Monday, Dec 09, 2019

 

July 03, 2019 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held its 4th Regional Project Steering Committee (RPSC) meeting in Addis Ababa on June 24 and 25.

The RPSC is one of the key platforms which brings project countries together in order to share experiences, report on the progress made and the challenges, and the technical support they may require in line with the project objectives under DRDIP. The RPSC’s role is key to the realization of the objectives of this strategy and each project country is called upon to actively participate and share information at all platforms.

The participating countries to the Project are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. They were joined by Somalia for the first time.

The Coordinator of the Regional Secretariat for Forced Displacement and Mixed Migration (RSFDMM), Dr. Mohamed Elduma, informed the delegates that the Regional Secretariat was successfully relocated to Djibouti and was now fully operational. He added that on top of the World Bank, other development partners have joined to support the development response to forced displacement in the region through the Regional Migration Fund supported by the German Government.

He also reminded the delegates of the upcoming Midterm Review due to take place in July 2019. He finally noted that steps have been taken to address the gaps in communication between IGAD and the countries Project Implementation Units.

The Social Development Specialist of the World Bank, Mr. Samuel Lule, tasked the members of the Steering Committee to support IGAD in defining the research Agenda and identifying the technical assistance required. The World Bank Representative also underscored the role played by IGAD in spearheading the development response agenda in the IGAD region. Mr. Lule urged the delegates to spearhead the implementation of the delayed activities ahead of the upcoming midterm review.

During this 4th Steering Committee meeting, the IGAD Regional Secretariat for Forced Displacement and Mixed Migration and the countries’ Project Implementation Units (PIUs) for the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP):

  • Reviewed DRDIP implementation Progress Update for the year 2019 as part of facilitating exchange of information to support learning and sharing agenda;
  • Discussed and defined the research agenda for IGAD Regional Secretariat;

The participants also agreed on structured communication channels through which stories, best practises and lessons learnt from implementing countries are shared with IGAD Regional Secretariat for publication and dissemination.

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June 24, 2019 (ENTEBBE, Uganda): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today opened the ‘IGAD Member States Validation Meeting on the Draft Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Its Road Map for Negotiation and Implementation’ in Entebbe under the leadership of the IGAD Migration Programme’s Free Movement Project Officer, Ms. Lucy Daxbacher.

These five-day discussions on the draft Protocol, which were preceded by country-level consultations on subject matter in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, are the first of the kind and will be followed by two other similar meetings.

Participants to these first regional discussions are experts and officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, of Interior, of Justice, of Labour, Attorney Generals and National Security agencies mainly.

This meeting is meant to validate the following documents on the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the IGAD Region namely:

  • The National Consultative Reports on the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in IGAD Region;
  • The Study on benefits and barriers of Free Movement of Persons in IGAD Region;
  • The Draft Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in IGAD Region;
  • The Road Map for the Implementation of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in IGAD Region.

On fifth day, Negotiations on the Protocol will be launched by submission of observations by countries. Time will be made to plan for the next round of negotiations, and also to schedule working missions to the Secretariats of the East African Community and of the Economic Community of West Africa States for the purpose of exposing IGAD Member States to best practices and lessons learnt by similar regional bodies on the continent.

During the last couple of years, IGAD Secretariat undertook national consultative meetings with all its Member States to get a clear understanding of the benefits and barriers to free movement of persons in the region as well as get inputs of the Member States experts into the thematic provisions of the Draft Protocol with support from European Union Trust Fund.

Developed in the past decade, IGAD has a rigorous Migration Governance Architecture backed up by strong policy instruments. Migration at IGAD is therefore addressed within the framework of Regional Migration Policy Framework (RMPF) that is derived from the continental framework on Migration adopted in Banjul in 2006.

The Framework was adopted by the IGAD Council of Ministers in 2012 and has become the primary IGAD policy reference on migration. The IGAD RMPF provides a comprehensive policy approach that addresses thematic, institutional and other challenges related to migration governance in the IGAD Region with an ultimate objective of achieving the developmental potential of migration. In order to implement the RMPF, the IGAD Secretariat developed the Migration Action Plan (MAP) 2015-2020 which sets priorities among which is the establishment of the free movement regime in IGAD Region.

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June 15, 2019 (DIRE DAWA, Ethiopia): The Migration Programme of the Intergovernmental Authority in Development (IGAD) today closed a retreat workshop during which the staff members of the Programme components devised ways and means of synergizing efforts towards the achievement of the overall IGAD Migration Programme goal.

