. With time, however, human activities coupled with climate change have dramatically altered the extent, type, composition and quality of ecosystems and natural resources in the region. In fact, recent studies indicate that currently, only 5 percent of the original ecosystems / habitats remain intact in the region.  This means that 95 percent of the original ecosystems have been either converted for other land use forms or have been degraded severely or moderately by different drivers. The main drivers of environmental and natural resources include climate change, frequent drought, high population growth, overgrazing, forest degradation, soil and land degradation, wildlife poaching and trafficking, desertification, etc. The impact of these drivers is the reduction of the capability of the different ecosystems to provide the necessary goods and services essential for the survival of living things in the region.

The contribution of the environmental resources to the IGAD economy is massive. These agricultural sector alone accounts for large contributions to the regions gross domestic product (including indirect links to other economic sectors), export earnings, government revenues, and jobs in the formal economy. Other environmental income contributions to the economy come from tourism based on IGAD’s natural endowment of wildlife, mountains, rangelands, beaches, and coral reefs, as well as timber production from forests and fish catches from lakes, rivers, and the Indian Ocean. 

IGAD’s development is largely dependent on natural resources’ wealth. Citizens within the IGAD region—like all people on Earth—depend on nature to sustain their lives and livelihoods. Not only do they obtain from nature the basic goods needed for survival—such as water, food, and fiber—they also rely on nature to purify air and water, produce healthy soils, cycle nutrients, and regulate climate. 

The natural resources are the drivers of national and regional economic development. The resources include fresh water and marine and coastal water ecosystems; forests and wildlife, wetlands, rangelands, arable land and mountains; minerals and energy resources, and rich biodiversity. The IGAD member States recognize that a clean and healthy environment is a prerequisite for sustainable development, and development activities in various productive and social sectors including agriculture and livestock, energy, industry, infrastructure, may pose negative impacts leading to the degradation of the environment.

IGAD priorities for coastal and marine environments include the support and implementation of the Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions and the African Process for the management of Africa’s coastal and marine resources. These seek to: control pollution and coastal erosion; promote sustainable use of living resources; promote sustainable management of key habitats and ecosystems; and promote sustainable economic development.

While it is clear that natural resources make a very important contribution to the basic needs of rural people, a major question relates to how they contribute to poverty reduction in terms of official figures.  Most countries in the IGAD for instance are expected to maintain a strong economic performance with a growth rate of more than 6 percent during the projection periods of 2014 and 2015. Growth will be driven by a number of factors including improved performances in the agricultural, mining, tourism and industrial sectors, all of which are reliant on natural resources. Notably, two countries, namely Ethiopia and Uganda, are projected to grow at around 7 percent or more during the projection period; while other countries such as Djibouti will most likely achieve growth rates of between 5 percent and 7 percent. Even for countries with relatively low projected growth rates, such as Eritrea, and Sudan, the projected growth rates are in almost all cases higher than those of 2013 all largely attributable to natural resources.

Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration (RECI) Sector

IGAD’s focus for regional economic cooperation and integration is to create an open, unified, regional economic space for the business community – a single market open to competitive entry and well integrated into the continental and global economies. This focus requires both regional infrastructure as well as the gradual harmonization of policies for the removal of barriers to inter-state communications. Globalisation trends of the world economy which offer vast opporunities at the same time pose major constraints for the IGAD region. They also offer potential benefits if they are exploited as appropriate policy measures and structural changes in a combined effort. Among the four Divisons that constitute IGAD’s operations and reflect its major areas of focus is the Economic Cooperation and Integration and Social Development Division which has the following programme areas: 

  • Trade, Tourism and Industry
  • Infrastructure Development
  • Health and Social Development

