ADDIS ABABA: November 8 (EI) – Ethiopia’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Workneh Gebeyehu, has assumed the Executive Secretary role of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African bloc, the Ethiopian government disclosed on Friday.
Workneh, who has been the East African country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2016 to his appointment as by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as Director-General of the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON) in March this year, has assumed IGAD’s Executive Secretary role on Thursday, the Ethiopian Embassy in Djibouti said in a statement on Friday.
The former Ethiopian foreign minister replaced Mahboub Maalim, who had been the regional bloc’s chief since 2008.
Workneh, who had also previously served number of high-profile posts in the East African country, had been Ethiopia’s Minister of Transport from 2013 to 2016, Federal Police Commissioner from 2001 to 2012, as well as a member of the Ethiopian House of People’s Representative – the lower house of the Ethiopian parliament from 2005 to 2012.
Workneh “has formally assumed duty as Executive Secretary of IGAD, on November 7 and put an ink on his employment paper in the presence of the former Executive Secretary Mahboub Maalim and Ethiopian Ambassador to Djibouti and Chairperson of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors, Abdulaziz Mohammed,” the embassy said in a statement shared by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
Based in the Red Sea nation Djibouti, IGAD is an eight-member East African bloc, whose members include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.
IGAD was established back in 1996 to supersede the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD). The regional bloc mainly envisaged becoming a premier regional organization for achieving peace, prosperity and regional integration in the IGAD region.