Financial exclusion is still a great need for the majority of Africa’s women in livestock keeping. This is exemplified by the focus on the assets that are far more accessible to men. As a means of contributing towards financial inclusion, AU-IBAR, under the Live2Africa Project, with funding from the European Union (EU), and in collaboration with the Africa Women Agribusiness Network (AWAN) brought together 64 continental, regional and national executives from the African Women in Animal Resources Farming and Agribusiness Network (AWARFA-N) at a capacity building workshop. The workshop themed "The Only Measures are Profit and Growth" was held on 27th – 29th November, 2019 in Naivasha, Kenya. The focus of the workshop was on resourcing, negotiating and utilizing innovative investment finance and insurance.
Speaking during the official opening of the capacity building workshop, AU-IBAR’s Director, mentioned that the workshop provided a strengthened and continuous process of capacity building for African Women AGRIBUSINESSES that AU-IBAR and AWAN hoped to embark on. Prof. Ahmed Elsawalhy stressed the importance of moving away from aid-related support to supporting agribusiness to ensure functional businesses, which as he further noted is a key focus of the Live2Africa Project.
He stated: "the most important remark came from our donor the European Union: support has moved from purely aid to supporting business. This is now the model, to ensure ownership, growth and sustainability. This is where the EU and other donors, who have had a long tradition of support to empowering women on the African continent are moving."
Ms. Beatrice Gakuba, Executive Director AWAN-Afrika reminded participants of the need to take advantage of existing continental instruments promoting agribusiness. She noted that the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement provides an opportunity for women to strengthen their trade practices through a hassle-free accelerated intra-African trade through a common voice in trade discussions. She emphasised that "the Africa We Want" will not happen if Africa’s women are not empowered.
Africa Union Commission (AUC) held a two day meeting from the 2-3 December 2019 to determine the operationalization of the continent’s Blue Economy Strategy. The retreat, which was hosted by AU-IBAR aimed to provide a clear understanding of the most effective way that the African Union (AU) will implement and best coordinate its maritime and blue economy strategies. The meeting also provided a draft document outlining the coordination mechanism for the implementation of the strategy.
The meeting was chaired by Dr. Godfrey Bahiigwa, the Director of the Africa Union – Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture. His opening remarks Dr. Bahiigwa emphasized the need for a strong communication and advocacy strategy; monitoring and progress reporting and better collaboration on blue economy related activities between AU departments.
Speaking during the official opening, AU Commission Deputy Chairperson H.E Thomas Kwesi noted that it is a great sense of pride that African Union has developed the Africa Blue Economy Strategy that provides strategic direction and a roadmap for the economic exploitation of the resources of oceans, lakes, rivers and other water bodies and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems.
He said there are still further opportunities for effectively tapping into the inherent potential of these aquatic resources for increased and sustainable contribution to the socio-economic transformation of the continent.
“We now know the blue economy concept is a multi-dimensional approach that integrates not only traditional activities such as fishing, shipping, trade, tourism but also considers vital components such as environmental sustainability, climate change, aquaculture, renewable energy, extractive minerals and gas, among others,” said H.E Kwesi.
He emphasized that, “In view of the diversity of the various components of the blue economy, it is of crucial importance to define a framework for effective coordination of these various components. This meeting is therefore timely as its sets out to develop an operational plan for the effective coordination of Africa blue economy strategy.”
AU-IBAR has continued to provide support to ensure continuous awareness creation, sensitization and implementation of the Animal Welfare Strategy for Africa (AWSA), and backing the Africa Platform on Animal Welfare (APAW) endorsed in 2017 to transform the animal resources industry through adoption of good animal welfare practices for the human wellbeing, sustainable livelihoods, poverty reduction and economic growth.
AU-IBAR made a presentation during the First Southern African Regional Animal Welfare Summit: Focus on Poultry, held on 5th November, 2019 at the Protea Hotel by Marriott, Cape Town Sea Point. The meeting was hosted by Humane Society International and Coalition of African Animal Welfare Organisations.