In the transport and infrastructure sub-sector, the IGAD interventions are based on the Horn of Africa Initiative (HOAI). The HOAI was designed to provide the IGAD Region with badly needed connectivity but guided by a broad regional policy that calls for a safe, secure and efficient integrated infrastructure system responsive to the needs of the people and the economy and to strengthening of regional integration by unlocking small scattered markets along the region and creating a bigger regional market space that will enhance IGAD’s economic competitiveness. Therefore the main thrust for the IGAD regional infrastructure is based on the HOAI and goes in line with the AU PIDA strategic framework for 2040.  The IGAD Free Trade Area (FTA) and the Minimum Integration Plan envisaged in the six stages for the accomplishment of the African Economic Community (AEC), which include the creation of a free trade area and customs union in each of the eight regional blocks by 2017 that is too ambitious to achieve. The implementation of the IGAD FTA entails the establishment of Free Mobility Regime through the implementation of a Protocol for the Free Movement of Persons. This aims to reduce travel restrictions persisting in the region and to facilitate movement, the right of establishment of business and employment, residence, the acquisition of work permits, and pastoral mobility.  

In the industry sub-sector IGAD is scaling up industry activities like minerals resources processing and development, agro-processing, cotton, textiles and apparels, metal processing and fabrication in conjunction with its member states. The successful implementation of these industry activities will enhance regional integration and economic cooperation and value addition. More importantly it will add value to the living standards of citizens in the member states as it boosts intra-African trade. In line with the African Mining Vision, IGAD is involved in the activities to strengthen the recently established African Minerals Development Centre. 

Social Development (SD) Sector

The ultimate goal of IGAD’s ezistance is the welfare of its population in the form of human security. IGAD aims to accelerate economic and social development and integration of the members of the region through integration efforts of RECs and the Member States. IGAD’s health and social development agenda encompasses all human development issues and upgrading of human welfare in the IGAD region with focus on youth, children, women, and other vulnerable population catagories. This programme is to provide basic services and enhance social development for the people of the IGAD region. The health and social development programme area covers a broad range of sectors which include health, education, employment, social protection, migration, culture, population, and sports. 

Successful accomplishment of social and cultural development should be the basis for regional integration agenda in IGAD regio. So vitally, social development has multiplier and huger positive effect on facilitates achievement of other IGAD strategic objectives in maintaining peace and security throughout the region and promoting advancement in terms of political, economic, environment and agricultural sector leading to sustainable development of the region, and consequently contributing to the continental integration and development. Social development in term of availability of the education, health and wellbeing of the people would enhance the long term development by providing conditions and human capital for decent employment opportunities, by enhancing capacities for implementation of innovative social protection schemes; and by building and improving governance institutions through strengthening of social dialogue.

Peace and Security (PS) Sector 

Peace and security are fundamental prerequisites for the attainment of sustainable development. Threats to peace and security are interlinked and comprise various human insecurities that emanate from both inter and intra-state conflicts and transnational security threats such as terrorism, human and drug trafficking, illicit use of small arms and light weapons among other causes. The resulting political and social problems further threaten development efforts and complicate interventions to alleviate various related challenges. 

In Africa, no region is more plagued with protracted violent conflicts than the IGAD region. The presence of more than four United Nations and African Union peace support operation with more than 50,000 troops in the region (Darfur-Sudan, Abyei, Somalia, South Sudan), hundreds of Qatari military observers on the Djibouti-Eritrea Border and thousands of western military forces on the Djibouti, emphasizes the peace and security challenges afflicting the IGAD region. According to various studies, IGAD member states, including South Sudan, which was sucked into a deeper political crisis and conflict at the end of 2013, are listed among the thirty-five most fragile countries in the World. Sudan faces conflict in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. Terrorism has been source of grave threats to the IGAD region’s peace and development. Since 1993, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda have faced terrorist attacks by Harakat Al Shabaab Al Mujahidden (Al Shabaab) and the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) operating in Uganda and South Sudan.

