August 2016, Kampala: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is in the process of developing a Regional Strategy on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and financial contribution of the Government of Japan. The strategy will be developed within the framework of supporting the operationalization and development of the Horn and Eastern Africa CVE Center of Excellence and Counter-Messaging Hub.
As part of the methods of developing the Strategy, the IGAD delegation comprising of senior officials from its Member States plus Tanzania, as well as officials from the IGAD office of Security Sector Program and UNDP are holding consultations with various national stakeholders. The process has kicked off by an inauguration meeting held on 25 July 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Consequently, in-depth and inclusive consultations were carried out in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Tanzania. These consultations were intended to ensure the strategy is based on a shared understanding of the issues and builds on existing experience, while providing a forum for knowledge exchange. The main goal of the consultation process is to collate the views, perspectives and recommendation of key national stakeholders on what should be the main elements of the PVE/CVE strategy.
Uganda hosted the fifth round of national consultations for various actors in the conflict prevention sector work including government, civil society, faith-based organizations, academics, and development partners, among others. The official opening ceremony was presided by representatives of IGAD, Government of Japan, UNDP, and the Government of Uganda. During the two days meeting, participants discussed issues on preventing and responding to violent extremism through a development lens, community resilience to violent extremism, research as well as state capacity to deal with violent extremism, all of which will contribute to the final strategy for the region.
The consultative process ensures inclusivity and transparency in the common regional approach to prevent and counter the various transnational security threat. The IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E. Amb. (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim emphasizes on the need for the regional strategy quoted as “the regional Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (PVE/CVE) Strategy will be critical tool that will provide a regional approach to preventing and countering violent extremism. This comprehensive strategy will offer an effective framework that will help guide regional actions, activities, programs and allocation of resources. It will ensure and facilitate sound coherence in cooperation, coordination and collaboration in designing and implementing national and regional approaches that will respond to the threat posed by extremist groups in the region.”
The consultative meetings will continue for Sudan, South Sudan, and Djibouti in the coming months with the final draft strategy to be reviewed and validated by the relevant authorities within IGAD. (END)