18th September, 2019, Nairobi, Kenya
Trypanosomiasis is a major disease affecting human and animals in 38 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Its effect on animal and human health is known to have direct impact on livestock productivity, livestock management and human settlement; through those direct impacts, the disease has indirect impacts on crop agriculture and human welfare. Changes in livestock management, human settlement and crop agriculture also result in changes in land use, vegetation cover and environment and human welfare. All of these have implications for resource use patterns, and investments in natural capital. With a wealth of evidence on the extent of the tsetse, human and animal trypanosomiasis problem, the opportunity for researchers and experts from a mix of disciplines to meet and put this evidence into clear perspective is both timely and invaluable. The International Scientific Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control (ISCTRC), a statutory Council of the African Union Commission will provide the scientific arena to enable this important discussion, including, review control strategies and recommendations for appropriate smarter methods of tsetse and trypanosomiasis
control, at its 35th General Conference. The ISCTRC shall also be commemorating its 70th year of existence.
Following 34 successful conferences, the 35th ISCTRC will be held in Abuja, Nigeria, from 23rd – 27th September 2019. The theme for this year is Impact of African Trypanosomiasis on Human and Animal Health, Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in the face of challenges to sustainable investment in Animal African Trypanosomiasis (AAT) control and Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) elimination. The theme builds upon the 34th Conference that was held in Livingstone, Zambian that focused on ‘Capitalizing on the progress made against human and animal trypanosomiases – the way forward in partnership with all stakeholders.’ This year, the Conference will be hosted by the Government of Nigeria, thus providing an opportunity for the Federal Government of Nigeria to showcase its fight against tsetse and trypanosomiasis in Africa.
The biennial conference is jointly organized by the African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources, (as the Secretariat of the International Scientific Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control), the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) and the Federal Government of Nigeria. For 70 years, since 1949, the Council has achieved its mandate of facilitating information sharing and exchange on matters regarding tsetse and trypanosomiasis research and control by holding regular biennial General Scientific Conferences.
AU-IBAR has empowered Member States by strengthening Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure for data capture and analysis to promote evidence based decision making. A donation of US$ 36,000.00 worth of computer equipment, each set comprising an HP laptop, monitor, docking station, wireless keyboard, mouse, and bag has been made to 31 African Union Member States. The ICT equipment was handed over to Directors of Animal Production who were in Kenya attending a meeting. The equipment is for use by officers in the Departments responsible for animal resources. The donation is part of activities of an AU-IBAR project “Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilisation of African Animal Genetic Resources” (2013-2019) popularly known as the Genetics Project that recently ended and was funded by the European Union.
The main objective of the project was to facilitate and fast track the implementation of the Global Plan of Action (GPA) for sustainable use of AnGR in Africa for which the continent is lagging behind. The project also focused on building capacity of Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) for effective formulation and implementation of policies and strategies for the management of AnGR and created awareness for its inclusion into national and regional agricultural investment priorities. One of the key Result Areas of the Genetics Project focussed on generating and disseminating information on issues affecting AnGR. Hence, in efforts to improve information and data availability at national level, the project procured ICT equipment for all Member States.
A unique stakeholder workshop of over 60 participants gathered in Naivasha, Kenya from 2-6 September, 2019. The stakeholder workshop, which was facilitated by AU-IBAR under the funding of the European Union brought together three groups of technical leaders of the livestock sector to discuss ways of Enhancing Harmonization and Coordination for Implementation of Key Livestock Policies, Legal and Investment Frameworks.
The groups comprised of firstly, the Continental Animal Health Platform in Africa (CAHP-Africa), a platform that brings together private and public actors to provide strategic guidance for the implementation of the Animal Health Strategy for Africa. Secondly, the Guiding Group for the CAHP oversight that was established to lead the process of reproofing the vet profession in Africa by regularly reflecting on the approach and road map. The third group comprises the Directors of Animal Production (DAP) who were invited to establish a DAP Network which is envisioned to champion and energize the implementation of the Livestock Development Strategy for Africa.