Complicated by the legacy of colonialism, border disputes have become factors of distrust, and instability with wider regional implications. In some instances, these border disputes have escalated into border wars and led to military invasions. The Ethiopia-Somalia war of 1977, the recent Ethio-Eritrea conflict of 1998, the Djibouti-Eritrea conflicts of 1995 and 2008, and the Sudan-South and Sudan border related wars in 2012 are good examples. As a result, the IGAD region was plagued by protracted violent conflicts and still is besieged by internal and international, mainly border related, wars. 

On the positive note, IGAD has also been at the forefront in the efforts to address these peace and security challenges. Indicative of the progress the region has made in the past two decades or so, in actual terms, IGAD, as institution, has now been transformed from being primarily a group of states determined to fight drought and desertification into a prominent Regional Economic Community (REC), without which no peace and security issues could be effectively dealt with in the region. IGAD has relatively far better experience in peace and security and is therefore better equipped to directly address conflict situations. IGAD is also contributing to the continental peace and security mechanisms and peace support operations. In terms of actual troop contributions, IGAD MSs (Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti) are the leading troop contributing countries to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the UN and the AU Hybrid Peacekeeping Missions in Darfur –UNAMID, Abyei-UNISFA), South Sudan-UNMISS, UNMIL and the Verification and Monitoring Mission in Sudan (2003) as well as the on-going Monitoring and Verification Mission in South Sudan since 2014. IGAD organs have gradually also become more proactive in peace processes and initiatives such as South Sudan, Somalia and Sudan.  As primary targets of terrorist attacks, the IGAD Member States are at the forefront of fighting Al-Shabaab in Somalia and in the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA).

More essentially, in addressing the root causes of protracted conflicts, the IGAD region is increasingly embracing democratic constitutional reforms and empowerment of local communities through increased decentralization, devolution and federalism. Examples include diversity accommodation and decentralization of power in South Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia and to a varying degree in Sudan and Uganda. This has created a feeling of ownership and accountability in the social development process. This trend needs to be deepened to ensure local authorities have the power and the capabilities for designing and implementing of the national development plan, and eventually to create an ultimate desire among the people for further development. Despite being sometimes violent and most often uncompetitive, the IGAD region has witnessed surge of regular elections. Examples include Djibouti (2013), Uganda (2010), Kenya (2007), and Ethiopia (2005).  This is a significant success and a trend that should be upheld. 

The region has also registered progresses in other sectors that could serve as enablers to IGAD as a region and institution to address threats to peace and security. Fastest growing countries, surge in middle class, overall improvement in all sectors including social development and gender, infrastructure-led integrative opportunities, the increasing importance of borderlands, are some of these progresses. With the current promising economic development and overall improvement in governance, there will be an increase in income, and an emerging middle class. Annually, 2% of the youth will be connected via mobile telephones and the Internet, adding millions of the region's inhabitants to the more technologically conversant and connected generations. 

Nevertheless, with such positive mega trends, there are also negative developments, that might portend a more negative scenario in the region. By 2050, the population of IGAD will be 400 million; a substantial increase from today's 230 million. More than 55 per cent of this population will then be at a relatively young age (below 20 years). With an increasingly highly connected, conversant, mobile and vocal but unemployed young population, social unrest could unfortunately outpace reform. The shortage of fresh water, gaps between supply and demand for energy and electricity, and a widening income gap, associated social unrest may increase vulnerabilities of communities to extremists’ ideologies, international crime and transnational threats. Access to land and water remains one of the security and development concerns prevailing in the IGAD region particularly because of cultural, ethnic and economic undertones. With an ever increasing population and the urge for families to secure land, conflicts over land create tensions in communities. While violence could become increasingly localized, its impact will be global with transnational implications such as organized crime in the form of drug trafficking, human trafficking and resultant displacement of populations. Despite limited research, reports indicate that terrorism is also being increasingly funded by drug trafficking, poaching and human trafficking, using these routes. With fast growing aviation, road, maritime and railway transportation services, and expanding aviation traffic to and from the region, drug trafficking can certainly be expected to increase. With the surge of economic growth in the IGAD region, business transactions, foreign investment, transfers of remittances, passenger and freight volumes and the speed of air and other transportation, the region is increasingly becoming vulnerable to money laundering, drug trafficking, piracy, illegal fishing and other trans-national financial criminal acts. With the development of cities that will increasingly prove difficult to govern and provide with basic services the surge in the income gap, associated social unrest and criminal activities may increase. With more extractive exploration and exploitation of natural resources in once neglected borderlands, more localized conflicts over land use may also increase. The peripheries may become centres of oil and mineral exploration and exploitation thus intensification of tension and conflicts between the traditional centres and peripheries of African states may take place.

