Assessment of Development Outcomes in Conflict-prone IGAD Member States and the Implications for Revitalizing their Cooperation for Durable Peace and Sustainable Development

Melake Tewolde


Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) comprises eight member states, namely: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. Its mandates are promoting cooperation among the member states for securing regional peace and sustainable development. Despite the IGAD region’s abundant natural resource endowments, strategic location, and hardworking people, it has remained one of the world’s poorest regions with wide spread human sufferings because of various intra and interstate conflicts, extreme weather events such as droughts and intermittent floods and lack of employment opportunities. The overall objectives of the study were: first to empirically assesse development outcomes in the IGAD member states which have been affected by different types of conflicts. Second, underpin the dire need for renewed cooperation among the member states, and thirdly, exploring possible areas of cooperation that would deepen their national and regional peace, stability and sustainable development. The findings of the study were that in the IGAD member states which have been affected by conflicts of different nature, duration and scales, there has been little structural transformation in their economies; the real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates of the IGAD member states showed declining trends during the period 2010-2016 and their future real GDP growth rates are not expected to be robust while the countries remain prone to conflicts of different scales; the Human Development Index (HDI) of IGAD member states have been low and they are ranked in the low human development, characterized by high youth unemployment. Raging civil wars, interstate conflicts and lack of economic opportunities have also produced large numbers of refugees and internally displaced people. As a result, most IGAD member states still have high incidences of multidimensional poverty, where large sections of their populations are deprived of basic necessities. Thus, the greatest challenge to peace and sustainable development in the IGAD member states is lack of human security which emanates from interlinked factors such as conflicts, vulnerabilities, poverty, social injustice and discrimination and environmental shocks.

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ISSN : 2251-1555