February 12, 2021. Khartoum, Sudan. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in partnership with the Government of Germany through GIZ, and the Government of Sudan conducted a two-day national consultation on the IGAD Teacher Training Initiative (ITTI) on 10 - 12 February 2021 in Khartoum, Sudan.

The IGAD Teacher Training Initiative (ITTI) will provide training to 100 secondary school teachers in Sudan as well as an additional 100 teachers in refugee settings and host communities in each of Ethiopia and Uganda. The initiative strives to improve education quality standards and to achieve full inclusion of refugees, returnees and host communities in national education systems in IGAD member states – a main pillar of the Djibouti Declaration on Refugee Education, signed in 2017. The implementation will be conducted in close cooperation with national teacher training institutes and carried out by the consultancy firm Particip GmbH under guidance of IGAD and the German Development Cooperation.

The meeting in Khartoum was a first step to bring all relevant stakeholders including senior experts from the ministries of Education, Foreign Affairs, Interior, national and state refugee commissions, TVET agencies, IGAD Secretariat and representatives of partner institutions including UNHCR, UNESCO and others on board.

The objectives of the national consultation were:

- to introduce the ITTI as one of the IGAD-GIZ regional flagship programs;

- to create common understanding on the importance of training teachers for quality education, and

- to prepare the ground for subsequent up-scaling and replication of the initiative.

Speaking on behalf of the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Ms. Fathia Alwan, the IGAD Director of the Health and Social Development Division, emphasized that the quality of education and training largely depends on the quality of teachers. She added that IGAD is committed to work closely with member states and partners to build the capacity of teachers in the region.

Ambassador Magdi Mofadal, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mrs. under Secretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Education, welcomed the IGAD initiative, appreciated the support of the German Development Cooperation through GIZ and expressed their strong commitment to make the teacher training a success.

Sudan has already taken significant steps towards the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration by formulating a National Costed Education Response Plan in early 2020 with the support of IGAD and GIZ. The teacher training initiative will further accelerate the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration and will reach 100 secondary school teachers in refugee settings and host communities in Sudan. 

In addition to the national consultation, the IGAD Delegation, led by Ms. Fathia Alwan, paid working visits to the University of Khartoum and International University of Africa, which was followed by a courtesy call to the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Education.

The discussion with the universities focused on strengthening partnership between IGAD and higher education institutions for enhanced regional cooperation and people-to-people interaction, including through scholarship opportunities. The leadership of the two universities appreciated IGAD's commitment to cooperate with universities and expressed readiness to collaborate with IGAD on a number of areas of common interest including research, innovation and exchange programs. They also stressed the importance of developing and implementing a Regional Qualification Framework to allow certification, mutual recognition, and accreditation of learning outcomes among IGAD member states – one of the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Looking forward, IGAD and the universities have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and to plan common activities. Moreover, IGAD and the Ministry of Education agreed to continue to work together, especially on promoting access to quality education for refugees, returnees and host communities in the context of the Djibouti Declaration.