The ISTVS Governing Council membership comprises of three representatives from IGAD (including the IGAD director of Agriculture and Environment Division, director of ICPALD, founding institution (Terra Nuova), representatives of the Vice-Chancellors of partner universities (Makerere University, University of Nairobi, Mekelle University), chair of IGAD Partners Forum, representatives of the private sector (dryland agriculture / natural resource management, livestock, finance) and the principal of ISTVS. The Governing Council roles are both executive and advisory. The council meets once every 6 month.

The third Governing Council meeting was held in Hargeisa on the 21st April 2015. The meeting was attended by the director of ICPALD (Dr. Solomon Munyua), IGAD, representative for administration and finance (Mr. Apuuli Bwango), Terra Nuova (Riccardo) two representatives from the private sector (Mr. Ali Ibrahim Essa and Mohamed Farah Nageye) , a new representative for the IGAD partner’s forum (Dr. Guglielmo Giordano) and the principal of ISTVS (Fred Wesonga).

The council deliberated on issues pertinent to the smooth operations of the school. Among the key issues discussed included the establishment of a scholarship policy for ISTVS, diversification of courses offered at the school and exploring the possibility of a long distance learning centre in Hargeisa.

It was recommended by the Governing Council members that a standing ISTVS fund raising committee for scholarships (to be known as: Resource Mobilization and Management committee) be set up, whose membership will comprise of IGAD representative, Terra Nuova, development partners, and other members (such as local chambers of commerce). It was also recommended that the viability of setting a long distance learning centre (In Hargeisa) that could offer courses (such as English proficiency courses) be explored.

That Governing Council also recommended that diversification of courses relevant to the growing challenges of the drylands be explored. .

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