CAIRO, EGYPT - 28th March to 2nd April, 2014. Within the framework of the reinforcing veterinary governance in Africa (VET-GOV) programme the national livestock policy hub of Egypt has been inaugurated. In his introductory remarks, Prof. Dr. Ahmed El-Sawalhy, Director of AU-IBAR and Head of Mission thanked the Government of Egypt for accepting AU-IBAR technical and financial support in holding such an important event. He also expressed gratitude to all members of the Policy Hub for attending the first meeting of the policy hub. He then requested the team to develop a road map for the implementation of identified gaps including formulation of livestock development policy, strategy and improvement of veterinary legislation. Prof Dr. Osama Sleem, Chairman of General Organization of Veterinary Services presided over the ceremony and officially opened the Policy Hub meeting. The opening ceremony was chaired by Dr. Faroul El-dswky chairman of policy hub.
The objectives of the meeting were:
- To bring the members of the livestock policy hub together and facilitate their acquaintance with the VET-GOV programme,
- To get feedback on their terms of reference and on draft the national action plan,
- To discuss the draft Livestock Development Strategic Plan,
- To develop implementation road map of the identified livestock development gaps.
- The African Union – Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) organized from 1st – 3rd April 2014 a workshop, focusing on strengthening institutional capacity for the management of animal genetic resources in Southern Africa.
- The workshop was organized in the framework of the implementation of the Project "Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries to Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of African Animal Genetic Resources".
- The workshop aimed at launching the process of establishing a Sub-Regional Focal Point for Animal Genetic Resources in Southern Africa as part of the implementation of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources.
- The meeting was attended by 11 countries from Southern Africa region, Sub-Regional Research Organizations (CCARDESA), International Research Institutions (ILRI), FAO and Civil Society Organizations.
- The opening ceremony was chaired by Dr Simplice Nouala, Chief Animal Production Officer representing the Director of AU-IBAR. In his welcome remarks Dr Nouala mentioned that the Global Plan of Action clearly highlights the important roles of Regional Focal Points (RFP) and regional networks in building collaborative partnerships, coordinating regional efforts, facilitating the exchange of information and promoting technical cooperation, training and research in the management of AnGR. Recalling the past experiences of Southern, West and Central Africa, and much recently of Eastern Africa, Dr Nouala suggested to re-think the way to set an operational Sub-Regional Focal Point for Southern Africa. AU-IBAR as the continental institution of the African Union mandated to promote the utilization of animal resources to achieve food security, improved livelihoods and reduce poverty will do whatever is necessary to encourage African Member States to fulfill their obligations to the Global Plan of Action and show the world Africa's commitment to this cause.
- Mr. Sikosana, Director Division of Livestock Research of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, welcomed the participants to the workshop. He stressed on the importance of livestock and AnGR to livestock keepers and the World as a whole. He extended his appreciation to partners, such as AU-IBAR, FAO and ILRI who support AnGR initiatives. Referring to the establishment of the Sub-Regional Focal Point for Southern Africa, he insisted on the need for the region to have a body that will guide and coordinate AnGR initiatives in the region. Mr Sikosana, before declaring the workshop open, thanked sincerely AU-IBAR and FAO for choosing Harare to be the host City for the workshop.
- Dr. P. Boettcher, from FAO Rome, welcomed participants to Harare, on behalf of the Country Representative for FAO in Zimbabwe. He mentioned that the workshop is part of ongoing cooperation between FAO and AU-IBAR. The attendance by NGOs, civil society and Research institutions show the importance of the workshop. He also recalled the importance of AnGR to Agriculture and their contribution to income generation and livelihoods. With regards to the establishment of the Regional and Sub-Regional Focal points, he stressed first on the importance and insisted that Africa was the only region with formal basis of establishment of Sub-Regional-Focal Points compare with other regions, thanks to AU-IBAR who took up this role of Regional Focal Point. Dr. Boettcher concluded on the importance of having the S-RFP anchored in regional Institutions.
- The following presentations were made in plenary:
- Status of implementation of the GPA in Africa by FAO;
- Status of implementation of AU-IBAR activities on AnGR in Africa by AU-IBAR,
- Synthesis of the electronic discussion on the status of the activities in AnGR in Southern Africa, by Mr. C. Okore, National Coordinator for Kenya;
- Regional priorities identified during the meeting in Gaborone, Botswana in November 2013, by AU-IBAR;
- Review of Country activities, projects and progress realized in AnGR management in the last 10 years, by the National Coordinators representing the Member States, using a template shared prior to the workshop;
- Roles and responsibilities of National, Regional and Global Focal Points for the Management of AnGR by FAO;
- Synthesis of the electronic discussion on the Sub Regional priorities for sustainable management of animal genetic resources by Mr. C. Okore;
- Lessons learnt from the now defunct S-RFP for Southern Africa, by CCARDESA;
- "Information Solution" by Thato Supang from Agribusiness Forum Database Botswana.
- 9. The group discussions were organized around the following issues:
- Sub Regional priorities for sustainable management of animal genetic resources and the action plan to handle them,
- Structure and institutional arrangements for the S-RFP for Southern Africa,
- Membership of the Steering Committee;
- Road Map for establishment of a Sub-Regional Focal Point,
- Election of an Interim Steering Committee that will supervise the implementation of the S-RFP,
- The priorities for the S-RFP.
Hotel Venus 2-3 April 2014, Kinshasa, DRC. Within the framework of "Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa" (VETGOV) programme, the Democratic Republic of Congo has launched its livestock policy Hub which will serve to develop and enhance livestock policies and strategies in DRC.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development with his entire cabinet attended the opening and closing ceremonies in the presence of Dr. Hiver Boussini, Animal Health Officer, representing AU-IBAR at the event. Honorable Chrisostome Vahamwiti, Minister of Agriculture and Rural development, in his opening remarks, welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of livestock in DRC. He however echoed that DRC is a net importer of animal protein despite the sector's potential. Several initiatives were evoked including the current vaccination campaign against PPR, Anthrax, and CBPP where the Government has allocated 1.5 million USD.
The Minister underscored the importance of good policy to boost livestock development in DRC. He highlighted the need for the policy hub to operate on the principles of holistic participation and inclusiveness. He thanked The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) for the initiatives and support to set up and operationalize such a platform through VETGOV program. He also expressed grateful appreciations to AU-IBAR for the relentless support to DRC through various projects and programs.