 After a comprehensive overview of the Projects under the Programme, the team devised a tracking grid to capture the projects’ areas of intervention so as to identify overlaps and gaps. This exercise helped in visualising areas requiring closer cooperation between two or more Projects, and unravelling least covered areas.

 The team also elaborated on a Programme-wide events calendar for an optimum planning of activities that feed into each other across the board at times. The retreat was also the opportunity to reflect on the current IGAD Communication Strategy and other communication tools in vigour IGAD wide.

 The Director of the Health and Social Development Division, Ms Fathia A. Alwan, did open the discussions on Thursday by calling on the other Programmes under the Division for similar team building initiatives. Ms Alwan highlighted the timeliness of such a retreat ‘considering that the Migration Programme is probably the fastest growing programme currently, and with multiple development and implementing partners onboard’. She called for a unified action plan that will propel the Programme in a harmonised way.

 The Migration Programme is made up of the following Projects:

  • The Development Response to Displacement Impacts;
  • The Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance Protocol;
  • Improved Migration Governance for Safe Orderly and Regular Mobility;
  • Strengthening IGAD Migration Policy Implementation;
  • The Regional Migration Fund; and
  • The Migrations Statistics.

 The Migration Programme retreat was made possible with support from the German Agency for Development GIZ.

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                                                                                                                              Director of the HSD, Ms Fathia A. Alwan.

June 12, 2019 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today closed a workshop during which experts reviewed the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in preparation of the upcoming IGAD Member States meeting to discuss the document in Uganda June 24-28, 2019.

Experts in migration matters from IGAD, the African Union Commission, the East African Community, the Economic Community of West African States, the German development agency GIZ, and the UN International Labour Organisation were invited to this ‘Experts Technical Review Meeting of the Draft Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the IGAD Region’.

In a brief opening session, the Director of the Health and Social Development, Ms Fathia A. Alwan, reminded the audience that the Free Movement of Persons is in the IGAD Charter of 1996. ‘We started working on the task in 2013 and it is since 2017 that we have been getting financial support from the European Union,’ she said before thanking the African Union and the International Labour Organisation for their technical contribution to the process.

She also highlighted that, this meeting being the last experts meeting to review the Protocol before it is submitted to Member States, experts had to ‘agree to a clear and concise document that will incorporate the comments and observations from Member States collected during the national level consultations’.

The experts undertook a thorough review and finalised the following themes of the Draft Protocol:

  • Entry, Stay and Exit
  • Labour mobility
  • Right of Residence
  • Right of Establishment
  • Disaster Induced Displacement
  • Groups such as Refugees and Pastoralists
  • Standard legal provisions

During the last couple of years, IGAD Secretariat undertook national consultative meetings with all its Member States to get a clear understanding of the benefits and barriers to free movement of persons in the region as well as get inputs of the Member States experts into the thematic provisions of the Draft Protocol with support from European Union Trust Fund.

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26 May 2019, DJIBOUTI (Djibouti): The Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Migration Programme today held a meeting with the World Bank within the framework of the support provided to the regional organisation in terms of the project implementation.

This 4th Support Implementation Mission to IGAD gathered IGAD DRDIP team in full led by the Director of IGAD Health & Social Development Division, Ms Fathia A. Alwan, and the Senior Programme Coordinator, Dr Mohamed H. Elduma, while the World Bank was represented by Mr. Esayas Nigatu, Senior Livestock and Pastoral Development Specialist.

The mission mainly focused on reviewing work programme, agreeing on acceleration plan for the activities behind schedule, and finalising the scope and timing for the project midterm review scheduled for June or July 2019.

In her opening remarks, Ms Alwan recalled that the DRDIP team was now complete and the relocation of the IGAD Regional Secretariat for Migration from Nairobi to Djibouti was effected. She assured all the activities planned for this year will be executed and an accelerated implementation plan was in order.

She furthermore thanked the World Bank for the extra support brought to the IGAD Member States that are parties to the DRDIP initiative: Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. As part of the second phase of the Project, Ms Alwan also pledged IGAD commitment to be ‘more proactively engaging with Somalia government authorities responsible for refugees, returnees and durable solutions so as to address issues of return and reintegration’.

She finally called on the World Bank to agree on pushing the Midterm Review of the first phase of the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP 1) back to the beginning of 2020.

The World Bank supported IGAD towards the establishment of a Regional Secretariat on Forced Displacement and Mixed Migration within the context of the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP) in the Horn of Africa. This project contributes to the improvement of economic opportunities, environmental management and access to social services in refugee hosting areas of project countries. The Djibouti-based DRDIP Regional Secretariat objective is to advance the development approach to displacement through advocacy, research and knowledge generation working with think tanks and universities in the IGAD region.

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