24-09-2017, Khartoum (Sudan): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in partnership with the Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute (HESPI) this morning launched the 2017 HESPI Conference on IGAD Economies with focus on “Youth Unemployment and Creating Opportunities through Trade & Investment” at the Mamoun Beheiry Centre (BMC) in Khartoum during an inaugural ceremony presided over by the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Sudan, H.E Mr. Magdi Hassan.
IGAD Executive Secretary was represented at the high table by the Director of Economic Integration Division-Mr Elsadig Abdalla, with the HESPI Board Chairperson-Amb. Peter Robreh, the Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa-Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, and the Executive Director of MBC-Prof. Munzoul Assal, sitting for their respective organisations.
H.E Magdi Hassan pointed out that the conference was a demonstration of commitment to the issue of youth employment and that investment and trade were key for job creation and economic growth. He added that youth unemployment was not specific to the IGAD region only but that there was need for better education in order to prepare them to the employment market.
Director Elsadig emphasized that youth represents more than half of IGAD population and that they could be an asset of productivity or a source of instability depending on the ways their potential is harnessed. “As a central theme, regional trade and investment require a carefully elaborated analysis to meet the challenge of youth unemployment and of other economic challenges”, he said.
Dr Abdalla Hamdok noted that IGAD was home to Djibouti and Ethiopia which were among “the ten fastest and best performing economies in the world”. “IGAD countries should seek to enhance intra-regional trade by both strengthening regional cluster integration and lowering the cost of trade for harnessing the potential of a large and growing international market in the sub region”, he said.
The African Capacity Building Foundation is sponsoring this event.