Lusaka, Friday, March 8,2019: COMESA and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have begun sharing collaborating on areas of commonalities through joint activities to advance the conflict early warning in the region.
The two Regional Economic Communities (RECs) separately conduct conflict early warning and response systems on their member States, majority of which belong to both organizations. IGADs has the Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN) while COMESA has the COMESA Conflict Early Warning System (COMWARN).
The need for deeper collaboration through experience sharing and best practices is therefore informed by the overlapping of country membership to the two RECs with six out of the seven members of IGAD belonging to COMESA.
The collaboration is further reinforced by a Memorandum of Understanding signed between African Union (AU) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in 2008.
On 4 – 8 March 2019, a team from IGAD’s CEWARN Unit conducted a benchmarking visit to COMESA Secretariat for benchmarking with COMWARN team in the Governance, Peace and Security (GPS) Unit.
During the four days of interactions, the two teams shared experiences on data collection, analysis and reporting using various tools that are being used by both institutions.
COMESA team shared its experience on Structural Vulnerability Assessment methodology which includes data collection, analysis, report writing and dissemination.
On the other hand, IGAD team took their COMESA counterparts through its indicator module-based application which relies on dynamic data collected by field monitors based across their Member States.
Receiving the IGAD team, the Head of GPS Elizabeth Mutunga said collaboration and partnership in early warning provides the two RECs with the opportunity to leverage on each other strength.
“This is more critical in conducting and disseminating structural vulnerability results to stakeholders. Let us therefore strengthen such initiatives to maximize on our individual capabilities,” she said.