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22 February 2021 (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia) : The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, this morning inaugurated the 2nd IGAD Scientific Conference on Migration and Displacement in Addis Ababa.

This three-day conference is organised in cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and with support from the EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response Programme and Switzerland.

IGAD is holding this scientific conference in technical collaboration with the University of Addis Ababa, Maseno University, the Kenya Institute of Migration Studies (KIMS) and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).

This years’ IGAD scientific conference addresses migration and displacement in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is bringing together researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and international institutions to share their experience, knowledge and give policy recommendations on how IGAD and its Member States can more effectively protect vulnerable groups and increase the resilience of migrants, refugees, displaced persons and host communities to better mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his opening remarks, Dr Workneh said his conviction that the conference would not ‘focus on just the problems in migration and displacement but turn its attention to the potential solutions that should be adopted’. He recalled that IGAD had’ embraced and supports the continuous development of a systematic research agenda that credibly informs future policy directions in all areas, including sustainable approaches to managing mixed migration and forced displacement’.

The Executive Secretary added that the ‘research outputs generated in this conference shall be instrumental in shaping policy options for IGAD Member States and influencing programming for durable and transitional solutions that combine both humanitarian and development approaches’.

The Regional Director of the International Organisation for Migration, the UNHCR Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, the Addis Ababa-based Director Ethiopia International Labour Organisation, the Ambassador of Germany to Ethiopia and a representative from the Ministry of Peace of Ethiopia also took the floor during the opening ceremony.

The main objectives of the conference are as follows:

  • To serve as a deliberative platform for scientific dialogue and bring decision/policy makers, academia, civil societies, media experts and related stakeholders together to foster a collaborative dialogue on migration as well as to present scientific research on new and emerging issues of migration and displacement in the context of COVID-19;
  • To conduct and present scientific solutions for filling the policy-implementation gap and informing policy making based on evidence;
  • To develop stronger links and establish networks between IGAD, its MSs and research and training institutions, working in the area of migration and displacement in the region.

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