Professor Mthunzi Mdwaba's presentation at the occasion of the Confederation of IGAD Employers
The IGAD(Intergovernmental Authority on Development) region comprises the countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda and stretches an area of 5.2 million km.
Socio-economically, most Member States fall within the category of the World’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and share similar economic growth rates and social ethnic groups across their borders, which could be a good opportunity for regional integration, if appropriately utilised.
A population of over 230 million people characterised by high natural population growth rates, and vast expanses of territory coverage provide a sizeable market, which has the potential to attract both domestic and foreign investors.
The demographic age structure shows that some 50 percent of the population are youth, which provides a good opportunity for continued economic growth, if the youth is provided with, appropriate education and training.
The Region is located in a strategic place in the Horn of Africa and blessed with a good climate, rich hinterland, a long coastline with deep natural ports and situated on major air traffic routes for tourism and commodity markets in Africa, the Far East, Middle East, and Europe.