March 12, 2020 (ARTA, Djibouti): A group of intelligent and committed individuals does not automatically make an effective team. The performance of any program or a division depends not only on the quality of individual staff members and managers, but especially on how they, as a group, interact, collaborate, and challenge on another and contribute to shared objectives.
Under the leadership of the new Executive Secretary, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, IGAD embarked on the development of a “100-days Action Plan” to strengthen individual and institutional performance and capacity to deliver on a mandate that is of critical importance to the IGAD region. As part of this internal capacity stocktaking exercise, IGAD’s Agriculture and Environment Division (AED) held a two-day offsite teambuilding retreat with the overall purpose of finding ways for better coordination, collaboration and synergy in the Division’s implementation of IGAD programs and projects.
From 11-12 March 2020, some 17 colleagues of AED plus associated staff from e.g. support units (e.g. Accounting), worked together in the mountain-area of Arta, to learn about the most common root causes of dysfunctions on teams, and the keys and tools for overcoming them. Based on the widely used model “The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team”, participants discussed and committed to context-specific and culturally appropriate strategies they can put to use immediately and apply on an ongoing basis to become more productive and effective as a Division.
The retreat was facilitated by Marco Noordeloos, an executive coach and international management consultant with 20 years’ of experience in leadership and organization development, particularly in the development sector and public sector in Africa, with financial support from the Embassy of Sweden in Addis Ababa.
Mr. Noordeloos said “all participants took a personal assessment which allowed us, as a group, to develop a more intimate understanding of personalities in the group, and behavioural guidelines for effective collaboration and communication based on individual participants’ work-style profiles.”
Other specific outcomes from the retreat included a clear plan for regular thematic and operational meetings at Division-level to facilitate synergy and cross-fertilization of ideas and resources, and the establishment of an internal M&E task force that will leverage currently available expertise to provide more efficient and effective planning, tracking and reporting of activities across the Division.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Moussa, Director of AED stated: “The team that started the retreat yesterday, is not the same team that is going back to the IGAD office today. We are going to make important changes in how we work together. All of us will need to practice the skills we’ve learned and stick with the commitments we’ve made here. And that applies to me as well.”
March 9, 2020 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today convened a meeting for Ministers in Charge of Forestry of its Member States to endorse the IGAD Regional Forestry Policy and Strategy in Djibouti.
This policy complements the existing national policies, regional, continental and global frameworks such as the IGAD Regional Environment Policy, IGAD Regional Environmental Impact Assessment Policy Framework and Protocol, the IGAD Regional Climate Change Strategy, the IGAD Regional Environmental and Resources Management Strategy; IGAD Biodiversity Policy and Protocol; and various international and regional policies and frameworks.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, Livestock and Fisheries Resources of Djibouti, HE Mohamed Ahmed Awaleh, stressed that the most suitable approach to the management of forestry resources was ‘the regional one given that forests are trans boundary in nature while Member States are confronted to similar challenges’, before officially opening the meeting.
Speaking for IGAD Executive Secretary, the Director of Agriculture and Environment Division, Mr. Mohamed Moussa, highlighted that ‘the policy and strategy document will contribute to the implementation of a number of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and Conventions’. He added that it would also ‘enhance resilience of ecosystems and communities against climate change and variability, and economic shocks respectively’.
‘However, the development and endorsement of a regional policy and strategy is not enough to protect the forest resources in the region. It is rather the level of our commitment to properly implement the policy and strategy that would contribute to the sustainable management of forest resources in the region,’ he concluded his opening remarks.
The Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to Djibouti, Dr Dademanao Pissang Tchangai, expressed his satisfaction to see the ‘process reaching fruition’ and said his confidence that development partners and many stakeholders will collaborate and join IGAD’s efforts to implement actions in the forestry strategy’.
This policy provides opportunities for IGAD Member States to assess and review their national forest policies and strategies, enhancing implementation capacities and sustainable management of the national and trans-boundary forest resources.
This meeting was held as part of a Technical Cooperation Project between IGAD and FAO with the support of the Regional groundwater initiative project funded by World Bank.
This Ministerial Meeting was preceded by a two-day technical meeting on March 7 and 8 during which experts reviewed the draft IGAD Regional Forestry Policy and Strategy.
March 3, 2020 (ADDIS ABAB, Ethiopia) The third Horn of Africa Wildlife Enforcement Network (HAWEN) Executive Committee meeting was convened today at the African Union Head Quarters in Addis Ababa. “Today is World Wildlife Day. IGAD is bringing its Member States and Partners at this World Wildlife Day to enhance the agenda of protecting wildlife in the region.” Said Dr. Debalkew Berhe, IGAD Program Manager for Environment.
Jan. 28, 2020, MOMBASA (Kenya): The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, yesterday inaugurated the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum 54 (GHACOF54) in Mombasa in the presence of the Guest of Honour, Hon. Mohammed Elmi, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Kenya.