The progress made so far are the result of reforms in economic and governance sectors. For further accelerated progress, deficit in governance remains the paramount challenge. Almost all protracted and complicated problems in the IGAD region relate to an absence of legitimacy either due to unpopular governance and lack of public and institutional depth in the accommodation to diversity, or the lack of capacity and political will to deliver public goods. As diversified, more connected and more vocal generations join the electorate, and, contestations during voting may become source of violence and further conflicts. The nature of the states, nature of domestic social and political forces including political parties at national and sub-national level, and the nature of international and regional crises and interventions also significantly affect the peace and security of the IGAD region.

Gender Affairs (GA) Sector

Despite disparities among MSs, the IGAD region hosts deeply patrilineal and patriarchal cultural societies. There are pervasive gender inequalities in various dimensions, including access to education, information, employment, credit, land, policy inputs, and decision-making power. The economic, social and political status of women is relatively lower than that of their male counterparts. These inequalities reflect female disadvantage and have in the past been viewed as either human rights or social policy issues with little impact on overall economic performance.   In recognition of these facts and the need to improve the status of women, the Gender Policies of MSs aim at promoting gender equality and empowering women. A unique feature of economies in the IGAD region is that both women and men play considerable economic roles. Gender is a critical economic issue and not only a social equity or human rights concern. Agriculture is the primary source of employment for men and women, with women providing a higher proportion of the labour force, despite country specific or sub-sectoral production variations. In most IGAD Member States, women and men are not equally distributed across the productive economy: agriculture is a female-intensive sector while industry and services are male-dominated.

Moreover, different sectoral growth patterns make diverse demands on female and male labour time usage and have different implications for the gender divisions of income and labour. This is particularly critical in the context of addressing pro-poor, shared or equitable growth and trade expansion in IGAD region, where many trade-oriented sectors (e.g. livestock, horticulture, tea, coffee and cotton) rely on female or male labour. The informal sector dominates the economy of the IGAD region, women take more than half of the informal traders including in the cross-border economy. There are sharp gender inequalities in access to key productive assets including- land, labour, financial services, technology, and inputs; coupled with education and health care. These differences directly or indirectly limit economic growth, productivity, and welfare. Elimination of gender gaps in education alone in Sub Saharan Africa leads o 0.5-0.7 percentage point increase in annual growth rate of per capita GDP. Educational equality may proxy for other types of equality, such as in health care access, access to agricultural inputs and household bargaining power. Intervention in the agriculture, informal economy, and health would take the region far in bringing gender quality. 




The purpose of this strategy, the “IGAD Regional Strategy and Implementation Plan 2016-2020”, is to provide a strategic and integrated framework for regional cooperation in the IGAD priority areas of intervention. The IGAD secretariat has facilitated the development of the Strategy as part of its core role. The Strategy is based on best knowledge at time of writing, as well as on previous and existing work, and has been developed in consultation member states, development partners and non-state actors. It is a whole-of-region and multi-stakeholder Strategy intended to provide a focus for regional cooperation and to improve integration and coordination of planning and activities, particularly between sectors and across geographical boundaries. The Strategy is intended to guide existing and forthcoming plans relevant to regional cooperation and to improve integration, and strategies that are region-wide in scope.

