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."
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.
AU-IBAR is implementing the project for Reinforcing Animal Health Services in Somalia (RAHS) in partnership with the Ministry of Livestock, Forestry and Range of the Federal Government of Somalia, the Ministry of Livestock and Animal Husbandry of the Puntland State of Somalia, the Ministry of Livestock, Somaliland and two NGOs, COOPI and Terra Nuova. The project aims to strengthen the policy and regulatory environment for animal health services delivery, public private and community partnerships to enhance access to animal health services and livestock disease surveillance and control systems in Somalia.
AU-IBAR convened the second steering committee meeting of the RAHS project for on 5th April 2017 at the Anderita Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda. This meeting was held back to back with the 2nd Steering committee meeting of the Project for Enhancing Somali Livestock Trade (ESOLT) held on 4th April 2017 and a two-day Somali Stakeholders’ Consultative meeting to address sustainable livestock exports, held from 6th -7th April 2017.
The three days stakeholder retreat was convened by the AU-IBAR to review the draft continental animal welfare strategy and action plan; and the African Platform for Animal Welfare (APAW) operational structure at Simba Lodge, Naivasha, Kenya from 6-8 March 2017. Over 40 participants attended the meeting including 10 CVOs representing the national governments namely Zimbabwe, Tunisia, DR Congo, Lesotho, Senegal, Morocco, Ghana, Liberia, Chad and Kenya; Regional Economic Communities (RECs), IGAD and ECOWAS; international organizations FAO and OIE as well as other animal welfare organizations: Brooke, World Horse Welfare, Donkey Sanctuary, World Animal Protection, Africa Network for Animal Welfare, Pan African Animal Welfare Alliance, World Animal Net and All Creatures Animal Welfare League.
The overall objective of the retreat was to discuss the draft continental animal welfare strategy and the APAW operational structure.
The specific objectives were:
- To Review and refine the draft African Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) in preparation for submission to a validation workshop with specific focus on:
- Considerations of the recent OIE Global AW conference resolutions and recommendations.
- Supporting policy and legal framework.
- African Platform for Animal Welfare (APAW) organizational structure and operational modalities.
- Promotion of African Animal Welfare agenda.
- To Share experiences on Animal Welfare issues and initiatives (RECs, OIE, FAO, MS and NGOs).
The 8th VET-GOV Programme Steering Committee and the 6th Steering Committee of the Consolidation phase of PAN-SPSO meetings were held at Safir Hotel in Dukki, Cairo, Egypt, from 20th to 22nd March 2017. The meetings were attended by the Steering Committee Members, participants from the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nation (FAO), the African Union Interafrican Phytosanitary Council (AU-IAPSC), Regional Economic Communities (COMESA, EAC, ECCAS, ECOWAS, IGAD and UMA) and invited representatives from Member States (Kenya, Mauritius and Tunisia).
The meetings were officially opened by Professor Mumtaz Shaheen on behalf of HE Professor Abdel Monieum Albanna, Minister for Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Arab Republic of Egypt following remarks from Professor Ahmed El-Sawalhy, the Director AU-IBAR representing the Commissioner of the African Union Department for Rural Economy and Agriculture (AU-DREA), Dr Yilma Makonnen, representing the FAO, Dr Samuel Wakhusama representing the OIE, Mr Timothy Wesonga, EAC representative on behalf of the COMESA, EAC, ECCAS, ECOWAS, IGAD, UMA, and Mr. Sebastian Trenner representing the EU.
The two steering Committee Meetings, which were held back-to-back, provided strategic guidance to the two programmes on the course of implementation of the different contribution agreements.
- African Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Tool (AMERT) Training
- AU-IBAR Enhances the Capacities of Pan-African Parliamentarians on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards
- World Aquaculture 2017 - Sustainable Aquaculture – New Frontiers for Economic Growth
- Training program on Quarantine Management Practices and Laboratory Diagnosis of trade limiting diseases (FMD, RVF, PPR and Brucellosis) for veterinary staff under the Enhancing Somali Livestock Trade Project (ESOLT)