Sudan pledged on Wednesday to strengthen solidarity among member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) trade bloc in East Africa and promote economic integration in the region.
The pledge was made by Ali Al-Sadiq, Sudan’s acting foreign minister and chairman of the IGAD Council of Ministers, addressing the 48th regular session of the IGAD Council of Ministers which opened in Khartoum on Wednesday.
“Sudan will work to strengthen solidarity among member states and promote regional economic integration… as a necessary condition to promote the role of youth and women in contributing to regional prosperity,” Al-Sadiq said.
Sudan has formulated a roadmap to take IGAD to a higher level of distinction at the regional, continental and global levels, he added.
For his part, Workneh Gebeyehu, executive secretary of IGAD, highlighted the importance of the organization’s ministerial meeting in the Sudanese capital.
“This meeting, as well as the 14th regular session of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors held in October, is a sign that the unity of purpose of our member states strengthens our value as a role-based organization,” Gebeyehu said.
The meeting is scheduled to discuss issues of peace and security, drought and desertification, and conflict resolution in member states.
IGAD, established in 1986, has eight members from Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea. South Sudan’s membership was suspended at the end of 2021 due to the country’s failure to pay its annual dues. ■