IGAD: its history and development

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa was created in 1996 to supersede the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) which was founded in 1986 to mitigate the effects of the recurring severe droughts and other natural disasters that resulted in widespread famine, ecological degradation and economic hardship in the region. Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda - took action through the United Nations to establish the intergovernmental body for development and drought control in their region. Eritrea became the seventh member after attaining independence in 1993 and in 2011 South Sudan joined IGAD as the eighth member state.

With the new emerging political and socio-economic challenges, the assembly of Heads of State and Government, meeting in Addis Ababa in April 1995, resolved to revitalize IGADD and expand areas of cooperation among Member States. The new and revitalized IGAD was launched during the 5th Summit of IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held on 25-26 November 1996 in Djibouti. The Summit endorsed the decision to enhance regional cooperation in three priority areas of food security and environmental protection, economic cooperation, regional integration and social development peace and security.

IGAD Vision and Mission Statements

The founding leaders of IGAD were motivated by a vision where the people of the region would develop a regional identity, live in peace and enjoy a safe environment alleviating poverty through appropriate and effective sustainable development programmes. The IGAD Secretariat as the executive body of the Authority was given the mandate to achieve this goal.

Vision: IGAD to be the premier Regional Economic Community (REC) for achieving peace and sustainable development in the region.

Mission: Promote regional cooperation and integration to add value to Member States’ efforts in achieving peace, security and prosperity.

Aims and Objectives

As stipulated in Article 7 of the Agreement Establishing IGAD, the aims of IGAD include:

  • Promote joint development strategies and gradually harmonize macro-economic policies and programmes in the social, technological and scientific fields;
  • Harmonize policies with regard to trade, customs, transport, communications, agriculture, and natural resources and environment, and promote free movement of goods, services, and people within the region.
  • Create an enabling environment for foreign, cross-border and domestic trade and investment;
  • Initiate and promote programmes and projects to achieve regional food security and sustainable development of natural resources and environmental protection, and encourage and assist efforts of Member States to collectively combat drought and other natural and man-made disasters and their consequences;
  • Develop and improve a coordinated and complementary infrastructure, in the areas of transport, telecommunications and energy in the region;
  • Promote peace and stability in the region and create mechanisms within the region for the prevention, management and resolution of inter-State and intra-State conflicts through dialogue;
  • Mobilize resources for the implementation of emergency, short-term, medium-term and long-term programmes within the framework of regional cooperation;
  • Facilitate, promote and strengthen cooperation in research development and application in science and technology.
  • Provide capacity building and training at regional and national levels; and
  • Generate and disseminate development information in the region

Areas of Cooperation

The Agreement Establishing IGAD identifies some twenty areas of cooperation among the Member States. In addressing these diverse areas of cooperation in a manageable manner, the overarching IGAD Regional Strategy (2011-15) regrouped them under four Pillars as follows:

Pillar 1: Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment;

Pillar 2: Economic Cooperation, Integration and Social Development; 

Pillar 3: Peace and Security; and Humanitarian Affairs;

Pillar 4: Corporate Development Services

Hence, all IGAD programmes are clustered under these Pillars. The details of the programmes are provided in the specific sectoral and/or departmental strategies.

IGAD recognises the need for close and cooperative partnerships with all stakeholders in translating the ideals of the Strategy into concrete results. To that effect, IGAD has entred into partnerships with relevant actors at the local, national, regional and global levels who have similar mandates for achieving sustainable development in the region. Key IGAD partners include among others: the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Union (EU), Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Ireland, USAID, and Switzerland. Furthermore, IGAD enjoys close cooperation with the African Union (AU), RECs, UN-system agencies, and range of international, regional civil society organisations. 

