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IGAD: its history and development

    The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa was created in 1996 to supersede the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) which was founded in 1986 to mitigate the effects of the recurring severe droughts and other natural disasters that resulted in widespread famine, ecological degradation and economic hardship in the region. Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda - took action through the United Nations to establish the intergovernmental body for development and drought control in their region.     Eritrea became the seventh member after attaining independence in 1993 and in 2011 South Sudan joined IGAD as the eighth member state.

With the new emerging political and socio-economic challenges, the assembly of Heads of State and Government, meeting in Addis Ababa in April 1995, resolved to revitalize IGADD and expand areas of cooperation among Member States. The new and revitalized IGAD was launched during the 5th Summit of IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held on 25-26 November 1996 in Djibouti. The Summit endorsed the decision to enhance regional cooperation in three priority areas of food security and environmental protection, economic cooperation, regional integration and social development peace and security.

IGAD Vision and Mission Statements

  The founding leaders of IGAD were motivated by a vision where the people of the region would develop a regional identity, live in peace and enjoy a safe environment alleviating poverty through appropriate and effective sustainable development programmes. The IGAD Secretariat as the executive body of the Authority was given the mandate to achieve this goal.

Vision: IGAD to be the premier Regional Economic Community (REC) for achieving peace and sustainable development in the region.

Mission: Promote regional cooperation and integration to add value to Member States’ efforts in achieving peace, security and prosperity.


Addis Ababa, July 22, 2022 (FBC) – Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD), Executive Secretary of IGAD had a discussion with Ambassadors of IGAD Member States on ways to enhance Türkiye-IGAD cooperation several sectors.

The Executive Secretary and the Ambassadors have explored ways of cementing cooperation between Türkiye and IGAD in areas of health, preventive diplomacy, refugees and drought response.

Executive Secretary Workneh arrived in Türkiye on Thursday for official visit.  During the visit, the Executive Secretary is expected to have a meeting with Foreign Minister of Türkiye, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.


Addis Ababa, July 15, 2022 (FBC) – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) announced that former Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome (PhD) would lead its election observer mission to the Republic of Kenya.

According to IGAD, it will deploy an election observer mission to the Republic of Kenya to observe the general election scheduled for 09 August 2022.

“IGAD is honoured to be invited by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to observe this year’s general elections and the organisation is pleased to continue to work with the of people Kenya, electora


Addis Ababa, July 18, 2022 (FBC) – Ethiopia and Sudan have pledged to discuss their border row for the long term, based on local realities.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) says it pushed parties to the table, but it will be entirely up to the two sides to draft an agreement to resolve lingering border tiffs.

IGAD Executive Secretary Dr Workneh Gebeyehu says both sides agree on the need for dialogue and have listened positively to pleas for non-violence. However, he says the border problem that has seen sporadic violence for years will require discussions only determined by the two leaders.


Addis Ababa, July 5, 2022 (FBC) – The Assembly of the 39th IGAD Heads of State and Government at their meeting in Nairobi adopted a communique on various issues.

In its communiqué, the Assembly appreciated the positive steps taken by the Government of Ethiopia towards humanitarian access and peaceful resolution of the conflict affecting the northern part of the country.

IGAD commended progress made in South Sudan so far in the implementation of the peace agreement of 2018 and called up the Transitional Government of National Unity and parties to draw up a road map with clear benchmarks and realistic timelines to complete the remaining tasks including the conduct of elections.


The Geography of the Region

     The IGAD region stretches over an area of 5.2 million km2 that comprises the countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. The region has about 6960 Km of coastline with the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Toudjoura and the Red Sea. Also, the IGAD region has a total of 6910 Km of international borders with Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. Map 1 above shows the region. Some 70 percent of the IGAD region is made up of Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALs), which receive less than 600 mm of rainfall annually. The rest of the region has a great variety of climates and landscapes including cool highlands, swamp areas, tropical rain forests and other features typical of an equatorial region. Furthermore, the region possesses diverse ecosystems and agro-ecological zones at different altitudes ranging from 150 meters below sea level (Dalul) to about 4600 meters above the sea level (Mount Kenya). Socio-economically, most of the IGAD Member States belong to the worlde’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and share similar economic growth rates and social ethnic groups across their borders, which could be a good opportunity for regional integration, if appropriately utilised.



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