KIGALI - The Minister of Defence Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi has called on members States of the Golden Spear Initiative to ratify the Djibouti Agreement establishing the Regional Disaster Management Centre of Excellence (RDMCOE).
Speaking during the Golden Spear Senior Leaders’ Symposium conference held in Kigali, Gatsinzi appealed to the 11 member states of the Golden Spear Initiative to domesticate the strategic plan and plans of action encompassed in the Djibouti agreement.
The Golden Spear Initiative brings together countries from the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes Region.
The countries already committed to the initiative include Rwanda, Burundi, Djibouti, Egypt, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Sudan and Somalia are expected to join the league later.
“Some participating states have not yet ratified the agreement. It is my wish that those who are concerned hasten the process of ratification, and those who have not yet signed the agreement to do so,” said Gatsinzi. He also called on member states that have not paid their annual contribution to RDMCOE to process the funds faster.
“The majority of member states have neither initiated programmes nor made funding arrangements in their respective countries in support of the strategic plan. This symposium should be a platform to effect these obligations,” said Gatsinzi.
“Some participating states still have arrears of the 2008 financial contribution to RDMCOE and others have not yet paid their contribution of 2009. I highly request them to do so.”
The countries have agreed to pay $27,000 each, annually and an additional amount proportional to each country’s GDP. Also present was the Minister for Cabinet Affairs Dr. Charles Murigande, who urged participants to assess past achievements and also plan how to increase capacity of their respective National Disaster Management Institutes.
The Golden Spear Initiative handles all kinds of disasters from manmade to natural disasters that breakout in the member states.