Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

IGAD was established in 1986 as the InterGovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) to co-ordinate the efforts of the Member States in combating desertification and promoting efforts to mitigate the effects of drought. Thereafter, at an extra-ordinary Summit held on 18th April 1995, the Heads of State and Government resolved to re-vitalize the Authority and to expand its mandate to cover political as well as economic issues. Consequently, the Authority was re-named the InterGovernmental Authority on Development in 1996 and the Agreement Establishing IGAD was amended accordingly.

Objectives and approach

The ultimate goal of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is to achieve economic integration and sustainable development for the region. The objectives of IGAD include promoting sustainable development of natural resources, environmental protection, and coordinating and strengthening effective mechanisms for monitoring and controlling migrant pests and the spread of animal and plant diseases.

Institutional structure

The IGAD is comprised of four hierarchical policy organs:

  • The Assembly of Heads of State and Government is the supreme policy making organ of the Authority. It determines the objectives, guidelines and programmes for IGAD and meets once a year. A Chairman is elected from among the member states in rotation;
  • The Council of Ministers is composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and one other Focal Minister designated by each member state. The Council formulates policy, approves the work programme and annual budget of the Secretariat during its biannual sessions;
  • The Committee of Ambassadors is comprised of IGAD member states' Ambassadors or Plenipotentiaries accredited to the country of IGAD Headquarters. It convenes as often as the need arises to advise and guide the Executive Secretary.
  • The Secretariat is headed by an Executive Secretary appointed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government for a term of four years renewable once. The Secretariat assists member states in formulating regional projects in the priority areas, facilitates the coordination and harmonisation of development policies, mobilises resources to implement regional projects and programmes approved by the Council and reinforces national infrastructures necessary for implementing regional projects and policies.
    The Executive Secretary is assisted by four Directors heading Divisions of Economic Cooperation & Social Development; Agriculture and Environment; Peace and Security; and Administration and Finance plus twenty two regional professional staff and various short-term project and Technical Assistance Staff.
Work areas

The new Agreement gave IGAD an expanded mandate that includes inter alia, the following areas of cooperation among the member states:

  • Enhancing cooperation and co-ordinating their macro-economic policies;
  • Promoting sustainable agriculture development and food security;
  • Conserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment;
  • Ensuring the prudent and rational utilization of natural resources;
  • Cooperating in increased sustainable utilization and development of energy resources in the sub-region, and in the gradual harmonization of their national energy policies and energy development plans; and
  • Cooperating in the gradual harmonization of their national policies in scientific and technological research and development, transfer of technology, and their policies on capacity building in science and technology in the sub-region.

IGAD provides especially for the enhancement of cooperation and coordination of macroeconomic policies in the areas of sustainable agricultural development and food security. In short, it requires parties to coordinate efforts towards the sustainable management and utilisation of shared natural resources to preserve, protect and improve the quality of the environment and ensure the prudent and rational utilization of natural resources.