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CEWARN alongside relevant IGAD divisions, specialized units and partners will launch a pilot implementation of the IGAD policy framework on Informal Cross-border Trade (ICBT) and Cross-border Security Governance (CBSG).

The Policy framework was adopted by IGAD Member State Ministers in-charge of trade on 21 June 2018.  It  proposes key shifts in the conduct of informal cross-border trade in the IGAD region to promote human security and cross-border security governance.

An implementation roadmap was developed at a two-day planning retreat held on 22-23 November in Bishoftu with IGAD divisions, specialized units and partners.

The meeting brought together  IGAD Divisions of Agriculture and Environment, Economic cooperation and Health and Social Development. Other specialized offices and programmes represented included:  IGAD Center for Pastoral and Arid Lands Development (ICPALD); IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience Initiative (IDDRSI); IGAD Security Sector Programme (ISSP) and IGAD Center of Excellence for Preventing and countering Violent Extremism (ICEPCVE).

The pilot implementation is envisaged to span three years and will have an inception phase when CEWARN and partners would embark in extensive awareness raising on the Policy framework across the region and mobilize resources for pilot implementation. During the same period, a pilot implementation sites will be identified and a  pilot project design will be developed. Relevant stakeholders will also be identified and engaged.

In terms of key outcomes, the pilot implementation will focus on informal cross border trade facilitation, the establishment of additional cross-border control or crossing points, offices and service facilities at appropriate intervals of selected sites as well as tackling gender-based crimes and empowering women traders. It will also focus on trans-boundary animal disease control; promoting participation of borderland communities in policy consultations to ensure that ICBT-CBSG related decisions are enriched by community voices a well as initiating open-source data center on cross-border economic exchanges and ICBT in IGAD region.

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