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December 5, 2023 (NAIROBI, Kenya):  Third Meeting of the Board of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Higher Education (Universities Forum) has launched, today, in Nairobi, Republic of Kenya.

The objectives of the two days Meeting are to domesticate the IGAD Scholarship Guidelines and to report on the activities of the Council, including, to bring on board private universities and enhance their participation at the regional level  and to urge universities to make scholarship to refugees and displaced students in the region, as well as, to use the forum to discuss on ways narrowing the divide between TVET and conventional education and to raise awareness on the role of universities in facilitating the region’s attainment of SDGs

In his opening remarks, speaking on behalf of the IGAD Director for Health and Social Development Division, Madam Fathia Alwan, Dr. Kebede Kassa Tsegaye, Senior Coordinator for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Program, highlighted that the education program is part of the Health and Social Development Division and serves as between health and development interventions.

Dr Kebede, underlined that the education program covers all aspects of education from preprimary to tertiary level encompassing policy and practices.

 “Our education program emanated from the Djibouti Declaration adopted in 2017. Since then, we have developed a Regional Education Policy Framework, the IGAD Qualification Framework (validated and pending only the final endorsement) a Regional TVET strategy” he added.

Moreover, He also informed the Board, the IGAD Education Program has accomplished several activities in the implementation of the Board’s plan.

The IGAD Universities Forum composed of University of Khartoum, Addis Ababa University, Djibouti University, University of Nairobi, Somalia National University, Juba University and Makerere University, Jijiga University, International University of Africa and Ahfad University of Women was established in April 2021.

Budget for the meeting was provided by the EU as part of the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration

 This third Meeting of  the Board of the IGAD Council of Higher Education (Universities Forum) generated awareness on the Scholarship guidelines and  consensus on specific number of scholarships allotted for refugees, returnees, and IDPs, as well as, understanding the role research in catalyzing SDGs and Climate Change, among others.

It’s to be recalled that the Djibouti Declaration, adopted in December 2017 following the decision of the IGAD Heads of State and Government Summit in March of that year urged IGAD to establish, among others, the Council of higher education.

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