15th Horn of Africa Initiative (HoAI) Ministerial meetingHekima Randu
National Treasury and Economic Planning Cabinet Secretary Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u today joined Ministers from the Horn of Africa region for the 15th Horn of Africa Initiative (HoAI) Ministerial meeting, held at a Nairobi hotel.
The CS who is the outgoing chairman of the grouping said the Initiative provides an effective platform for the member states to pursue regional priorities in a decisive and coordinated manner, in a bid to address common challenges in the region.
He said under the Kenyan Chairmanship, the initiative achieved important milestones in areas of Trade Facilitation, Digital Convergence and Energy, through the support of the African Development Bank, European Union the World Bank, and IGAD. He applauded the partners for supporting the Initiative in advancing the agenda of regional integration and strengthening the region’s social ties.
Prof. Njuguna noted that dduring the year 2022, resource mobilization efforts increased significantly, however there still exists project financing gaps especially in the areas of climate change, for mitigation and adaptation programs .
The CS said vagaries of climate change such as the current prolonged drought is affecting millions of people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti, posing a major food security constraint for the governments.
“The Ministerial Roundtable meeting comes at a critical moment when the Horn of Africa continues to experience the impact of climate change and drought for the fifth consecutive failed rainy season”, said the CS.
He said the Government of Kenya is scaling up the Financial Inclusion Fund popularly known as the ‘Hustler’s Fund’ through the digital platform to ensure that it is successful and help to uplift the livelihoods of the targeted group in the bottom of the pyramid.
“Government of Kenya views Digital Integration as unique opportunity to strengthen relationships among our economies; currently we are rolling out Digital Transformation plan to migrate all government service from manual operations to the online eCitizen platform”, said the CS.
During the meeting, the Ministers discussed and agreed on initial steps to widen private sector engagement in Regional Infrastructure Networks, Regional Energy, Digital Market, Trade and Economic Integration in view of further increasing financing needs for their implementation.
The meeting further deliberated on key policy actions needed to advancee digital policy convergence and integration in the Horn of Africa and formal handing over of the HoAI Chairmanship from Kenya to Ethiopia.
Present during the virtual and in person meeting were, Minister of Economy and Finance, Djibouti, H.E. Dr Elmi Mohamud Nur, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Somalia, H.E. Dr. Dier Tong Ngor, Minister of Finance and Planning for South Sudan, Ms. Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, H.E Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance, Ethiopia, H.E. Ilyas Dawaleh among other development partner representatives.