The trade in livestock and livestock products plays a key role in Somalia’s economic and social development. Its contribution to employment creation, the gross domestic product and export earnings is known. At a household level, the livestock holdings contribute to household resilience and better livelihood by increasing the percentage of their incomes derived from diverse livestock and livestock products and being used to adapt to shocks. It is critical that more Somali livestock traders are educated on the central role they play in livestock certification for export and the adherence to quarantine standard operating procedures. In particular, the owners of the seven livestock export quarantines must cede ground to the public sector and allow them access and control of the livestock inspection, export certification and laboratory testing within the quarantines.
The promotion of trade is one of the facilities that stimulate the export markets. It is one of the opportunities overlooked with the role of government being marginal and that of the private sector over emphasised. However, with increasing trade facilitation adherence to Sanitary and Phytosanitary standards requires attention in order to stimulate growth of exports. Many of the key importing countries are converting the Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary Agreement (SPS) into Technical Barriers in a manner which would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination and thus restrictive to trade. There is need for the Somali trade regulators to ensure that traders maintain all the measures prescribed by the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) so as to avoid trade restrictions. The existing international agreements recognize that "no country should be prevented from taking measures necessary to ensure the quality of its imports, or for the protection of human, animal or plant life or health, of the environment, or for the prevention of deceptive practices."
On 4th April, the Steering Committee of Enhancing Somali Livestock Trade (ESOLT) Project implemented through a partnership of AU-IBAR and FAO Somalia and funded by the European Union met in Entebbe, Uganda for the second time gathering the European Commission, (EU), Somali veterinary authorities from Ministry of Livestock, Somaliland, Ministry of Livestock and Animal Husbandry Puntland, The Ministry of Livestock, Forestry and Range, Federal Government of Somalia, the respective chambers of Commerce and Industry for Somaliland and Puntland. Co-Chairing the Committee, AU-IBAR reported to the European Commission and the Steering Committee, progress made to date including the signature of an addendum to the beneficiary contracts worth over €3 million for the implementation of additional project year at no additional cost.
Prof James Wabacha, representing the Director of AU-IBAR appreciated the EU’s commitment to funding several projects implemented by AU-IBAR and the region.
With the technical and financial backstopping from AU-IBAR and within the framework of the VET-GOV programme, COMESA held a livestock forum in Port Louis, Mauritius on the 11-12th April 2017.
During the Forum, it was agreed to establish the Regional Livestock Policy Hub (RLPH) to provide effective and efficient animal health, production and trade services within the COMESA region.
The Forum was attended by participants from AU-IBAR, COMESA Secretariat, OIE, FAO, USAID, Tufts University and Regional Economic Communities(COMESA, EAC and IGAD) in addition to representatives from Comoros, Kenya, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Malawi, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe and participants from the Regional Farmers Organizations (EAFF, SACAU).
The forum was officially opened by H.E. Mr. Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, the Minister of Agro-Industry, Mauritius following remarks from Dr Mphumuzi Sukati, Senior Policy Officer, Economics, trade and Marketing on behalf of Professor Ahmed El-Sawalhy, the Director AU-IBAR and Mr. Thierry Mutombo Kalonji, Director of Industry and Agriculture, on behalf of COMESA Secretariat.