It gives me a great pleasure to be appointed as the Interim Executive Director of the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network. I received the letter of my appointment from Pr. Admasu Tsegaye, President of Addis Ababa University, on 20 January 2017. I am humbled by the new responsibility entrusted to me to lead HoA-REC&N.
It has been 10 years since HoA-REC&N began operating in the Horn of Africa with the vision of a safe, healthy and sustainable environment for the region. Since its establishment, HoA-REC&N has undertaken many innovative initiatives, aimed at promoting better environmental governance and management in the Horn of Africa. By uniting academia and development practitioners, HoA-REC&N uses a science-based approach to environmental development challenges. HoA-REC&N has brought together more than 40 institutions across the Horn of Africa to exchange knowledge and experiences and to enable them to work together for the sustainable development of the region.
I believe that an environment of collaboration and the exchange of knowledge among actors in the Horn of Africa plays a vital role in stopping the startling environmental degradation the region has seen for decades. Through its flagship programmes, HoA-REC&N has been contributing to this cause, in collaboration with international donors, governments, universities, research institutions, civil society, and community members.
HoA-REC&N and its partners have been implementing exemplary projects that have positively impacted the lives of people and the environment. Many have contributed to the success of HoA-REC&N to date. Thus, I would like thank all of you for standing by and working with HoA-REC&N. My special thanks goes to Dr. Araya Asfaw, the outgoing Executive Director of HoA-REC&N and one of HoA-REC&N’s founders. I commend his leadership and service to the Centre. In my new role as the Interim Executive Director, I look forward to building on the positive foundation his leadership has already built.
I also thank you all – HoA-REC&N’s donors, partners, network members, members of the Regional Council, staff, and friends of HoA-REC&N – for our togetherness and for your support in the last years. Despite the ups and downs the Centre and Network had during the past 10 years, I know that you have never failed in envisioning a positive future with HoA-REC&N and for environmental governance and management in the Horn of Africa. It is my fervent hope that this collaboration and hope will keep on shining and become stronger as we walk together hand in hand.
Pr. Negussie Retta,
Interim Executive Director,
Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network