IGAD Structure

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development is comprised of four hierarchical policy organs as shown in the Figure 1 below:

  • THE ASSEMBLY OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT is the supreme policy making and regulatory organ of the IGAD. It determines the objectives, guidelines and programmes for IGAD and meets once a year. A Chairman is elected from the Member States in rotation.
  • THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS is composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and one other Focal Minister designated by each member state. The Council formulates policy, approves the work programme and annual budget of the Secretariat during its biannual sessions.
  • THE COMMITTEE OF AMBASSADORS is comprised of IGAD Member States' Ambassadors or Plenipotentiaries accredited to the country of IGAD Headquarters. It convenes as often as the need arises to advise and guide the Executive Secretary.
  • THE SECRETARIAT is headed by an Executive Secretary appointed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government for a term of four years, renewable once. The Secretariat assists Member States in formulating regional projects in the priority areas, facilitates the coordination and harmonisation of development policies, mobilises resources to implement regional projects and programmes approved by the Council and reinforces national infrastructures necessary for implementing regional projects and policies.

 The Executive Secretary is assisted by four Directors responsible for:

  • Agriculture and Environment;
  • Economic Cooperation and Social Development;
  • Peace and Security; and
  • Administration and Finance.

Besides the four Divisions and sections at the Headquarters in Djibouti, IGAD has a number of specialized institutions and Programmes hosted by other Member States. These include the IGAD Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN), the IGAD Security Sector Programme (ISSP), the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Area and Livestock Development (ICPALD) and IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC), and the IGAD Regional Aids Programme (IRAPP).

Comparative Advantage

IGAD is a Regional Economic Community (REC), one of the eight building blocs of the African Economic Community (AEC).  The strategic location of the region, its size, ecological diversity, vast resources and people who are naturally integrated by culture and transboundary resources are among the main advantages that IGAD possesses. Furthermore, the IGAD region is host to a number of UN agencies and the AUC (in Addis Ababa and Nairobi), which allows for leveraged communications and faciliating meetings with the various Heads of State on high level policy issues and topics of common interest within the region. 

The IGAD also enjoys the support of the individual Member States, as well as having formidable political clout through the high-level policy organs that are able to work collectively on tackling complex regional issues. Despite prevailing bilateral differences between some Member States, there is a positive commitment towards IGAD as the regional development institution. This is exemplified by the regular use of IGAD as a vehicle for addressing regional problems and concerns such as the Sudan and Somalia Peace Processes, regular participation of all countries in the meetings of the IGAD policy organs, financial contributions paid for the up-keep of the Secretariat and the establishment of political instruments such as IGAD Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN) the IGAD Security Sector Programme (ISSP), the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Area and Livestock Development (ICPALD) and IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC). This political will for regional cooperation is one of the strongest assets of IGAD, and has led to the IGAD Secretariat playing an increasingly important role in regional coordination and working towards developing a common position for the Member States in various regional and international fora, meetings, and conferences. 

The programmatic approach adopted by the IGAD, another comparative advantage of the organization, creates the opportunity to connect individual programs and projects to a longer term vision and outcomes. The approach works on the premise that when diverse actors join their forces, the net effect will be bigger than the sum of the individual activities. Furthermore, a programmatic approach recognizes the importance of local ownership as a crucial and decisive element in creating a common vision and a strategy, setting the agenda and priorities, and establishing a plan of action. As a result, the IGAD has been able to create platforms and fora for engaging technical experts from the Member States to discuss issues concerning the environment, transport, gender affairs, health (HIV/AIDS), drought relience initiative (IDDRSI) and many regional technical committees; thus advancing the collective knowledge of the IGAD region. It has also created platforms where IGAD and its Development Partners discuss on regional priority interventions, mainstreaming of development partners’ programmes and projects into regional development frameworks, resources mobilisation and monitoring of the implementation of programmes and projects supported by Development Partners. The IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) at political and technical levels demonstrate additional strength of IGAD.

Capacity building initiatives such as the Institutional Strengthening Action Programme (ISAP) are another major strength of IGAD. These include identifying training needs, developing training concepts to address the needs, mobilising funds to organize, conduct and facilitate the whole range of IGAD activities including cross-cutting themes like information management, gender and mediation processes.  

