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Strengthening capacities on the genetic resources management in Central Africa and the West

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In the framework of the implementation of two initiatives that are, the AU-IBAR Genetics project "Strengthening the Capacity of African Countries and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to Conservation and Sustainable Utilisation of African Animal Genetic Resources" and the technical cooperation project between the Regional Office of FAO and AU-IBAR "Assistance for a Regional Initiative on Animal Genetic Resources in Africa" was held in the premises of CEBEVIRHA in N'Djamena, Chad from 28 to 30 August 2014, a regional workshop on "Strengthening capacities on the genetic resources management in Central Africa and the West".

The workshop registered the attendance of national coordinators of animal genetic resources, the focal points for the AU-IBAR project genetics from West and Central Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Chad and Togo), representatives of sub-regional, regional and international institutions (CEBEVIRHA, ECCAS, CIRDES, CORAF/WECARD, FAO, ITC/WALIC and AU-IBAR). The main objective was to strengthen the capacity of the sub-regional focal point (S-RFP) for West and Central Africa to improve the management of animal genetic resources through better coordination and networking.

More specifically, the workshop aimed to:

  • Assess the progress made in the implementation of the activities of the SRFP since the last meeting in Libreville in 2011;
  • Agree on the most desirable institutional set-up considering the progress assessed, the present institutional environment in West and in Central Africa
  • Agree/confirm the geographical coverage of the S-RFP or otherwise decide;
  • Select institution(s) to host the secretariat of the S-RFP(s);
  • Elect Steering committee(s) for the S-RFP(s);
  • Propose a mechanism for the sustainability of S-RPF(s) beyond projects support.
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Together Against Rabies

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World Rabies Day message: A joint AU-IBAR, FAO-RAF and OIE-RR/AF

[Nairobi, Accra, Bamako. 25.09.2014] – With World Rabies Day 2014 less than a week away, the Directors and Senior Animal Health Officers of the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), the African representations of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) today are making a joint appeal to Chief Veterinary Officers of the 54 member states in Africa to mobilise for the fight against rabies, one of the most deadly zoonotic diseases in Africa.

Rabies is a disease of dogs and other mammals, which when transmitted to man through bites and other routes, leads to an excruciatingly painful condition, almost always followed by death. Rabies especially affects children in developing countries, with Africa being the worst hit. In countries where people are still dying from the disease, dogs are the main vectors of the rabies virus, the causative agent. In spite of the availability of safe and effective vaccines against rabies and successful measures for controlling the disease, the incidence of rabies has been increasing throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa.

World Rabies Day is being facilitated by the international charity, the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, and the global series of events will culminate on September 28 – World Rabies Day. This year's theme is 'Together against Rabies'. Working together helps safeguard people and animals against rabies.

"Rabies though fatal, is preventable and can be defeated. By standing 'Together Against Rabies', we are not only helping our communities here in Africa, but we are also safeguarding human beings around the world. To eliminate this disease, Veterinary Services of AU member states must be in the front line of the battle and ensure a sustained vaccination and promotion of responsible ownership of dogs. I am, therefore, calling for a concerted effort in controlling this very important and widely-distributed zoonosis across the continent" ,says Professor Ahmed El Sawalhy, Director of AU-IBAR, who also strongly advocates for joining hands with public health authorities in tackling the disease.

Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant-Director General and Regional Representative for Africa points out: "more than 95% of human and livestock cases are due to bites by infected dogs. It is therefore unacceptable in these modern days that so many people, especially children, still die from this disease when the vaccination of dogs is a simple and cost-effective way of controlling rabies in dogs and protecting our children and our livestock."

The aim of World Rabies Day's theme, 'Together Against Rabies', is to bring all stakeholders together to work towards the common goal of eliminating the disease. According to Professor Louis Nel, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, "We can save the lives of tens of thousands of people who die every year from rabies by raising awareness and taking the correct preventive measures. Rabies is a global problem that will only be solved if we all stand 'Together Against Rabies'."

Dr. Yacouba Samaké, OIE Regional Representative for Africa echoes this appeal in stating that: "veterinary services, together with public health services in Africa, play a crucial role in the eradication of this dreadful disease. Every one of the 69,000 annual casualties could have been avoided. This is roughly one person every seven minutes. I would like to see this disease eradicated from the continent for the sake of future generations."

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Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa (VET-GOV) Programme Training on Livestock Policy Decisions Making Tools - Extrapolate and LSIPT

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© 2014 AU-IBAR. From Right to Left: Dr Baba Soumare, Chief Animal Health Officer AU-IBAR, Prof Ahmed Elsawalhy, Director AU-IBAR, Dr Bouna Diop FAO ECTAD Manager Eastern Africa and Dr Cheikh Ly Regional Livestock Officer.© 2014 AU-IBAR. From Right to Left: Dr Baba Soumare, Chief Animal Health Officer AU-IBAR, Prof Ahmed Elsawalhy, Director AU-IBAR, Dr Bouna Diop FAO ECTAD Manager Eastern Africa and Dr Cheikh Ly Regional Livestock Officer.29th September - 3rd October, 2014, Lake Naivasha Country Club, Kenya.

The training workshop on livestock policy decisions making tools was carried out at the Lake Naivasha country Club, Naivasha, Kenya from 29th September 2014 to 3rd October, 2014. The five-days training workshop, organized by AU-IBAR in collaboration with FAO, was attended by more than 70 public and private sector stakeholders drawn from African Members States namely Angola, Botswana, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, South Sudan, Sudan, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. In attendance too were staff from AU-IBAR, FAO-ECTAD Eastern Africa, FAO-RAF office in Ghana, FAO-Rome, the OIE, COMESA, IGAD.

Participants were welcome first by Dr Baba Soumare, Chief Animal Health, AU-IBAR. Then Dr Bouna Diop, Manager FAO-ECTAD Eastern Africa and Dr. Walter Masiga OIE Representative for Eastern Africa provided welcoming remarks on behalf of their respective organization, both thanked the Member States for taking part in this workshop. They further elaborated on their institutions' respective roles in the implementation of the VET-GOV programme and reiterated their commitment to foster partnership.

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