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June 9, 2021: (KHARTOUM, Sudan): During his recent visit to the Republic of Sudan, 7-9 June 2021, the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), H.E. Workneh Gebeyehu, PhD, held a brief meeting with Vice Chancellors of two major universities in Khartoum: Prof Fadwa Taha, University of Khartoum and Prof. Hunud Abia Kadouf, International University of Africa. The Meeting was also attended, among others, by Mme Fathia Alwan, Director of IGAD Health and Social Development Division, Dr. Osman Bilail, IGAD Head of Mission in Khartoum, Mr. Tadjadine Bechir Niam, Director of External Relations and Graduate Affairs, International University of Africa, Mr. Phillip Gathungu, IGAD, Ambassador Ismail Wais, PhD, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Dr. Elduma Mohamed, IGAD; and Kebede Kassa Tsegaye, PhD, Senior Coordinator, IGAD Education Program.

The two universities recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for partnership and collaboration with IGAD. Moreover, Prof Taha is current Chairperson of the Board of IGAD Council of Higher Education (ICHE) established at the First IGAD Universities Forum held on 5-6 April 2021 at Jigjiga University. The International University of Africa (IUA) and IGAD was the first University to offer 200 scholarship opportunities for students from the IGAD region with special focus on students from refugees, returnees and host communities.

During the meeting, the Executive Secretary commended the universities for their commitment to promote regional integration through higher education. Both sides agreed to strengthen partnerships in key areas of concern for the region, including agriculture and food security, the role of universities in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, among others.

Consultation will continue on these and other issues, including the possibility of organizing regional conferences on themes related to the above areas.

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