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October 24, 2022 (Nairobi, Kenya):  The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) opened a regional Forum on the Kampala Declaration, under the framework of its Support Platform of the Nairobi process, on jobs, livelihood and self-reliance for refugees, returnees and host communities, today, in Nairobi, Kenya.

The main objective of the three days,  Kampala Declaration Forum is  to mobilise and engage  the private sector actors in the renewable energy space, in the provision of reliable connectivity and digital literacy, enhance financial inclusion and ways to link markets  as well as provision of social protection to refugees and returnees host communities. The meeting is expected to endorse the establishment of a National Technical Working Group and table recommendations for the Ministerial meeting on the Declaration.

Speaking on behalf of the Executive Secretary of IGAD, H.E. Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Dr Fatuma Adan, IGAD Head of Mission to Republic of Kenya, welcomed the participants and said that the inclusion of refugees is a top priority for IGAD which advocates for leaving no one behind as indicated in the Sustainable Development Goals, which includes refugees and returnees as well.

“This is the first time we’ve had private sector as part of our discussions.  The Kampala Declaration is a holistic commitment that touches upon improving an enabling environment, working with the private sector to create impactful employment, facilitating the return and reintegration of refugees who want to return to their home countries, as well as minimize the negative  impact on the environment.” Dr.  Fatuma added

On his opening remarks, Ambassador Babikir Elseddig Mohamed, IGAD Chair, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Sudan disclosed that the forum comes in the context of IGAD continued efforts and initiatives to attain and consolidate comprehensive peace, social cohesion and human development throughout the region, to translate IGAD motto’s of; peace prosperity and regional integration into reality.

“ Our experts and technocrats, supported by the UN specialized Agencies, IGAD partners and a number of leading NGO’s, have done excellent job in designing to elaborate policy framework to guide our efforts in this regards. We should be proud of this achievement.” He stated.

As host country Kenya, Mr. Lucas Katee Mwanza, Commissioner Department of Refugees Services, explained that the Nairobi Declaration set a concrete objective outcome; the Kampala Declaration does even better because it brought out the issues of jobs self-reliance, inclusion and building livelihoods and improving health.

The Kampala Declaration forum brought together IGAD Member States ministries from foreign affairs, refugee affairs, labour including social protection, planning, finance and treasury, refugee hosting district administration; refugees and refugee representatives, NGOs, private sector actors, UN agencies and IGAD staff.

This Regional Experts Meeting on Kampala Declaration on self – reliance is funded by joint IGAD – GIZ SIMPI, World Bank DRDIP and IRC REBUILD project.

Expected outcomes are highlighting  IGAD member states achievements, lessons on the implementation of the Kampala Declaration four thematic areas , as well as, adoption of the Kampala Declaration Action Plan and national level governance structure and to spearhead a coordinated approach and reporting on the Declaration implementation, including, inter active exchanges among governments, private sector, civil society as well as refugees’ representatives on enabling environment, opportunities, best practices, challenges and lessons.

The IGAD Member states signed the Kampala Declaration on March 28th, 2019 in Kampala, Uganda to find durable solutions for refugees, returnees, and host communities.


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