The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) recently organized a two-day induction workshop in Bujumbura, Burundi, to strengthen the performance of its National Coordination Mechanisms (NCMs). The event, which took place from 5th – 6th December 2023, was attended by over 50 participants, including National Coordinators, ICGLR Secretariat officials, and development partners.
The main objective of the workshop was to address the high turnover rate of National Coordinators by providing comprehensive orientation on their mandate per the ICGLR Pact and sharing experiences for better coordination. The meeting also aimed to obtain inputs into the new Strategic Plan 2022-2026 and provide recommendations to bolster NCM capacities.
During the workshop, participants engaged in various areas of discussion, such as the historical context, priority protocols, organizational structure, strategic priorities, role of coordination mechanisms, and monitoring & reporting frameworks. The sessions also focused on the linkages between national and regional priorities and managing priorities outlined in the new five-year ICGLR Strategic Plan.
The pivotal role of National Coordinators is to facilitate Pact implementation and link regional and national operations.
Amb. João Samuel Caholo, ICGLR Executive Secretary, emphasized the pivotal role of National Coordinators in facilitating Pact implementation and linking regional and national operations during the opening session. Amb. Caholo expressed confidence that the workshop would help induct new coordinators, enable peer learning, and ultimately enhance ownership of the ICGLR agenda.
One of the most engaging sessions was a presentation by former National Coordinator of Burundi, Amb. Gaspard Kabura. Participants gained valuable advice on overcoming common challenges around capacities, reporting, resources, and government support based on his insider experiences.
The workshop contributed to reinvigorating regional ties and outlining recommendations like guidelines and partnerships for National Coordination Mechanisms to function optimally as implementers and coordinators of the collective regional drive towards peace, good governance, and development. As the ICGLR embarks on operationalizing its 2022-2026 Strategy, the strengthened NCM coordination resulting from the workshop will accelerate tackling root causes of conflict and boost economic growth in the region.