The regional bloc IGAD has appointed Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok as the new chair to take over from Ethiopia which has been holding the position for over a decade.
The heads of states and governments meeting in Ethiopia also confirmed the appointment of Ethiopia’s Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu Negew as executive secretary. Negew takes over from Kenya’s Ambassador Mahboub Maalim.
The election of Hamdok appeared to have been a compromise deal following tussles between Kenya and Djibouti both of which eyed the chairmanship of the 8 member bloc. Somalia backed Djibouti’s bid.
Both countries are also locked in a bruising battle over the UN Security Council’s non-permanent seat.
Meanwhile the regional block also welcomed Somalia’s request to host the 2020 Blue Economy Conference in collaboration with IGAD. The first such global conference was held in Kenya last year.