Key Note Remarks by H.E. Kayidaki Gezahegn, State Minister, Federal and Pastoralists Development Affairs
Cross-Border Integrated Programme for Sustainable Peace and Socio-economic Transformation: Marsabit County, Kenya, and Borana and Dawa Zones, Ethiopia
Meeting with partners
10 October 2017, Elilly International Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ethiopia, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa
UN Resident Coordinator, Kenya, Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee
EU Head of Cooperation, Mr. Erik Habers
Members of Development Partners’ Community
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to join you in this breakfast meeting to extend my sincere thanks for your effort in raising support to the ‘Ethiopia- Kenya Cross-Border Integrated Programme for Sustainable Peace and Socio-economic Transformation’. This is the first meeting that is taking place since after the signing of the Framework Agreement in June, in Nairobi. This initiative of partners demonstrates your commitment to support both Governments of Kenya and Ethiopia.
As you are aware, the programme focuses on geographical area: Marsabit County, Kenya, and Borana and Dawa Zones of Ethiopia. These areas face multiple development challenges – poverty and conflict based on utilization of natural resources, gender inequality, natural disasters and youth development issues. For generations, African borders have been a point of divisions, lines on map that at best meant little to people that had to live on them- at worst barriers that separated people whose natural instinct was of cooperation and mutual development.
The Borana and Dawa Zones of Ethiopia, and Marsabit county of Kenya, far from national capitals have been unable to realise their aspirations for the same level of development as other areas in the respective home nations. This however is set to change. We now have framework agreement to translate our vision into practical actions that will initiate the process of transformation of Borana and Dawa and Marsabit region.
I would like to draw your attention to the objective of the programme that is: “to reduce vulnerability and increase the resilience of communities affected by conflict and other recurrent shocks, and to economically empower the communities through a judicious mix of socio-economic transformative programmes”. The five-year programme is a response to the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed by the Head of the States two governments in 2015. 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 Government of Ethiopia sees this initiative as an innovative partnership between the two countries, the UN and other partners, including IGAD. Now we have the framework agreement, it is important that we begin the process of implementation. In Ethiopia, the Ministry of Federal and Pastoralist Development Affairs will continue to take the responsibility of programme implementation. A joint steering and technical committee from regional and county governments, IGAD and UNCT of both countries should be established to facilitate the implementation process.
As envisaged right from the beginning, the Government of Ethiopia believes that such transformative programme of over half a billion dollars will require galvanizing support from various partners. The Government of Ethiopia is all prepared to contribute its share and take the leadership required to kick-start the implementation. It looks forward to partners to come on board to establish a Multi-Partner Trust Fund. Thanks to European Union that has pledged already 3.5 million for this region, specifically focusing on conflict prevention and peace building. Important will be to prioritise our actions/activities; mobilise resources and start undertaking the work that we have promised to marginalize people in these regions.
With thanks to the UN leadership support to this programme that aims to vastly improve the lives of the close to 2 million people living in this trans-border area, I wish to underline the Government’s continued expectation from the UN. As stipulated in the framework agreement, the Government will require for continue UN technical, financial and management support to make progress. Your resource mobilization and management ability, as well as capacity building support will be important.