IGAD member states have today met to assess the development for the regional infrastructure master plan that is due in December, 2020. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development Regional Infrastructure Master Plan (IRIMP) began in May 2018 and seeks to establish regional infrastructure development for the region in order to enhance regional physical and economic integration, and in the long run promote trade, movement of goods and persons and poverty reduction amongst its Member States.
Although the region is making strides in the development of new regional infrastructure projects such as the Ethiopia-Kenya Power Interconnector and Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, underdeveloped infrastructure still remains a major constraint in the IGAD region with no regional master plan of priority projects built on the consensus of its member states. The IRIMP comes in to address this, and solve the problem of inadequate and poor regional infrastructure networks, connectivity and efficiency.
Speaking during the opening session, Elsadig Abdalla, Director IGAD who read the speech on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E. Dr. Workneh Gebeyahu expressed his delight in the program and affirmed their commitment in working with the Civil Society and NGOs in this project. “Previously we have been criticized as being too governmental. In this regional study, we have involved all our stakeholders especially NGOs because they are the real owners of our interventions and they are the ones who have the direct connection with our people at the grassroots in our region.”
The development of IRIMP is being financed through the support from the African Development Bank (AfDB) with the over-arching objective to create an open, unified, regional economic space for private operators – a single market open to competitive entry and well-integrated into the global economy. Its components will include a network of efficient infrastructure services; transport, energy and communications.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Regional Intergration Coordinator, Patrick Kanyimbo assured the member states of the bank’s support. “We are excited to be part of this master plan as we believe it will lead to greater investment floors in the region and we hope it also results to increased trade and economic activities among the member states.”
The two-day meeting will see IGAD member states dialogue and consult on the way forward of the projects and offer the perfect opportunity for stakeholders to support and back the development of the IRIMP among NGOs, non-state actors and other stakeholders.