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Djibouti, 06-11-2013: The Minister of Higher Education and Research of Djibouti, HE Dr. Nabil Mohamed Ahmed, this morning declared the first meeting of the Steering Committee of the Consortium of IGAD Universities (CUI) open in the presence of the Speaker of the House of Federation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Hon. Kassa Tekleberhan, the State Minister of Education of Ethiopia, Dr. Kaba Urguessa, the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Djibouti, Amb. Suleiman Dedefo, and the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Ambassador (Engineer) Mahboub Maalim, at Djibouti Sheraton Hotel.

This meeting of the Steering Committee of the CIU was organized by IGAD Peace and Security Division and facilitated its Director, Hon. Netsannet Asfaw, who welcomed the officials presiding over the opening ceremony as well as the members of the steering committee.

The Executive Secretary of IGAD, Ambassador (Engineer) Mahboub Maalim, gave some information background on the formation of the CIU and its Steering Committee in his remarks. “Major Universities of the IGAD region first convened in Debrezeit, Ethiopia last July with the idea to form a consortium. It was that first consultative meeting that gave birth to the Steering Committee here present today in order to work on the next step for the full realization of the idea”, he said before adding that “it is important to prepare the youth of IGAD region to the global reality of today, and we can only do this by synergizing efforts through this consortium”.

Ambassador (Engineer) Mahboub Maalim committed his organization to support all the endeavors of the consortium and called upon Dr. Kaba Urguessa, State Minister of education of Ethiopia, for a few words to the audience.

Dr. Urguessa took the opportunity to thank the Minister of Higher Education and Research of Djibouti, HE Dr. Nabil Mohamed Ahmed, and his ministry for the warm welcome reserved to the steering committee. “We chose to come to Djibouti for this first meeting of the Steering Committee before going to Khartoum for the official launch of the Consortium of IGAD Universities”, he said. He reminded the audience that higher education was not a luxury anymore and that a consortium of universities in the region was needed to participate in the fight against poverty before thanking everybody involved in the process and especially the members the Steering Committee.

Finally, HE Dr. Nabil Mohamed Ahmed took the floor to show appreciation as Djibouti was chosen to host the first Steering Committee meeting. “We all know that education is the basis for the path to peace and prosperity”, he said before declaring the first Steering Committee of the CIU meeting open.

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