05-11-2016, Djibouti: The newly appointed Ambassador of Finland to Ethiopia accredited to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Her Excellency Helena Airaknisen, this morning presented her credential letters to the Executive Secretary of IGAD, His Excellency Amb. (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim, at the headquarters of the organisation in Djibouti, Djibouti.
The Executive Secretary thanked the Addis Ababa based Ambassador for coming to Djibouti for the purpose of presenting credentials. “I want to thank the government and people of Finland for the support provided to IGAD”, he said.
He highlighted the exemplary role played by Finland in the arena of the development partners of IGAD. “IGAD and Finland did not enjoy working relations seven years ago. Today, we see that Finland is part of the Joint Financial Agreement (JFA) meant at supporting our IGAD Strengthening Action Plan (ISAP) and many of our Peace and Security programmes and projects”, he continued.
The Executive Secretary also recalled that Finland proposed the establishment of the IGAD Project Preparation and Management Unit (PPMU) while providing not financial support to it, but technical expertise with the provision of an in-house Finnish Expert. Finland also partnered with IGAD through an internship programme for Finish graduates to be deployed to the various offices of IGAD in the region.
The Executive Secretary hinted at the new Organisational Structure of IGAD that will be presented to the next IGAD Council of Ministers while assuring the Ambassador of Finland that the Planning Section is turning into a fully-fledged Directorate under the new structure to be adopted soon.
For Her Excellency Amb. Airaknisen, the support provided by Finland will have to continue even if the circumstances are not the same as when the partnership started. “We are also looking for new opportunities to collaborate on, while it will not be easy to start working on new programmes as of now”, she said.
Amb. Airaknisen highlighted the importance the IGAD region had in the eyes of the foreign policy of her country, hence the level of engagement with the Regional Economic Community.###