27-30 August, Kampala, Uganda. A key pillar in the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa is the promotion of sustainable aquaculture development. The policy objective of this policy arena is to jumpstart market-led sustainable aquaculture through a variety of strategies and where appropriate support interventionist development approaches in aquaculture supported by strong strategic implementation plans.
For sustainable aquaculture development, there is need to develop and implement strategic sectoral environment management approaches that do not just focus at the farm level but to also factor in the wider environment. Sustainable environmental management for aquaculture would enable African Union Member States make more realistic and appropriate aquaculture development plans, approve appropriate projects and institute environmental management practices more effectively. Taking into consideration regional specificities, formulation of regional environmental management frameworks for sustainable aquaculture development should ideally be developed at regional levels. Thus the ultimate objective of these actvities is the formulation of regional environmental management frameworks in the five regions of the continent (West, Central, East, Southern and North) to support sustainable aquaculture development.
The AU-IBAR and IGAD Team that made a working visit to Ethiopia and Sudan have achieved to develop a consolidated national work plans for the implementation of the piloting programme of Livestock Identification and Traceability System (LITS) in the two countries. The Team, composed of experts from AU-IBAR, IGAD and two Consultants hired by the STSD Project, made a working visit to Ethiopia from 13th to 15th and to the Sudan on 22nd and 23rd August 2015, aiming at launching the piloting programme of LITS.
Having a fruitful discussion with the officials and experts in the two countries, the Team has successfully forged a common understanding on objectives and strategies, and developed feasible work plans for the piloting programmes. During its stay in the two countries, the Team had the chance to explain the Ethiopian State Minister, Dr Gebregziabher Gebreyohannes, and the Sudanese Minister, Prof Musa Tibin, of the objectives and scopes of the LITS pilot activities. Besides, the Team met the national LITS Teams in both countries and discussed issues related to implementations as well as visited livestock markets and feedlots in Khartoum, Sudan.
The LITS pilot programme is being implemented in the two countries following the proposal made by a team of experts from IGAD/ICPALD and AU-IBAR. This has been later endorsed by the Steering Committee Members of the STSD Project.
Representatives of the IGAD Member States expressed their commitment to rollout continuous awareness programmes in their respective countries to accelerate the establishment and implementation of national Animal Disease Surveillance and Livestock Identification and Traceability System (LITS).
At a regional awareness and message validation workshop, held on August 13th and 14th, 2015 at AU-IBAR, Nairobi, Kenya, National Focal Points of the STSD Project and Communication Experts from the IGAD Member States expressed their readiness to create awareness on the fact that disease surveillance and LITS are the critical factors to enhance regional trade and maximise livelihoods services. They reiterated that the awareness and sensitisation programmes are instrumental to bring policy makers and the grassroots on board to ensure utmost support and coordination in the implementations of the systems.
Highlighting the vital role the awareness porogarmme constitutes in the STSD Project, Professor Ahmed Elsawalhy, Director of AU-IBAR, underscored that the support and cooperation of all stakeholders are critical to achieve a robust disease reporting and animal identification and traceability systems in the IGAD Member States. To realise this, Professor Elsawalhy noted, a targeted awareness programme to these stakeholders is vital during project implementation.