A new agreement that will go towards the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)’s peace and security programmes in the Horn of Africa region has been signed on 23 March 2018 by IGAD, the European Union (EU) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).
This EUR 42 million action (including a EUR 40 million from the EU Trust Fund for Africa) will help IGAD to improve its conflict early warning systems, become more skilled in mediation, and to counter trans-national security threats. In particular, IGAD and its partner countries in the region will be able to improve the collection and distribution of early warning data, so that governments can take action in time to prevent conflicts. The programme covers a four-year period from 2018 to 2022.
A new Mediation Support Fund will finance the cost of sending mediation teams into conflicts as they happen, and training in mediation and preventive diplomacy will improve the skills of the mediators. Countries of the region will be able to share their experiences of trans-national security threats, such as violent extremism and terrorism, and work together to find lasting solutions.
During the signing ceremony at the Austrian Embassy Residence in Addis Ababa, IGAD Executive Secretary Amb(Eng.) Mahboub Maalim expressed his appreciation to the EU and its member countries for their generous support and acknowledged their long-standing partnership with IGAD. Ambassador Maalim stated, “The support will be critical in building the capacity of IGAD’s core peace and security programmes in preventive diplomacy, transnational security, counter-terrorism and mediation and enable us to better handle the complex peace and security challenges faced by the region.”
Ambassador Ranieri Sabatucci, the Head of EU Delegation to the African Union stated "Nothing of the resources foreseen under this project can have any lasting effect unless they are used to support the political efforts by the leaders of the Region. As much as we would like to see peace spreading in the Horn of Africa, we can't want it more than the people, the institutions and the governments of the region. Our guiding principle is 'African solutions to African problems'. This principle has guided all the EU efforts in the support of peace on the continent".
Mr. Martin Ledolter, Managing Director of the Austrian Development Agency, on his part added: “I am grateful for the trust that IGAD and the EU are putting in the Austrian partnership and expertise. By the end of the program in four years’ time I am confident that IGAD’s and IGAD Member states’ peace and security institutions will be further strengthened in their efforts to protect peoples’ lives and contribute to a secure region.” He underlined the empowerment of women as essential: “I particularly hope that women will be able to take their rightful place at the negotiation tables and gain a much more prominent role in peace processes and conflict prevention.”
The agreement is one of many actions being funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa, which was established to promote stability and address the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons. The agreement also includes financing from the governments of Austria and Sweden.
- Publication date
- 27 March 2018
- Improved governance and conflict prevention
- Austrian Development AgencyIntergovernmental Authority on Development