August 14, 2023 (BISHOFTU, Ethiopia): The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in collaboration with GIZ has opened Ethiopia’s National consultation meeting with governments and partner agencies on inclusive Education towards the Implementation of the Djibouti Declaration, today, in Bishoftu, Ethiopia.
The objective of the two- day meeting is to review the progress in the implementation of the Ethiopian Costed National Education Response Plan on inclusive education and to enhance collaboration between different partners in addressing refugee, returnees and host communities education issues as well as to set out strategic parameters for to have a common ground on it.
Speaking on behalf of IGAD Director for Health and Social Development Division, Madam Fathia Alwan, Ms Yemisrach Benalfew, Coordinator for the Strengthening IGAD Migration Policy Implementation Project described that the government of Ethiopia has been in the fore front since the Djibouti Declaration was signed in 2017.
She further emphasized that the meeting will contribute towards the regional meeting that will be organized in October and November 2023, on the Djibouti Declaration and the Nairobi Declaration on durable solutions.
Ato Nigussu Tilhaun, State Minister Ministry of Labor and Skills pointed out that the ministry has given work permits for 8051 refugees and created jobs for 32,663returnees.
“With regard to the skills development and job creation, our ministry focuses in inclusiveness of refugees, returnees and IDPs.” He noted.
In his welcoming remarks, Ato Mezgebu Biazen, chief Executive officer for Strategic affairs, MOE, disclosed that Ethiopia has given refugee education special attention , which is being integrated into our national education system, part of the education sector development strategic plan and recognizing refugee and returnee’s qualification in all stages.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation to IGAD for its leadership role in putting refugee education top on the regional agenda.” Ato Mezgebu stressed.
In her remarks, W/ro Teyba Hassen Director General of Refugees Returnees Service explained that Ethiopia is home to more than 900,000 refugees and asylum seekers, mainly from IGAD member states; South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan, who fled their homes because of isecurity, political unrest, conflict, civil war, and other related concerns.
“ I would like to use this opportunity to ask for your financial and technical support in managing the urgent need of life- saving aid and protection for refugees and asylum seekers impacted by the Sudanese crisis (Metama and Kurmuk settlements) and the Somalia crisis (Mirqaan, Bokh site) who are currently being sheltered in Ethiopia.” She underlined.
Dr. Bedru Muzein, Head of Component, Cross Border Cooperation, Strengthening IGAD’s Migration Policy Implementation Project, GIZ, highlighted that the work of GIZ and the German government is helping to ensure that refugees, returnees and host communities in IGAD member states have access to quality education will continue.
“This is essential for their social and economic development, and for building a more peaceful and prosperous future for the region.” Dr Bedru stated.
Moreover, he expressed that with new funding the GIZ and IGAD will focus more on Monitoring and Evaluation of the activities implemented so far and concentrates on consolidating the achievements and strengthens implementations.
The meeting resulted in concrete recommendations and plans for successful implementation of the Djibouti Declaration and plan of Action in its fullest extent.
It is to be remembered that in 2017, IGAD Member States jointly signed the Djibouti Declaration where, among other areas of action, the development of a Regional Qualifications Framework was identified as one of its five strategic interventions.