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November 29,  2023 (MOMBASA, Kenya): The IGAD Political Affairs Program under the Peace and Security Division conducted the 2023 IGAD Governance Forum, in Mombasa, Kenya. The Forum aimed to make good governance a daily practice by following the rule of law, respecting human rights, and supporting democratic and peaceful elections. It also sought to create a shared understanding of the peace and security landscape, exchange experiences among Member States, and operationalize the IGAD Governance Forum.

Some of the Forum’s priorities were to encourage the use of legal frameworks across the region, to create regional systems, to enhance the capacities of Member State’s institutions, and to support elections and democracy.

Participants consisted of IGAD NHRIs Network members, Election Management Bodies, Anti-corruption Agencies, Civil Society organizations, oversight committees, and the IGAD Youth Envoy, Head of AU AGA-APSA, and other stakeholders.

The forum focused on key questions about peacebuilding and improving democracy. It explored IGAD’s insights and how regional efforts match up with national and local needs. The goal was to find a balance between including everyone and maintaining peace. Participants shared effective ways to build lasting peace. A hybrid mode of engagement wasincorporated, including both in-person and virtual participation. Experts shared and discussed their experiences, and promoting learning.

The workshop resulted in a declaration by IGAD member states emphasizing the acceleration of the signing, ratification, and domestication of key regional and continental legal frameworks on democratic governance and human rights. Members discussed a general stance on the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance (ACDEG). They also set up a plan for starting the IGAD Governance Forum and creating different networks.

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