By Nelson Mandela Muhoozi
The Executive Secretary of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu has revealed the it is set to build a sh93.5b ($25m) food security hub in Kampala in May.
Workneh who was on an official visit to Uganda revealed that the hub aims at building capacity in food system resilience among member States.
“The Food System Resilience Project starting May 2023 in Kampala is being supported by the World Bank. The project is meant to address food deficit and help the member States effectively tackle the food insecurity,” he said.
“Our aim as IGAD is to address food insecurity issues like what the Karamoja region is facing currently,” he added.
Workneh who also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Gen Jeje Odong to discuss regional matters expressed his gratitude to Uganda for the immense support in addressing challenges facing the East African region.
The IGAD Chief made the remarks while speaking to journalists in an interview at its Naguru based Head of Mission offices on Wednesday.
He called for trust in institutions to address any issues as he referred to the political tensions in Kenya.
“IGAD was one of the observers in the Kenyan elections. It was one of the best and organized election conducted in the region. Our observation mission concluded that it was a successful and a fair election,” Dr. Workneh said.
“I call on the political players in the region to trust in the national institutions to address political challenges,” he said.
“The Africans and all stakeholders in political discourse have to believe in our own respective institutions. The institutions are very important and vital in running the affairs of our countries,” he stated.
He observed the need to build strong institutions to deliver their mandate.
“We should push for strengthening the capabilities and the desired impartiality of the institutions. Our election commissions, security institutions, judiciary and so forth should be embraced and accorded the necessary support to deliver the intended outcome,” Workneh said.
Kenyan opposition leader and the main rival of President William Ruto in the August 2022 presidential election, Raila Odinga took to the streets with his supporters early this week in a demonstration dubbed “Maandamano”.
Raila disagreed with the result of the elections that gave him 48.85% and Ruto 50.49%. He unsuccessfully challenged the case in the Supreme Court.
Workneh noted that going to the Supreme Court was a good gesture in respect of the established institutions.
On the political actions on the street, the IGAD boss said it is a normal thing in any democratic country so long as it does not turn violent putting lives in danger or target harming the economy.
“Demonstrations can happen anywhere in the world because it is a right for citizens in any democratic country. It should be peaceful and well articulate the demands that will nurture democracy in a country,” he said.
Jeje Odong said he held fruitful discussions with Workneh.
“We must admit that the situation in the region is much better than before IGAD was installed. The authority has been very instrumental in policy harmonisation be it in trade, investments and migration issues,” he said.