Mekelle (Ethiopia), 18-10-2015: The Director of Agriculture and Environment Division (AED) of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Mr. Mohamed Moussa, and the President of the University of Mekelle (UM) in Ethiopia, Dr. Kindeya Gebrehiwot, today presided over the graduation ceremony of students from the IGAD MSc Fellowship Programme in Integrated River Basin Management at the premises of Makele University.

Nine students, drawn from IGAD member states Ministries in charge of water management (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan), graduated from this two-year long MSc Integrated River Basin Management Course while the tenth is yet to finalize some papers. It is to be noted that it is within the same fellowship programme that two Kenyans graduated equally from Nairobi University in Kenya, and two Ugandan nationals from Makerere University in Uganda earlier this year.

It is in this respect that Mr. Mohamed Moussa noted down how successful the programme is without forgetting to remind the audience that the ultimate objective of the programme is to “promote sustainable management of water resources in the region in order to stimulate economic and socio-development”.

“I am convinced that you can take up the role of IGAD water ambassadors in order to promote the sustainable water resources management in the region, particularly in the case of transboundary river and ground water development at national and regional levels”, he said.

Dr. Kindeya Gebrehiwot in his opening remarks highlighted the support from IGAD Makelle University received in “a number of research and capacity building projects in various fields of specialization”.  On top of acquiring new skills and further knowledge in water management, the graduates gained a better “understanding of each other’s values and cultures and laid foundation on how to work and overcome common challenges", according to the President of MU.

Abdullahi Hassan from Somalia, speaking on behalf of the graduates, thanked all parties involved in the fellowship Programme and called on IGAD to keep on nurturing such regional fellowship programmes and trainings for member states civil servants.

This IGAD MSc Fellowship Programme in Integrated River Basin Management falls under the European Union funded IGAD Inland Water Resources Management Programme (INWRMP) that closed March 2015. ###