A little over a year since IGAD LPI facilitated agreement of a policy framework among its livestock ministers, detailing how they will collaborate to support the region’s 43 million poor livestock keepers, the IGAD secretariat took a major step forward this week with the first meeting of a steering committee to develop the concept of an IGAD Centre for Pastoralism and Livestock Development (ICAPLD). The steering committee is responding to article 5 of the regional policy framework, which calls for such a unit to be put in place. It is also a response to a Communiqué, issued by the 33rd Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers, directing the secretariat to explore the possibility of establishing a strategic institution for management of natural resources and governance of the drylands. Its work will conclude with an assessment and recommendations to the Council of Ministers on the feasibility of the centre. A positive outcome would open the door for IGAD to assume a key role at the heart of poverty focussed policy development for the drylands that cover more than half of its landmass.
Many of IGAD LPI’s stakeholders are also watching the development of the centre as hopes are high that it will provide an important regional link for their national policy hubs, as IGAD LPI’s activities draw to a close in February 2012
IGAD LPI’s Chief Technical Adviser, Dil Peeling, joined representatives of IGAD member states and the IGAD secretariat for the meeting on 27th February in Djibouti. “One of early lessons of IGAD LPI was that that member states want to manage regional issues regionally, and improve the level of coordination between themselves.” he said, adding “In terms of developing the capacity to do that, it looks like we are seeing a new chapter opening, with this meeting.”