AU-IBAR has continued to provide support to ensure continuous awareness creation, sensitization and implementation of the Animal Welfare Strategy for Africa (AWSA), and backing the Africa Platform on Animal Welfare (APAW) endorsed in 2017 to transform the animal resources industry through adoption of good animal welfare practices for the human wellbeing, sustainable livelihoods, poverty reduction and economic growth.
AU-IBAR made a presentation during the First Southern African Regional Animal Welfare Summit: Focus on Poultry, held on 5th November, 2019 at the Protea Hotel by Marriott, Cape Town Sea Point. The meeting was hosted by Humane Society International and Coalition of African Animal Welfare Organisations.
In the AU-IBAR’s presentation during the Summit, it was noted that APAW is a continental multi-stakeholder’s platform that will bring together veterinary authorities, authorities in animal production and development, donors, development and technical partners, relevant Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), training institutions, research institutions and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
According to the presentation done by Dr Annie Lewa, the AU-IBAR’s Senior Projects and Programs Officer, the specific objectives of APAW include support to the implementation of the Animal Welfare Strategy in Africa (AWSA), follow up the progress of the AWSA action plan and to promote coordination, collaboration, information sharing and to foster partnerships on animal welfare among actors (users, beneficiaries and stakeholders).
Dakar, Senegal November 11th, 2019
AU-IBAR is supporting an initiative on re-profiling of the veterinary profession, designing and rolling out of a Day 100 competencies curriculum for newly appointed Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) to serve their role in implementing their strategic, administrative and technical solutions to animal production/ health problems and to address the attendant challenges of the role. A workshop seeking to address the challenge facing animal health system and services in the majority of African countries and providing a possible direction that the veterinary profession might take to meet the challenge associated to a functional veterinary profession is being held in Dakar, Senegal from 11-15 November, 2019.
The workshop on the review and validation for re-profiling of veterinary profession is being held under the theme: "Leadership and Functional Competencies for Quality Veterinary Services". The workshop falls under the Sustainable Development of Livestock for Livelihoods in Africa (Live2Africa), a European Union funded programme with the overall mandate to strengthen systemic capacity of continental, regional and national animal sector stakeholders.
According to the findings of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) evaluations studies, Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) and GAP analysis carried out in the recent years, the performance of the veterinary sector in sub-Saharan Africa over the past years has faced the major burden of responsibility in seeking and applying technical solutions within the domain of institutional, financial, infrastructural and human resource environments.
The necessity of veterinary professionals to influence change in the policy environments they work in calls for veterinary services to set high visions, consonant with the great unexploited potential of the livestock sector and the manpower resources of Africa. These skills are particularly critical for new incoming Chief Veterinary Officers.
Data management on animal resources for evidence-based decision making requires effort and investment to ensure that the animal resources sector as a whole contributes to economic development. Based on this notion, the African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) is advancing the implementation of its current strategy through its fourth strategic focus on “Animal Resources Information and Knowledge Management”. With the objective to improve creation, dissemination and utilization of knowledge for effective animal resource development, AU-IBAR is undertaking a series of trainings on the use of the third version of the Animal Resources Information System (ARIS).
After a launch by Her Excellency Madam Josefa Sacko, the African Union Commission Commissioner of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture on 12th June 2019, the first series of trainings began in July 2019 and are expected to end in December 2019. The trainings are targeting 110 National Focal Point persons from Africa Union Member States from all five Regional Economic Communities. The first workshop, held from 1st – 5th July, 2019, marked the first stage of the roll out of ARIS 3.
Speaking during the opening of the first training held in Nairobi, Kenya, AU-IBAR’s Director, Prof. Ahmed Elsawahy noted the importance of Information and Knowledge Management’s role in supporting AU-IBAR’s strategic niche. He further confirmed the importance of a good information system for planning and decision making, and for promotion of trade and investment in the animal resources sector. He particularly asserted the importance of good credible harmonised data in expanding intra-African trade within the context of leveraging the African continental free trade area. Significantly, he affirmed that ARIS 3, unlike the previous versions of ARIS has more advanced features critical to for evidence-based policy and decisions making processes.
Technological challenges to knowledge management previously experienced with the previous systems include inadequate integration of existing databases, and limited inter-operability. Conversely, the lack of integrated modern information systems at national level and outside ministries responsible for animal resources is one of the major obstacles for enhanced planning. Due to their incomprehensiveness, the previous versions of ARIS created setbacks in creating functional linkages between different data sources.
On their part, participants from regional States noted that the new upgrade of ARIS has a lot of advantages.