The East Africa Migration Route: Building co-operation, information sharing and developing joint practical initiatives amongst countries of origin, transit and destination

Background Information:

Migration can be a constructive economic and social force. But illegal migration has serious negative consequences for all countries concerned. The trans-national dimension of migration requires close co-operation among origin, transit and destination countries in order to jointly identify and implement effective methods for reducing illegal migration flows. The border and migration management regimes in East Africa are uniformly weak, characterized by porous borders, inadequately trained and ill-equipped staff, and minimal regional and cross-regional technical cooperation

The overall objective of this programme is to implement a series of initiatives to address the specific needs and requests for assistance by African target countries. The project, is designed to form a key part of the EU-Africa Dialogue and therefore addressed to authorities from East African countries with particular focus on IGAD Member States responsible for border control and the fight against illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings, with a view to strengthening their respective organizational and managerial capacities to manage migration and developing their capacities in the fields of collecting and analysing intelligence in order to identify facilitators and disrupt their smuggling and related activities.

Additionally the project specifically matches and addresses the interests and needs of the countries of East Africa. The AU has specifically sought to lay an appropriate foundation for building sustainable migration capacity within the region. In its migration policy framework document adopted in Banjul in July 2006, it stated that comprehensive and balanced approaches to migration must be formulated. The AU have also emphasized the need for greater capacity building in the area of migration management, and urged member states to undertake such activities. The project is therefore in direct response to requests by the AU and governments of East African Member States. State’s sustained interest in capacity building through dialogue and technical assistance has also emerged as a matter of consensus in recent consultations between the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the AU-DSA (Department of Social Affairs) and the Intergovernmental Authority of Development (IGAD) in Addis Ababa. 

Duration of the Action is 15 months.

Objectives of the action

Overall Objectives: to improve inter-state and intra-regional cooperation in East Africa, and cooperation between these countries and EU Member States on migration management issues in general and in the fight against the illegal immigration in particular; to address policy and operational challenges associated with migration in East Africa with a view to building the capacity of the targeted African countries and the IGAD Secretariat to manage migration.

Specific Objectives:

i)    Establish a Migration Resource Centre and a network of contacts among officials and an ongoing forum; a Regional Consultative Process (RCP) for the exchange of information and best practice on migration management;
ii)    Enhance the capacity of the targeted African countries, the IGAD Secretariat and EU Member States to collect and analyse intelligence relating to illegal migration in order to identify facilitators and disrupt their activities;
iii)     Organize two technical workshops on key thematic migration issues;
iv)    Address key gaps in the region’s border and migration management structures;
v)     Provide training to officials from East African countries on technical and policy migration management topics;
vi)    Inform potential irregular migrants via targeted publicity campaigns of the dangers of irregular migration.
vii)    Assess the feasibility of undertaking of a joint operation in an African country to disrupt illegal migration.

Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), African Union (AU), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), European Union, United Kingdom, Italy, Malta and the Netherlands.

Target groups
Governments of Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda and Yemen

Final beneficiaries

IGAD, Governments/nationals of Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda and Yemen. Governments and nationals of EU Member States currently affected by illegal immigration from East Africa.
Estimated results
i)    Sustainable foundations for regional migration management, through the creation of an IGAD Migration Resource Centre.
ii)    Improved co-operation between EU Member States and the target countries in the field of migration.
iii)    Increased skill and capacity on the part of the target countries to manage and analyse migration flows.
iv)    Better trained migration officials with enhanced skills levels on migration management issues.
v)    Decrease in the flow of irregular and uninformed migrants from East Africa.
vi)    Gaps in border management assessed and addressed.
vii)    A Regional Consultative process (RCP) to enhance cooperation at the sub-regional level.
viii)    The feasibility of a joint operation with an African country to disrupt irregular migration assessed.

Main Activities

1. IGAD Migration Resource Centre.
The establishment of an IGAD Migration Resource Centre at the IGAD Secretariat to act as a clearing house for strengthened and harmonized migration management operations, and as the hub for a network of contact points in East Africa and to coordinate with the EU Joint .Analysis Unit.

