The Executive Secretary of IGAD, Amb. (Eng) Mahboub Maalim has welcomed to the IGAD Secretariat a high level delegation from Finland headed by Foreign Minister H.E. Erkki Tuomioja and Minister for International Development H.E. Heidi Hautala. The Director General for Africa and the Middle East, Risto Piipponen, and Director for Africa Helena Airaksinen were also members of the Delegation, guided by H.E. Amb Leo Olasvirta and Ms. Kaisa-Reetta Karhu from the Embassy of Finland in Addis Ababa.
The purpose of the visit by the ministers was to get first-hand information on the situation in the Horn of Africa Region, especially in relation to Finland’s support to the development cooperation in accordance with Finland’s Development Policy Programme. The Delegation’s tour in the region included Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Djibouti. They expressed a particular interest in supporting fragile states.
The delegation listened to briefings about the roles and programme activities of IGAD and its Specialized Institutions with a keen interest in issues of regional integration, peace and security situation, investments and trade in development operations, women’s empowerment and gender equality, mediation and confidence building, and water sector agenda. The Delegates exchanged views about the region with the Executive Secretary and heads of programs.
Finland is an active member of IGAD’s Partners Forum and presently supports IGAD’s capacity building agenda bilaterally and through a Joint Funding Arrangement with the other Nordic countries.
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