Tuesday, May 18, 2021 (Djibouti-Ville, Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has made access to education by refugees, returnees and host communities one of its top priorities. In December 2017, IGAD ministers in charge education adopted the Djibouti Declaration and Plan of Action on education for people in forced displacement. This was re-affirmed by the Addis Ababa Call for Action issued at the end of the second conference of ministers held in December 2018. The Key Priority Areas of the Djibouti Declaration
- Regional Education Quality Standards
- Regional Skills Development for Refugees
- Inclusion of Refugees Education in National Education Systems
- Accreditation and Certification of Education Programs
- Financing, Partnership, Monitoring and Evaluation
At the heart of all these lies access to quality, affordable, inclusive and relevant education to all but with a focus on populations in displacement settings. IGAD has been working very hard to ensure inclusive and equitable opportunities for this population group. Scholarship is one important means of ensuring equity and inclusivity both among refugees and other marginal populations. With this in mind, IGAD launched a regional scholarship program to enable eligible citizens achieve their aspirations in life though higher education and skills development programs,
The initiative was launched by the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, on 5th April 2021 at the 1st IGAD Universities Forum held at Jigjiga University in Ethiopia. The launch took place in the presence of, among others, the President of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia, H.E. Mustafe Muhemed Omer and the State Minister for Science and Higher Education of Ethiopia, Professor Afework Kassu. Speaking on the Occasion, Dr Workneh stressed that “special emphasis will be given to candidates, particularly girls, from refugee and displacement affected communities”.
IGAD is working with universities in the region to make scholarships available. So far, the International University of Africa in Sudan and the Kampala International University in Uganda have made generous offers of 200 and 100 scholarships opportunities, respectively. This has far exceeded the number of opportunities IGAD expected to be available in the short-run. Other major universities in the region have also pledged support to the Program; and specific numbers shall be communicated in due course.
The Guidelines for the Scholarship Program is posted below. 👇