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Addis Ababa, 16-09-2015: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia, this morning opened the first IGAD Dryland Research Forum (IDRF) workshop in Addis Ababa under the leadership of Mr. Mohamed Moussa, Director of IGAD Agriculture and Environment Division and Acting Executive Secretary, and Mr. Woldegbriel Tesfamariam, Director of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR).

This two-day workshop, aimed at establishing an IGAD Dryland Research Forum (IDRF), is gathering IGAD about thirty academics from member states research centers, working on agricultural research mostly, and universities.

The main objective of the workshop is to review and adopt the draft Terms of References of the IGAD Dryland Regional Research Forum, including its composition and governance structure and to propose the establishment of the Forum to IGAD Policy Organs, i.e. the IGAD Ambassadorial Committee, and the IGAD Committee of Foreign Affairs.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Mohamed Moussa highlighted that Agricultural Research was important to the IGAD region for the reason that 60 to 70% of its land mass was arid and semi-arid. He reminded the audience that the workshop was part of the “Regional Drylands Resilience Coordination, Governance, and Applied Research” IGAD project “with the objective to promote and coordinate drylands resilience knowledge sharing, applied research and natural resources governance”.

“It is my conviction that the establishment of the IDRF will advance the cause for promoting problem solving research and innovations that are of immense importance to the vulnerable communities” he concluded.

Mr. Tesfamariam said that the Government of Ethiopia was “striving to establish and strengthen the academic and research institutions” in the areas of drylands agriculture and livestock development. He noted that it was “imperative to strengthen the drylands agriculture interventions coupled with strengthening of respective institutions which are responsible for undertaking research activities”.

Before officially opening the workshop, Mr. Tesfamariam found the workshop timely and important in “bringing together the concerned research institutions of the region”.

This IGAD “Regional Drylands Resilience Coordination, Governance, and Applied Research” is supported by the Danish government.

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