Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is one of the most devastating diseases of small ruminants in Africa. It is described as the most destructive viral disease and the number one constraint affecting and limiting the most valuable productive assets of African pastoralists in general and the poor and rural smallholder livestock producers in particular. The disease has been reported from many parts of sub-Saharan Africa for several decades as well as in the Middle East and Southern Asia since 1989. In Africa, PPR is endemic in most of the African countries, and it constitutes the main constraint to small ruminant production. It is therefore a constant threat to the livelihoods of the poor. Over the last ten years, the disease has spread rapidly from its traditional endemic areas in West Africa through East Africa into the southern and northern regions of the continent.
AU-IBAR and six Regional Economic Communities (EAC, IGAD, COMESA, ECCAS, UMA and SADC) met from 14th-15th October 2016 at Naura Springs Hotel, Arusha, Tanzania to review the Panafrican PPR Prevention, Control and Eradication Program developed in 2013 and align it to the draft global PPR Control and Eradication program recently developed by the FAO-OIE PPR Global Secretariat in consultation with stakeholders. The proposed programme will be a five year Action Plan (2017 -2021) to initiate the implementation of the 15 year Pan-african PPR Strategy.
Recognizing the ongoing efforts and initiatives in some Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and countries to develop strategies and programmes for the control of PPR and other priority small ruminant diseases, the proposed Pan African programme will address the alignment/harmonization, coordination and consolidation of a Panafrican approach to halt the current aggressive expansion of PPR. Immediate actions will aim at protectig the remaining PPR-free countries in northern and southern Africa while developing epidemiologically targeted control and eradication programmes for the countries where PPR is currently endemic.
Following an invitation extended to the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) by the H.E. Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang, President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), the Director of AU-IBAR, Prof. Ahmed El-sawalhy, led a delegation from the his institution to present the Livestock Development Strategy for Africa (LiDeSA) during the plenary of 3rd Ordinary Session of the 4th Pan African Parliament (PAP) held in the resort City of Sharm El Sheik, Egypt from 10th October 2016. The presentation on the LiDeSA, was made on Wednesday 12th October 2016 and was done in two parts; the first part was presented by the Director, highlighting AU-IBAR's history, strategic focus, functions and stakeholders, and the second part which was presented by Dr. Bruce Mukanda, AU-IBAR Senior Programmes and Projects Officer, focused on the LiDeSA, and highlighted its genesis, formulation process, the strategy, its implementation modalities and the Live2Africa, an upcoming project to be launched soon.
The members applauded the quality of the presentation and expressed their appreciation for the efforts that the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) was making towards the development of the livestock sector on the continent.
Furthermore, the members of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) highlighted the importance of the livestock sector to livelihoods on the continent and the various challenges the sector faces. They committed themselves to supporting the AU in its efforts to popularize the implementation of the Livestock Development Strategy for Africa (LiDeSA) with a view to improving the sector.
The Third General Assembly of the African Apiculture Platform (AAP) on Honey Production, Bee Health and Pollination Services, was held from 21st-23rd September 2016 at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village, Kigali, Rwanda. The theme of the General Assembly was “Promoting Intra and Inter Regional Trade of Honey and Other Beehive Products in Africa”. This theme is well aligned to the Malabo Declaration Agricultural Transformation Agenda which aims to triple intra-African trade as a means to address food insecurity and youth unemployment, and to increase incomes and economic growth.
The AAP is a multi-stakeholder platform (MSP) facilitated by the African Union-InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), which is mandated to provide leadership in the development of Africa’s animal resources. The AAP draws on the convening power of the African Union to bring key public sector actors i.e.., AU Member States (MS) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on to the same forum with the private sector, beekeeper associations, non-governmental organizations, and academia and research institutions and consumer bodies. This gives the Platform legitimacy, unprecedented leverage, and a strong mandate for substantive agenda setting, information and knowledge exchange, policy reform, and advocacy. Key objectives of the AAP are facilitating collaboration of stakeholders, advocating for an enabling policy framework for the sector and for increased public and private investment, and promoting knowledge sharing, capacity development and partnership development.
The General Assembly, which is the main forum of the AAP, brings all members and caucuses of the Platform together and is the main forum of the AAP at which issues are discussed/ debated on, and where the key decisions are made and coordinated actions for implementation of the decisions agreed among all sector actors.
The 3rd General Assembly of the AAP was held as a joint event with ApiExpo Africa 2016, a private sector led initiative under ApiTrade Africa which was meeting under the theme “Driving Socio-Economic Transformation in Africa: the Role of Commercial Beekeeping”.
The Government of the Republic of Rwanda hosted both events at the same venue providing an opportunity for cross-interaction and resulting in greater dialogue between state and non-state actors.
The General Assembly was attended by ninety-six (96) delegates from forty (40) African Union Member States: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia (The), Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Four Regional Economic Communities attended: Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Arab Maghreb Union (UMA).