The 8th Panafrican meeting of OIE Delegates, Directors of Veterinary Services and Chief Veterinary Officers is organized by the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources, technical office of the Department for Rural Economy and Agriculture with the aim to prepare coordinated positions on draft OIE standards proposed for adoption during the 84th Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates.
Opening the forum, H.E Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, reiterated: that the PAN-SPSO Project that ended on 31st December aimed to facilitate the effective participation of African countries in the activities of the World Animal Health Organization (OIE), the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), during the formulation of international standards for terrestrial and aquatic animal health, plant health, and food safety”, is the symbol of the intention of the department for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission, to improve the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) capacity of the AU Member States. The Secretariat for Standards and Trade has taken up PANSPSO’s core activities. The funding of the Secretariat is assured by the AU Member States budget which concretizes my statement above on the responsibility of my Department in activities related to sanitary and phytosanitary matters;
H.E. Tumusiime stressed the OIE Delegates to:
- collaborate with the national coordinating SPS committees or in short the national SPS Committees, and seek for a sustainable mechanism of funding the national consultations for building common positions and the participation of all national delegates in the international SPS meetings. She also referred to the common positions taken by African governments towards COP21; which helped them to negotiate as an entity.
- update the veterinary legislation to reflect the changes that happen in the sanitary domain in order to allow safe trade of livestock and livestock commodities.
- engage in and to support the Continental and Regional free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations in order, among others, to promote the intra and interregional trade of the livestock and fisheries sectors in Africa for which the demand is constantly growing;
Africa is endowed with a rich diversity of animal genetic resources (AnGR) which play a very important role in the livelihoods of millions of Africans making invaluable contributions to food security and economic development. However, Africa has been losing some of its important AnGR due to various factors including indiscriminate crossbreeding, poor and uncoordinated breeding programmes and lack of supportive policies and legislation and deliberate conservation initiatives, among others. The African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) Genetics Project “Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilisation of African Animal Genetic Resources” is implementing an activity “Support for the establishment of regional/sub-regional facilities for ex situ conservation, in particular cryogenic storage and establish gene banks for AnGR” which seeks to support the conservation and sharing of animal genetic materials. Five gene banks have since been identified and endorsed by Member States (MS) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in the various regions to serve as regional gene banking facilities. This approach will promote regional cooperation and integration through sharing of available resources for the in situ and ex situ conservation of AnGR.
An Expert meeting was convened by AU-IBAR from the 21st to 23rd April 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda and was officially opened by Dr Theogene Rutagwenda, Director of Animal Resources Development representing the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr Agnes Matilda Kalibata. A total of fifty one (51) participants drawn from Algeria, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, Senegal, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Netherlands were in attendance. Representatives from the following RECs: CENSAD, ECCAS, ECOWAS, IGAD, SADC and UMA and continental institutions: AU-PANVAC and African Regional Intellectual Property Rights Organization (ARIPO) also attended the meeting. Two experts from Senegal (Alain Kamga), Nigeria (Aludayo Amokaye) and representatives from AU-IBAR facilitated the meeting.
With the support from the European Union, AU-IBAR is currently implementing a project “Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of African Animal Genetic Resources”. The project aims 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 currently lagging behind. One of the Strategic Priority Areas of the Global Plan of Action (GPA) - characterization, inventory and monitoring of trends in AnGR diversity is the core of the project’s activity through the implementation of one of its key result areas “To establish the status and trends of animal genetic resources in Africa”. It is in this light that, the project aims at publishing the State of AnGR in Africa report as a pioneering report specific to the continent. This report will showcase the Status and trends of AnGR and articulate issues on; Threats to AnGR; existing Policy and institutional frameworks, past and present status of AnGR utilization and management in Africa as well as offer recommendations and best practices. This report being the first of its kind, is envisioned to spur Africa into taking the necessary action to ensure the sustainable utilization and conservation of AnGR and contribute significantly towards eradication of poverty and improvement of livelihoods.
The write-shop was convened by AU-IBAR from the 18th to 20th April 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda. Six reviewers drawn from different parts of the continent and two consultants currently working on the publication of the report attended the write-shop. The overall objective of the write-shop was to enable the reviewers to provide technical and editorial inputs to enrich the draft document especially in terms of its contents’ quality, accuracy, relevance and completeness. The main expected outcome of the write-shop was an enriched document that is technically sound and ready for editorial finalization and publication.