August 18, 2022 (Djibouti, Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to deepen collaboration in various areas of mutual interest including cross-border development in the Horn of Africa.
The MoU will build on ongoing collaboration between the two institutions, beginning with the implementation of a joint programme on borderlands development covering the IGAD member states in the region.
“IGAD appreciates the strategic partnership with UNDP in promoting the socioeconomic transformation of borderlands in the IGAD region,” stated Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD), Executive Secretary of IGAD. “The shared cultures, languages and traditions of border communities in the IGAD region can serve as building blocks for strengthening cohesion and promoting development in the borderlands.”
The MoU was agreed at the conclusion of a two-day workshop, taking place on 17-18 August 2022 in Djibouti. The workshop also validated a three years joint IGAD/UNDP programme document on borderlands development.
In his remarks, Zeynu Ummer, Team Lead and Senior Technical Adviser at the UNDP Africa Borderlands Centre, said “UNDP and IGAD have a long-standing presence and engagement in the Horn of Africa. The new programme on borderlands development takes into account lessons learned from ongoing joint initiatives and concretises the UNDP-IGAD partnership to ensure the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are attained in the region.”
Included in the agreed areas of cooperation is the exploration of joint programmatic initiatives at regional and country levels through the regular exchange of information, analysis and reporting. The two organisations will leverage their respective comparative advantage and value add in resilience building, socioeconomic development, prevention of violent extremism, conflict prevention, youth and gender, climate change, blue economy, water and other strategic areas.
Alessandra Casazza, Manager of the UNDP Resilience Hub for Africa, shared “The MoU formalises and strengthens ongoing and future joint initiatives led by UNDP and IGAD. The Drought Resilience Building in the Horn of Africa Programme, for instance, is a concrete example of what this partnership can deliver for communities in the border regions.”
The workshop also engaged technical experts working on cross-border programming at IGAD and several UNDP offices including the Africa Borderlands Centre, the Regional Programme for Africa, the Resilience Hub for Africa, and UNDP Country Offices in Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Uganda.
The workshop interdisciplinary dialogue on partnerships and resource mobilisation around the newly adopted programme document through the development of a detailed Joint Partners’ Engagement Strategy and a roadmap for strategic priorities for the Horn of Africa.