Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, July 09, 2015 - “The importance of fisheries and aquaculture in Cote d'Ivoire triggered the formulation of Strategic Plan for the Development of Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture and prioritised as one of the Presidential initiatives to transform Cote d’Ivoire into an emerging country by the year 2020”, says the Hon. Minister of Animal Resources, Fisheries and Aquaculture of Cote D’Ivoire, His Excellency Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani.
The African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), in collaboration with the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) and Department of Agriculture and Rural Economy of the African Union Commission (DREA-AUC) and with support from the European Union, organized an expert consultative meeting to validate the criteria and indicators as tracking tools for alignment of national and regional policies to the Policy Framework and reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa (PFRS) from 9-11 July 2015 in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire.
The PFRS was endorsed by the Summit of African Heads of States and Governments held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in June 2014 as a blue print to facilitate the Africa’s fisheries and aquaculture development. This Summit was preceded by the Second Conference of Ministers of Fisheries and Aquaculture (CAMFA II) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2014. The Ministers recommended, among others, that African Union Member States (AU MS), Regional Economic Communities (RECs) endeavour to align their fisheries and aquaculture policies to the Pan African PFRS. The African Ministers also urged development partners to align their initiatives and interventions in the fisheries sector to the PFRS.
In his opening remarks, The Hon. Minister of Animal Resources, Fisheries and Aquaculture of Cote D’Ivoire, His Excellency Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani stressed the importance of fisheries and aquaculture in Cote d'Ivoire. This was illustrated by the formulation of a Strategic Plan for the Development of Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture as one of the Presidential initiatives to transform Cote d’Ivoire into a middle income country by the year 2020. His Excellency the Hon. Minister acknowledged the importance of formulating criteria and indicators to facilitate domestication of the policy framework and reform strategy by African Union Member States (AU MS) and regional institutions to ensure coherence in the management of the sector, specifically for transboundary issues. He commended the high participation of AU MS which illustrates the commitment of African Union member states to AU led continental initiatives.
The Director of AU-IBAR, Professor Ahmed El-Sawalhy, iterated AU-IBAR’s commitments towards ensuring IGAD Member States acquire robust strategies and systems to adequately establish and implement animal disease surveillance and reporting mechanisms.
The Director made this remark during an event, which was organized by STSD Project to hand-over a four – wheel Toyota Double Cabin to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Republic of Kenya on July 21, 2015 at AU-IBAR premises. In his note, Professor El-Sawalhy indicated that in addition to technical supports, AU-IBAR strengthens the logistical capacities of countries through provision of cars and motorcycles to make sure that they conduct rigorous disease surveillance and reporting.
Thanking AU-IBAR for its uninterrupted support, H.E. Professor Fred Segor, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, indicated that AU-IBAR has been instrumental in their effort to contain trans-boundary animal diseases and in their fight against major animal disease outbreaks. Recognizing the importance of the STSD Project in enhancing disease surveillance and reporting in Kenya, Professor Segor indicated that the donated vehicle and motor bicycles would be efficiently used to serve the project purpose. Dr. Kisa Juma, CVO in the Ministry, Dr Salome Wanyoike, National Focal Point of STSD for Kenya and Dr. Zelalem Tadesse from AU-IBAR, attended the hand-over ceremony.
Recognizing the challenges facing inhabitants of the “Karamoja Cluster”, Kenya and Uganda negotiated and signed a “Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)” in 2013. The cross border animal health initiative was intended to encompass and synchronize animal health legislation and policy enforcement interventions undertaken in a coordinated manner. As a common practice, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan normally, cooperate and collaborate in various activities within the frameworks of the treaties that established the EAC and IGAD. To further develop the MoU for Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan to strengthen cross-border collaboration and coordination of animal health programs within the Karamoja cluster, AU-IBAR in partnership with IGAD/ICPALD and FAO organized a cross-border meeting for Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan at Moroto from 16th to 18th June 2015 under the auspices of the Standard Methods and procedures in Animal Health project. The meeting attracted 42 participants from Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, AU-IBAR, IGAD/ICPALD, FAO Uganda, FAO Kenya, FAO South Sudan, FAO-ECTAD, ACTED, VSF Belgium, Dan Church AID and Caritas Uganda.
In his welcome remarks, Dr Solomon Munyua, Acting Director of the IGAD Centre for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) pointed that people in cross-border areas in the Karamoja cluster depended on livestock for their livelihood, a fact that justified putting a human face on the strategies outlined in the MoU. He advised MS to embrace other resources in the Arid and Semi-arid lands in addition to livestock, and encouraged the MS to domesticate the MoU with legal language applicable to respective countries.
In his opening remarks, on behalf of the Director of African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources – Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy, Dr Joseph Magona thanked ICPALD, FAO and Uganda Government for their participation in organizing the workshop. He stated implementing the Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health project in the region was intended to support harmonization and coordination of the control of trade-related transboundary animal diseases (TADs). The project had in the recent past organized regional cross-border meetings to strengthen collaboration between countries regarding disease surveillance, information sharing, disease control and regional cooperation. He recognized efforts made by IGAD and FAO in 2013 that led to development of the MoU between Uganda and Kenya to improve disease control and conflict resolution in cross-border areas along the Uganda-Kenya border. He further recognized recent efforts made under SMPAH project together with partners that initiated development of the MoU between Kenya and Ethiopia along their common border. He concluded by stressing that the cross-border meeting for Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan was intended to enhance cross-border coordination among Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan, especially regarding control of TADs within the Karamoja cluster.