The Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) was established comprising of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda under the idea of resolving common problems like drought and desertification that were ravaging the region through collective efforts.
The expanded mandate of IGADD from environmental, agricultural and economic cooperation and integration to efforts of preventing and resolving regional socio-economic and political, security and peace concerns was the region’s priority led to the birth of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) with a revitalized vision of being the premier regional organization for achieving peace, prosperity and regional integration.
Gradually peace became a vital necessity to achieve environmental protection and rehabilitation, agricultural and economic development and cooperation and regional integration hence IGAD expanding its mandate to include issues of security, terrorism, maritime and piracy.
IGAD has since then had the mission is to assist and complement the efforts of its Member States to achieve increased cooperation through three overarching objectives;
• Food Security and environmental protection
• Promotion and maintenance of peace and security and humanitarian affairs and
• Economic cooperation and integration
With the objective of; promoting joint development strategies and gradually harmonizing macro-economic policies and programmes in the social, technological and scientific fields; harmonizing policies with regard to trade, customs, transport, communications, agriculture, and natural resources, and promoting free movement of goods, services, and people within the region; creating an enabling environment for foreign, cross-border and domestic trade and investment; achieving regional food security and encouraging and assisting efforts of Member States to collectively combat drought and other natural and man-made disasters and their natural consequences; initiating and promoting programmes and projects to achieve regional food security and sustainable development of natural resources and environment protection, and encouraging and assisting efforts of Member States to collectively combat drought and other natural and man-made disasters and their consequences; developing and improving a coordinated and complementary infrastructure, in the areas of transport, telecommunications and energy in the region; promoting peace and stability in the region and creating mechanisms within the region for the prevention, management and resolution of inter-State and intra-State conflicts through dialogue; mobilizing resources for the implementation of emergency, short-term, medium-term and long-term programmes within the framework of regional cooperation; promoting and realizing the objectives of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Economic Community and ; facilitating, promoting and strengthening cooperation in research development and application in science and technology.
IGAD has over the years accomplished much in the different areas it’s mandated to as well as having had the opportunity to reach more people by working with development partners and the leaders in the Member States to transform lives and countries towards a more secure, peaceful and economically sound region despite the numerous challenges.
The IGAD Secretariat is headquartered in Djibouti and IGAD has a membership of eight Member States including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.