The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ambassador Mahboub Maalim, expresses support for the African Union’s (AU’s) call for the cancellation of Somalia’s debt.
The AU made the call last week during the heads of States meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As rightfully stated in the Decisions document, the Executive Secretary views “debt cancellation as a means towards enhancing peace, security, development and durable solutions for displaced Somalis”.
The member States of IGAD are: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.
Ambassador Maalim also pointed out that this would go a long way to improve lives of Somalis who have been adversely affected by three decades of unfavorable conditions in all aspects of their day-to-day life, according tot he press statement from IGAD.
“Somalia’s efforts at peace consolidation are constrained by the debt burden that prevents it from accessing concessionary financing and normalizing relations with International Financial Institutions (IFIs)”, he stated.
IGAD Executive Secretary furthermore expressed his full and unwavering support to the AU call in regards to the “IFIs that have pledged financial support, to step up their good faith efforts and accelerate the normalization of financial relations with Somalia”.
Ambassador Maalim reiterated IGAD support to Somalia’s journey to peace and lasting development, and recalled that “Somali people deserve a peaceful and prosperous Somalia”. He concluded that a normalized Somalia “will be a major player towards regional integration in the sub-region”, according to the statement.
IGAD was created in 1996 to supersede the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD), which was founded in 1986. This followed the recurring and severe drought and other natural disasters between 1974 and 1984 that caused widespread famine, ecological degradation and economic hardship in the Eastern Africa region.