Djibouti, 06-04-2015: The Ministers in charge of Youth and Sports Affairs from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) members states this morning endorsed the IGAD Games Charter following an official opening ceremony of the First IGAD Ministerial Meeting on Youth and Sports led by Djibouti Prime Minister, HEM Abdoulkader Kamil, at Djibouti Kempinski Palace.
This ministerial meeting co-organized by IGAD Secretariat and the Djibouti State Secretariat for Youth and Sports gathered HEM Badoul Hassan, Djibouti State Secretary for Youth and Sports, HE Mrs Zenebu Tadesse Woldetsadik, Minister of women, Children and Youth Affairs of Ethiopia, HEM Mohamed Abdullahi, Minister for Youth and Sports of Somalia, Hon. Josephine Napwon Cosmos, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports of South Sudan, HEM Yahya Hamad, Minister for Youth and Sports of the Sudan, and Mr Peter Kano from the Kenyan Embassy with residence in Ethiopia along with IGAD Secretary Executive, Ambassador Mahboub Maalim.
The Executive Secretary, in his opening remarks, hailed the efforts by the Djibouti State Secretariat for Youth and Sports in initiating the concept of the IGAD Games and financially supporting the First IGAD Ministerial Meeting on Youth and Sports. “This is a major IGAD event spearheaded and funded by the government of Djibouti”, he said. He thanked the Djibouti State Secretary for Youth and Sports for helping IGAD to advance the integration agenda in the field of youth and sports.
“Youth is a very fertile ground on which we can plant positive seeds as much as it can bear negative seeds. Our region is in dire need of positive-minded youth”, he said before concluding that he would like to see the First IGAD Games become a reality soon.
HEM Badoul Hassan first called on the audience to observe a minute of silence in honor of the victims of the recent terror attack in Garissa, Kenya. He then reminded them that the meeting coincided with the International Day dedicated to Sports in the Service of Peace and Development.
“IGAD Games are the golden occasion for the promotion and the valorisation of upcoming young sports people through identification programmes of young talents”, he said. Sports encompass values that will help fight “obscurantism, violence, intolerance, and terrorism”, he concluded before giving the floor to the Djibouti Prime Minister who declared the First IGAD Ministerial Meeting on Youth and Sports officially open.
And it was during a short closed doors session that the IGAD member states concerned ministries fine-tuned and endorsed the IGAD Games Charter that had been prepared by an IGAD Committee of Experts the previous day for the purpose.