2. Joint Analysis Unit.
Creation of a special unit of EU debriefing analysts that could be deployed in specific locations on the East Africa migration route to analyse debriefing material and train third country officials in debriefing and intelligence analysis.

3. EU-Africa Technical Workshops.
Organizing two technical consultative workshops on migration management issues including: a) inter-state and intra-regional cooperation on migration management; b) border management and irregular migration.

4. Technical Assessments and Professional Training.
Provision of preliminary technical assessments of strategically selected land borders and migration processes, and targeted recommendations for addressing key gaps in the region’s border and migration management structures, including professional training.

5. Information Campaigns.
To design and deliver publicity campaigns directed at potential irregular migrants, advising them of the dangers of irregular migration and legal alternatives.

6. Feasibility study.
To undertake a feasibility study for the undertaking of a joint operation in an African country to disrupt illegal migration

Background on the Establishment of HESAD

1ST IGAD/WHO  Conference on the Horn of Africa Initiative of 1996.

  • Provide better services to border populations of the 7 countries.
  • Contribute increased inter-country collaboration, reduced border tensions.
  • foster peace and development

2nd Conference on the Horn of Africa initiative of 1998 (led to the signing of the horn of Africa initiative, protocol for cooperation and plan of action of march 1998).

  • WHO was asked to facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the protocol
  • Cooperation agreement between IGAD and WHO AFRO and EMRO (2001).
  • Maputo Summit of Heads of States and Government decided of the establishment of HESAD
  • 1st AU conference of Ministers of Health, Tripoli 2003 requested".....all Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to establish Health and Social Affairs Desks...."
  • 22nd Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers in Kampala in Oct 2003 " mandates the Executive Secretary of IGAD to take immediate action to implement this resolution on the Establishment and operalisation  of the Health and Social Affairs Desk at IGAD in collaboration with WHO, the World Bank and others Stakeholders.

Establishment of HESAD

  • HESAD established within IGAD structure in april 2005 following IGAD council of Ministers decision in Nairobi in march 2005.
  • Health and Education are main priorities areas of HESAD, but also migration, culture, promotion of employment...

Mandate of HESAD


  • Facilitate consultation and harmonization of common social
  • Initiate development of common strategies/programmes for control of major Health problem at their borders
  • Promote the establishment/coordination of regional health information system (HIS) and exchange of information and experience
  • Promote joint operational research and establish/disseminate a roster of Experts and consultants in the field of health and social affairs
  • Promote optimization of Health services on border areas
  • Facilitate joint planning and coordinate implementation of international initiatives ( polio etc..) with cross border implications eg same day
  • Promote peace building health activities ( Health as a bridge for peace).
  • Monitor the implementation of the various health protocols signed by IGAD

Cooperation with Partners

  • African union ( Regional Economic Communities (RECs)  are the pillars of the African Union).
  • UNFPA   ( cooperation agreement
  • UNESCO (cooperation agreement
  • WHO ( cooperation agreement
  • IOM ( cooperation agreement


Launched in august 2003 with a WB grant to IGAD (US 495,000) to strengthen M&E of HIV/AIDS in the Horn of  Africa in order to complement the efforts of Member States. Four priority components:

  1. Strengthen the M&E capacity of IGAD Member States
  2. Establish a network of M&E practitioners in the region dealing with HIV/AIDS with a view to share experiences and contribute to sustainability of the initiative
  3. create a means to monitor trans-border HIV prevalence level as well as other factors relevant to HIV transmission
  4. strengthen IGAD capacity to coordinate the harmonization of the sub-regional response to HIV/AIDS

A workshop to develop a road map for the development and improvement of M7E HIV was held in Addis in Dec 2003.

In Sept 2005 regional workshop for the national experts including regional experts.

Mapping exercise was conducted and concluded in the seven IGAD countries.

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