The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is preparing for the 4th Conference of Ministers in Charge of Education in Entebbe, Uganda, scheduled from 27th to 30th May, 2024. Themed “Towards Quality and Inclusive Education for All,” this conference is expected to endorse the IGAD Regional Qualifications Framework. It will also review achievements since the 3rd ministerial conference in March 2022 and address educational challenges faced by refugees, returnees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and host communities in the IGAD region.

Through collaborative efforts with stakeholders like GIZ, UNHCR, UNESCO, UNICEF, ECW, and the European Union, IGAD implements strategies in education, science, technology, and innovation aligned with Agenda 2063 and SDG4, promoting access to quality education for vulnerable populations.

Building on past initiatives such as the Djibouti Declaration and Plan of Action, the conference aims to review progress in implementing the Djibouti Declaration and the Addis Ababa Call for Action. It will also adopt a strategy for implementing educational programs in the context of 2024 as the African Year of Education under the theme “Educate Africa Fit for the 21st Century,” addressing education needs, especially in conflict-affected areas.

With participation from member states’ education ministries, refugee agencies, and partner organizations, the conference fosters diverse dialogue, advancing regional cooperation in education.


The IGAD Region carries a huge population of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Recent estimates indicate that the region hosts more than 15 million displaced people, excluding voluntary migrants. This includes 5.2 million refugees and 9.6 million IDPs, especially those being forcibly displaced from their villages in some of the IGAD member states due to ongoing conflicts.

Education is the most severely affected public good during emergencies, triggered by manmade, natural, or social catastrophes including the Covid-19 pandemic. These and other factors responsible for the disruption of education and related services not only damage homes or physical infrastructures but also destroy hopes and aspirations of people whose consequences are felt for generations.

Moreover, because of economic, social, cultural, and religious reasons school dropout is one of the highest, especially among girls, in the region. This is an accumulated problem that requires not only a national but a regional durable solution particularly when it comes to the refugee, returnee, and other forcibly displaced populations (IDPs).

The quality of education both in mainstream host communities and refugee settings is another serious problem facing the region, This again calls for concerted and collaborative efforts to support the huge work member states are doing along this line.



IGAD is working with relevant partners and stakeholders, including GIZ, UNHCR, UNESCO, UNICEF, ECW the European Union, and others to address the challenges in education both for the cross-border mobile population, refugees, returnees and other displaced people in the region usually in close consultation and advice from Member States. The IGAD regional interventions in education are informed by Agenda 2063 and its various sector-specific strategies, SDGs, notably SDG4, Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact on Migration (GCM).

In December 2017, IGAD organized the first high-level regional conference of ministers in charge of education in Djibouti. That Conference adopted the Djibouti Declaration and Plan of Action on education for refugees, returnees and host communities. This was followed by a series of awareness creation platforms, consultative meetings with partners; and biannual meetings of IGAD experts and two annual meetings of IGAD ministers in charge of education.

Despite the suspension of major activities owing to the COVID-19 lockdown in the course of 2020, IGAD implemented these initiatives as well as others adopted by the ministers in charge of education. IGAD also managed to organize the meeting of IGAD experts in charge of education and partners from 06 – 09 December 2021 which came up with strong recommendations that were reviewed and endorsed by IGAD Ministers in charge of Education 3rd Conference of IGAD Ministers in Charge of Education held between 28-30 March 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The 4th Ministerial Conference will review the implementation status of those recommendations, including the elaboration of the IGAD Regional Qualifications Framework (IGADQF) which was done as recommended and adopted by the relevant experts, ready to be endorsed.

The 4th Conference of IGAD Ministers in Charge of Education

May 27 – 30, 2024 | Entebbe, Uganda

About the event:
Mr. Fisseha Meseret

Ms. Sagal Abdulle

Ms. Abienne Awil

Media and Interviews:
Mr. Austin Opata