The IGAD Executive Secretary, (ES) Amb. Mahboub Maalim and Mr. Mohamed Ali Hassan- the Secretary General (SG), Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Djibouti held a series of meetings with senior officials from USAID and Department of State in Washington DC. The main focus of the discussions was the achievements made in operationalization and development of the IGAD Center of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism. (ICEPCVE) and how to maintain the momentum to ensure sustainability of the Center.
The ES and SG met with the following US government officials: Mr. Justin Siberall, Acting Coordinator Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism Department of State; Mr. Jason Fraser-Acting AssistantAdministrator USAID; Mr. Eric Whitaker and Ms. Jeanne Maloney-Acting Deputy Assistant Secretaries for African Affairs; Mr. Tom Hushek -Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Mr. Neal Kringel-Director Africa Operations Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization; and Mr. Daniel Kimmage-Acting Coordinator Global Engagement Center US Department of State.
The ES and SG updated the US official on the excellent achievements that has been registered in operationalizing the Center. The ES and SG observed that the establishment of the Center has been endorsed and approved by key policy making organs within IGAD. A Regional Strategy for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism has been developed and approved. A Civil Societies Digital Hub is up and running. The Center has undertaken trainings on counter messaging among others.
The US officials expressed their satisfactions with the great progress that have been achievement by the Center. Theypledged the US government continued support to ensure that the Center is sustainable and operates effectively and efficiently.
The ES also participated in high level diplomats around table discussions at the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) that was moderated by Amb. Princeton Lyman. The ES presentation focused on IGAD’s efforts in prevention and countering violent extremism; and resolving the South Sudan crisis.