In the AU-IBAR’s presentation during the Summit, it was noted that APAW is a continental multi-stakeholder’s platform that will bring together veterinary authorities, authorities in animal production and development, donors, development and technical partners, relevant Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), training institutions, research institutions and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
According to the presentation done by Dr Annie Lewa, the AU-IBAR’s Senior Projects and Programs Officer, the specific objectives of APAW include support to the implementation of the Animal Welfare Strategy in Africa (AWSA), follow up the progress of the AWSA action plan and to promote coordination, collaboration, information sharing and to foster partnerships on animal welfare among actors (users, beneficiaries and stakeholders).
Data management on animal resources for evidence-based decision making requires effort and investment to ensure that the animal resources sector as a whole contributes to economic development. Based on this notion, the African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) is advancing the implementation of its current strategy through its fourth strategic focus on “Animal Resources Information and Knowledge Management”. With the objective to improve creation, dissemination and utilization of knowledge for effective animal resource development, AU-IBAR is undertaking a series of trainings on the use of the third version of the Animal Resources Information System (ARIS).
After a launch by Her Excellency Madam Josefa Sacko, the African Union Commission Commissioner of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture on 12th June 2019, the first series of trainings began in July 2019 and are expected to end in December 2019. The trainings are targeting 110 National Focal Point persons from Africa Union Member States from all five Regional Economic Communities. The first workshop, held from 1st – 5th July, 2019, marked the first stage of the roll out of ARIS 3.
Speaking during the opening of the first training held in Nairobi, Kenya, AU-IBAR’s Director, Prof. Ahmed Elsawahy noted the importance of Information and Knowledge Management’s role in supporting AU-IBAR’s strategic niche. He further confirmed the importance of a good information system for planning and decision making, and for promotion of trade and investment in the animal resources sector. He particularly asserted the importance of good credible harmonised data in expanding intra-African trade within the context of leveraging the African continental free trade area. Significantly, he affirmed that ARIS 3, unlike the previous versions of ARIS has more advanced features critical to for evidence-based policy and decisions making processes.
Technological challenges to knowledge management previously experienced with the previous systems include inadequate integration of existing databases, and limited inter-operability. Conversely, the lack of integrated modern information systems at national level and outside ministries responsible for animal resources is one of the major obstacles for enhanced planning. Due to their incomprehensiveness, the previous versions of ARIS created setbacks in creating functional linkages between different data sources.
On their part, participants from regional States noted that the new upgrade of ARIS has a lot of advantages.
On Renewed Commitment for Accelerated Progress towards Research, Control and Eradication of Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Constraint in The African Continent
The 35th Meeting of the ISCTRC and the 18th PATTEC National Coordinators’ meeting held in Abuja Nigeria from 23rd to 27th September 2019 acknowledged that Tsetse and trypanosomiasis (T&T) problem continues to constrain the socio-economic development on the African Continent. While recognizing achievements made for the control and eradication of T&T as declared by Heads of state and Government at AU Summit in Lomé Togo in July 2000 (Decision AGH/Dec.156-XXXVI) such as reduction in Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) cases, the meeting noted with concern the slow progress towards achieving the objectives of T&T control and eradication. A sense of urgency was therefore expressed in tackling the problem to safeguard the gains made on the road to elimination and eventual eradication of T&T constraint.
The meeting urged renewed commitment at all levels towards control, elimination/eradication of T&T constraint.
The meeting emphasized that T&T problem should be tackled within the broader context of One Health, Sustainable Rural development and poverty reduction; urging countries to develop appropriate agriculture transformation strategies in the face of changing climate conditions. Furthermore it was emphasized that new innovative strategies, policies, advocacy and awareness, partnerships and effective coordination are of paramount importance for accelerated progress with clear and achievable milestones agreed upon at country, regional and continental levels.
- Awards of Excellence of the ISCTRC in Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the International Scientific Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control (ISCTRC)
- Member States receive ICT infrastructure to facilitate data capture and analysis on Animal Genetic Resources
- One Voice to Catalyse Equitable Growth of the Livestock Sector through the harmonisation of key Livestock Policies
- Empowering Youth and Women in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture Agribusiness Incubation