September 29, 2023 (MOYALE, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) inaugurated the Moyale Cross-Border Development Facilitation Office.
Graced by the Executive Secretary Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu and Governor of Marsabit county Mohamud Mohamed Ali, the inauguration ceremony brought around 300 people representing high level dignitaries from Kenya and Ethiopia, Moyale various community groups including women, elders, religious leaders from across the border as well as Embassy of Germany, GIZ, various government offices, local civil society organizations and the media.
Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu and Governor Mohamud Mohamed Ali cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the Office.
Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu highlighted the opening of the office symbolizes IGAD’s vision and deep commitment to reaching out to grassroots communities and citizens of the region.
“Today’s inauguration of the Moyale Cross-Border Development Facilitation Office is a central part of our flagship agenda to take IGAD to the people. It’s showing our commitment to fostering regional cross-border cooperation of mutual interests, including in the promotion of trade and cultural ties. This office shall serve as a catalyst for enhanced vision of IGAD in fostering sustainable peace, shared prosperity, and seamless regional integration”, he highlighted.
The Executive Secretary noting IGAD’s long standing presence in the Moyale area of more than two decades said that the opening of the Office will strengthen the ongoing IGAD migration initiative of Strengthening IGAD Migration Policy Implementation (SIMPI) in areas of improved basic services delivery to migrant and host communities especially to women and youth.
The joint IGAD-GIZ SIMPI initiative supported over 1,600 individuals in cash for community cohesion and over 400 households on various livelihood interventions.
The Director of Health and Social Development Divison of IGAD, Madam Fathia Alwan emphasized the milestone inauguration of the office which is coordinated under the Division’s migration program. The Director highlighted the significance of the opening of the IGAD Moyale office for IGAD and the migration program, further noting that the office marks the beginning of a new chapter for enhanced coordination of IGAD development interventions supporting local authorities and addressing the needs of the cross-border communities and migrant population.
She expressed her appreciations to the Government of the Kenya and Ethiopia, the Government of Germany through GIZ and KFW, IGAD and GIZ colleagues for their continued dedicated support to achieve the milestone.
Mr. Mahmud Mohammed Ali, Marsabit County Governor, Republic of Kenya, in his part noted the long journey for realizing the historic step of inaugurating IGAD’s Cross-Border Development Facilitation Office in Moyale.
The Governor calls for the Office to support in establishing a Free trade Zone in Moyale to spur economic growth, strengthening the Moyale Level 4 Hospital, which serves as a referral point for maternal and childcare both for Kenya and the Ethiopia’s host and migrant population, as well as sustaining the peace structure for cross border collaboration and integration.
” As a leader from this region, I have learnt that building peace and harmony requires appreciating differences and celebrating diversity – because peace means not only resolving conflicts, but also advancing unity in diversity through continuous interactions of people from diverse cultural identity”, noted the Governor.
The Governor supported IGAD and GIZ team in securing the Office location and advocated with the Government of Kenya its importance and was instrumental to make the Office a reality.
Mr. Markus Hein, representative of the Embassy of Germany of the Republic of Kenya believes that this office will play a vital role in fostering cooperation and enhance social cohesion through the enhanced cross border peace structure and coordinate upcoming migration focused interventions such as on livelihood for the population of Moyale area.
During the inauguration ceremony, the IGAD Executive Secretary and the Governor of Marsabit welcomed the women and men members of the consolidated and revitalized cross border peace structure and handed over identity card and vests for their enhanced visibility. The consolidated peace structure will support peace building, conflict prevention, management, and resolution (CPMR) in the Moyale cross-border area. The structure consisting of 30 members (15 from Kenya and Ethiopia) is expected to function as a single coordinated unit and is supported by IGAD’s Migration Program and Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN). The support to strengthen the peace structure in Moyale was the result of various consultations IGAD and GIZ team conducted in the last three years in Moyale with the various community stakeholders, in which they identified peace as the number priority in the area.
During the office inauguration event, the Executive Secretary announced the launching of infrastructure projects worth of 5.5 million Euros under the IGAD Regional Migration Fund which is supported by Government of Germany through KFW. For the implementation of the planned infrastructure projects in Moyale cross-border location, the Executive Secretary has signed sub-delegation agreement with Action for the Needy in Ethiopia (ANE) and Welthungerhilfe (WHH) on the occasion. He under scored that the planned infrastructure projects which include the construction of new abattoirs, rehabilitation and upgrading of livestock markets, rehabilitation of water sources among others will contribute to the social and economic improvements of the local community and migrants.
The Executive Secretary also highlighted the planned expansion of Regional Migration Fund interventions to other cross border locations in the IGAD region notably mentioned Tog-wajale and Metema-Galabbat as the case in point.
The inauguration of Office in Moyale showcased the IGAD Migration Strengthening IGAD migration policy Implementation (SIMPI) interventions of the local community peace committee, women who benefited from milk processing value chain livelihood intervention, introduced the RMF local implementing partners, and heard the IGAD cross – border health activities to government and local communities.
The Government of Germany through GIZ has been closely working with IGAD migration program since 2017 to improve the living conditions of cross border host and migrant communities by improving the capacities of local authorities, communities in addressing the host community and migrants needs. Moyale is one of the three major migratory routes in the IGAD region.