Ethiopia, Kenya UN Country Teams discuss on enhancing cross-border project agreement implementation

Ethiopia Kenya UNCTs Cross border 2 DSC_0083_editedEthiopia and Kenya Teams in the cross border programme implementation discussion

The UN Country Teams of Kenya and Ethiopia met in Addis Ababa to discuss ways of ensuring effective UN support and engagement in the implementation of a cross-border integrated programme signed by the governments of the two countries with the support of the United Nations and other partners.

The program entitled “Cross-Border Integrated Programme for Sustainable Peace and Socioeconomic Transformation: Marsabit County, Kenya, and Borana and Dawa Zones, Ethiopia” aims to reduce vulnerability and increase the resilience of communities affected by conflict and other recurrent humanitarian shocks, and economically empower communities through transformative socioeconomic programmes.

The two governments in partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the UN Country Teams of Ethiopia and Kenya initiated the cross border programme to jointly address the challenges of security and development in the cross-border regions of Marsabit county in Kenya, and Borana and Dawa zones in Ethiopia. The Governments of Ethiopia and Kenya signed the agreement in June 2017.

Key programme outputs include: a) Strengthened conflict resolution and peace building mechanisms; b) Improved environment and natural resource management; c) Enhanced market access, trade and financial services; d) Improved livelihoods support and basic social services; e) Strengthened disaster risk management, preparedness and response; f) Enhanced research, knowledge and technology management, and monitoring and evaluation; and e) strengthened coordination and institutional arrangements, partnerships and resource mobilization.

Speaking at the joint meeting, H.E. Kayidaki Gezahegn, Ethiopia’s State Minister for Federal and Pastoralist Development Affairs, said, “the initiative is an affirmation of the recognition that peace and development are intertwined, and without one the other is impossible. It is about transforming the Marsabit-Borana region from being ‘barriers’ to a ‘bridge’.”

“I am very happy to note that the programme also fully reflects the spirit of 2030 Agenda, and in particular contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 16 that aim to end poverty and promote peaceful and inclusive societies respectively,” the State Minister added.

The overall budget required to implement the Cross Border Program is USD 522,437,399. The Ministry of Federal and Pastoralist Development Affairs (MoFPDA) in Ethiopia and the Office of the President in Kenya will be in-charge of the overall programme management and coordination.  Joint Steering and Technical Committee will be established to advance implementation.

Currently, Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa, has one of the fastest growing economies with ambitions of becoming a carbon neutral middle income status country by 2025; while Kenya’s 2030 vision looks towards creating a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life.