Nairobi, 30-10-2014: It was within the framework of simultaneous national validation workshops across IGAD member states towards the formulation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Regional Strategy and Implementation Plan 2016-2020 that had been launched on September 6th this year, that Mr. Richard Barno – Director of IGAD Conflict Early Warning Response and Mechanism (CEWARN) – inaugurated the validation workshop for Kenya in Nairobi on October 30th.
Similar two-day long validation workshops aimed at validating baseline studies at the national level of IGAD priority sectors also opened the same day in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Juba (South Sudan), and Kampala (Uganda), while the same were scheduled for November 1st and 2nd for the countries of Djibouti, Somalia, and Sudan.
These workshops were gathering the national consultants who conducted the baseline studies in their respective countries in the IGAD priority sectors (i.e. Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment; Regional Cooperation and Integration; Peace and Security; Social Development; Gender Affairs) and officials from member states concerned ministries.
Participants were welcomed to the validation workshop in Nairobi by Mr. Muriithi Micheni, IGAD Focal Point-Kenya Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, highlighted the collective efforts by all concerned stakeholders in contributing to the quality of the States of Sectors reports being presented during the workshop. He urged his colleagues from the concerned ministries of Kenya and the national consultants to work even more together during the workshop and beyond the workshop days to fine tune the findings for accurate and reliable baseline studies.
During his opening remarks, Mr. Barno, speaking on behalf the Executive Secretary of IGAD, took the audience through a brief recapitulation of the process that brought the participants together. “As you may remember well, IGAD Secretariat and member states officials from concerned ministries have been through the process of jointly identifying the priority sectors we are working on for the IGAD Regional Strategy and Implementation Plan 2016-2020”, he said. IGAD then, in each member state, called on national consultants for the purpose of baseline studies. “We were all together with counterparts and peers from all member states for the launch of the IGAD Regional Strategy beginning of September 2014. And we are here today to hear from you, as national consultants, in your respective sectors so we contribute from the Kenyan perspective to the IGAD Regional Strategy 2016-2020 as much as the other validation workshops being conducted simultaneously”, he said.
Eng. Mwathi Kungu, Senior Regional Expert-IGAD Project Preparation and Management Unit (PPMU), after going through the programme of the workshop along with the participants, put the focus of the workshop on reviewing the Sector Baseline Study compiled by the consultants in view of the current national sector policies and strategies, programmes, and institutional and legal frameworks; on the challenges and problems at national level in achieving sustainable development in the sector; on opportunities for the sector at national level; on the challenges facing the sector that could be better addressed at the regional level; on opportunities that could be better handled at the regional level.
The primary objective of the overall task is to formulate a result-oriented IGAD Regional Strategy with a medium-term Implementation Plan 2016-2020, focusing on IGAD’s priority areas of intervention, taking into account new and emerging development challenges and opportunities facing the region.